Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tine's Half Birthday

Today is C's half birthday and since she is here in Dallas, Z and I put together a little surprise for her this morning.  Who celebrates half birthdays you ask?  Well, Christine did one year back in middle school.  The whole idea came as a result of her feeling like she missed out by having a summer birthday when everyone seemed to be on vacation.  That year we had a big birthday party for her on December 22nd.  She loved it.  So this is what we did this morning before she woke up...
The sign says, Happy 25 1/2 Birthday!
Birthday crown..Thanks to Z.
And to top it off, a treat.
Monkey Bread!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Entertaining made easy.

Last Friday night we hosted a Christmas party for Lefty's management team and their spouses.  A good time was had by all and I must say that entertaining can be fun and easy.  It has always been fun for us, but not always easy.  Lots of decorating and then lots of baking and cooking.  The last 2 years we have turned the whole thing over to Lefty's assistant M, and boy does she know who to work with.  I wish I had taken pictures of the the food, but I was too busy eating it to even think about that at the time, but here are some pictures of the flowers that arrived for the party.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Occupy Sonoma

Lefty had a great line this morning.  Let me back up.  After Cookie and Pepper danced a jig to earn a treat, scratched the door to be let out, scratched it again to be let in, carried some leaves along in with them to be strewed about the house, whined to be fed and given fresh water, THEY PROCEEDED TO GO RIGHT BACK TO BED!  Lefty looked at them and shook his head and under his breath said: "It's like these dogs are occupying Sonoma!"  It cracked me up.  After a morning siesta, it looks like they will now get on to their daily tasks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Purpose of Christmas

Rick Warren wrote a book titled "The Purpose of Christmas".  I am taking a little time every morning to read a chapter and try to slow down this busy season and soak in what it really is all about.  From time to time I am going to share a bit of what Warren says.

"We can know a bit about God by simply observing his creation.  For instance, by looking at creation we know that our creator loves variety. Think of the limitless array of plants, animals, rock formations, snowflakes, and people. No two human beings are exactly alike, not even twins. God doesn't make clones or copies. Every one of us is original. After you were born, God broke the mold.
God must enjoy watching us enjoy what he has created.  Otherwise why would he have given us so many ways to enjoy it?  He gave us taste buds, then filled the world with incredible flavors like chocolate and cinnamon.  He gave us eyes to perceive color and filled the world with a rainbow of shades.  He gave us sensitive ears and then filled the world with rhythms and music.  Your capacity for enjoyment is evidence of God's love for you."

God's love for us is unconditional, constant, and unchanging.  Nothing we do will change it because it is based on his character, not our conduct.




Friday, December 2, 2011

A Great Thanksgiving and now it's on to Christmas

It's always special to be able to gather your family together for the holidays.  This year my parents drove in from Minnesota.  They are in their 80's, and had a great drive to and from and while they were here, they loved spending time with all 4 of their grandchildren.  It doesn't happen all that often anymore. 
We had a relatively low key holiday with lots of eating, laughing, and just catching up.  We will get to enjoy all four of our kids for Christmas as well. 
One of these years there will be an engagement or two or three, and that may alter how we spend the holidays. Who knows?  But in the meantime, we will cherish the time we get to spend any holiday together.
And now I am off to crack open the Christmas bins and DECORATE!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for so much

This is the time of year to focus in on what we are thankful for, and I feel extraordinarily blessed.
I am thankful for the freedom to worship  God openly and freely.
I am thankful for a really wonderful, loving, smart, and funny hubby.
I am thankful for 4 exceptional children. ( who will all be with us for Thanksgiving)
I am thankful for our parents and extended families.
I am thankful for life long and new found friends.
I am thankful for our two little wienie dogs.
I am thankful for our home....and lots of other things.

I am so thankful to live in the USA!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I will be busy in the kitchen soon and wanted to publish this post before Thursday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thought for the day

I wish I could give proper credit to the person who wrote this, but I have NO IDEA who did.  It's worth contemplating.  Too often, I waste away large portions of my time.  Don't we all?

"This is the beginning of a new day.  You have been given this day to use as you will.  You can waste it or use it for good.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day in your life for it.  When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever.  In it's place is something that you have left behind.  Let it be something good. "

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday Karl!

Thirty years ago, this very day, ( at 5:14 a.m. to be exact) our first born entered the world.  As any parent will attest, there is NOTHING LIKE the birth of a child, and when it is your first, you realize how utterly indescribable the experience is.  It's the exact moment when you discover that you have the capacity to love this little baby more than you could have ever imagined.  Life changing!
We were YOUNG!  I look back on the pictures and realize how much we look like kids ourselves. But, we had read lots of parenting books, and had a number of friends who already had kids so we considered ourselves ready. 
We obviously didn't know everything, but we loved figuring it out as we went.  It has been a grand adventure.

We have loved parenting you Karl and have so many fun, meaningful, and adventuresome memories and stories about you. (We will relive them over Thanksgiving when we get to celebrate with you in person.)
You weren't afforded the luxury of being an only child for long.  In fact, you will never have a memory of life without siblings as they followed along pretty quickly. But you took on being an older brother with gusto.


You are one of the most unique and gifted people we know and you have delighted us in  unimaginable ways throughout your entire 30 years.  We are so proud to have you as our son and love you immeasurably.

It gives us such joy to see you using your gifts and skills to accomplish GREAT things and we can't wait to see where your "investment" leads you.  You have so much to look forward to as you begin this 30th year!

Have fun opening up your gifts and celebrating with Laura!  We can't wait to hear all about it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Frogs and Princes

This is a post that I give complete credit to William L. Coleman for.  He has written a number of books on relationships and the chapter titled Frogs and Princes is still the best advice.  Someone gave me similar advice when I was young and I think it's solid advice. 


"Try to imagine this: What if the man you marry never changes?  Suppose he becomes frozen in time and always remains the same.  Could you be as happy with him at age fifty-five as you are today?

Too many people get married believing that they can change their spouses.  They believe in miracles, but unfortunately they think they are the miracle worker.  It's nice to have that much faith in oneself, but they need a reality check. 

Very seldom are any of us successful at changing someone else.  Read that sentence again.  The person you marry is basically the same one you will see across the breakfast table twenty or thirty years from now.  Frogs don't turn into princes.  Skunks stay skunks all of their lives. And yes, angels tend to remain angels.

If anything, try to picture each of your partner's character traits increased by ten percent.  People who are easily irritated while they are dating become more easily irritated after they get married.  Bad tempers become fierce tempers within a year or two.  Crude and rude have a way of degenerating into sloppy and obnoxious.

Only fairy princesses believe that they can take a self-centered guy, marry him, feed him, love him, give him lots of attention, and change him into a cool dude.  But then fairy princesses still believe in magic wands.
Are there exceptions? Son't some wives change their husbands? Sure, but Halley's Comet comes around more often than that.

Love who you have.  Work with him the way he is.  Learn how to enhance his good qualities.  Accept him lock, stock, and barrel and the two of you can become the great romance of the century.

Love his quirks.  Don't struggle over the toothpaste tube.  Get two tubes and squeeze your own however you like. 

Never sweat the small stuff.  And remember, most of our differences really are small stuff.
Make room for his foibles and habits.  We all have them.  You keep yours.  Let him have his.
Dare to love him as he is .  Love wears better when it is accepting, free of manipulation."


We all have things that get on one another's nerves from time to time.  None of us are even close to being perfect.  This article was written for a daughter, but it would be just as true if written to a son .

I "married up".  I am one lucky gal.  My hubby is a terrific guy!  He always has been. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Little Ones

Years ago when my children were "little ones", I was blessed to have parents, in-laws, my sister, and a handful of other generous people who watched over them while Steve and I took a quick trip somewhere.  It didn't happen all that often, but at least once or twice a year we made it happen.

I remember cleaning the house, buying lots of groceries, and making long lists of all the things that needed to be remembered in our absence. It was a LOT OF WORK to have a "get away". 

I also remember how excited I was to come home to these four "little ones".  They seemed to have "grown up" a bit in our short time away. 

This past week I had a chance to play "grandma" with this sweet little guy!  A friend of mine from MOPS, had an opportunity to travel with her hubby, so I kept the little man from Wednesday through Friday until his Grandma came in from out of town.

Louise and I had a blast.  He was happy ALL THE TIME!  He was even happy to go down for a nap. 

Here he is!

He loved playing with our phones and rocking in Karl's rocking chair.  I had a chance to dig out some of the kid's old toys and books.  Lots of fun memories!

And yes, his mom made me a great list to help me know what I needed to do and when.  She also brought over all the necessary gear to make it easy for us.  (She needed a few days away after all the work I know she went to  to get ready.  And I bet she thought he had "grown up" in just the few days she was gone.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

The 3 C's

CHOICES. CHANCES. CHANGE.

You've got to make a choice to take a chance in order to change.

(from theletteredcottage.net. Layla Palmer's blog.)

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The art of listening.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a couple of books I was reading.  As is usually the case with books and me, I get easily distracted and preoccupied with the week's activities and some reality tv shows thrown in, ( i.e. the Kardashian wedding) and I basically have to start reading said books over again so I can remember what I already read.  So this week I actually made some more progress on the Resolution for Women. 
The part I just finished reading was all about the importance of listening and it's value in our lives and the lives of those we love.

She writes: Time and listening are gifts.  When people give you their ear, they are offering you a sliver of their life they can never retrieve again, on e of the few gifts that can never be returned or retracted.  We can get so focused on our own feelings and circumstances that many of our conversations ultimately become all about us.
What we say by no listening says a lot, so choose to listen.  Resist the urge to criticize, insult, or make sarcastic remarks.  Lean in purposefully and listen.  It's your gift so give it to whomever you can.

She goes on to give some great advice.  Sometimes wisdom is knowing what to say and NOT saying it.  You don't have to say everything that pops into your head.  Silence is oftentimes our good friend.  We would be wise to listen and gather up all the information before releasing our reaction.  Choose to let your solutions and reactions time to "settle" before being shared.

Try it for a day or two.  Deliberately keep from saying something that is better left unsaid. What would change for the better in your life if you began exercising the restraint of silence? Picture the people in your life who most need to receive the gift of listening from you.

It's our nature to be talkers and the resolution to be a better listener is one I want to make. 
Here is one of my good "listening" friends. Actually, we think she is becoming deaf and maybe that is why she appears to be such a good listener. Happy Monday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A quick trip to Boulder.

Sometimes a mom just has to do what she has to do, and that means hopping on a plane to see one of her children.  So, Thursday I flew to Denver to see Christine, but not without a little hitch in the plan.  As we were circling Denver to land, we hit some crazy, wild, rough and tumble air!  Moments later we were on our way to Albequerque, New Mexico.  Apparently the winds around the Denver airport were so intense that we couldn't land AND we were low on fuel so circling was no longer an option. 
I have never been to New Mexico before so a little pit stop allowed me to add that state as a place I have technically been to.
After a  2 to 3 hour delay, I arrived at Tine's  condo just in time to enjoy some Thai food that she had ordered in.  There is something about food on the table after a long day that just tastes even better.  AND, Tine had all sorts of fun stories to tell about her recent adventures and boy, has she had them.  She has been all over the place this summer and early fall.  No signs that that will change anytime soon.  I caught her on the only free weekend that she and P have during the month of October.
We spent our time on Friday shopping, eating, hiking and then eating again as we dined at Frasca's.  Patrick kept us entertained the entire time.  Boulder has some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at. 
Saturday I woke up to cold temperatures.  Yay!  The forecast was for snow in the mountains which sounds like heaven after the summer we have had in Dallas.  The three of us went out for brunch before I left for the
airport.  On my way there it started to snow and I smiled the whole way.
What a FUN weekend.  Thanks Tine and Patrick for everything.
Here is Christine's blog address:  soulschine.blogspot.com   She posted some great pictures.

Louise picked me up at the airport when I landed in Dallas.  She brought me clothes to change into ( IN THE CAR), and we were off to see Taylor Swift at the Cowboy Stadium.  She did not disappoint.  Fun times!  Adventures with both daughters in one weekend.

Back from Romania !

The  trip to Romania was one of my favorites ever.  Each time we return there, we are afforded wonderful opportunities to connect with people and places, but this was certainly a special trip.  We spent time in Budapest, Hungary on the front end of the trip.
 We spent a bit of time up at Poianna.

 
Then on to Bucharest for 4 days.

Our last day in Romania we toured a monastery and two castles.  What a great way to end a trip!



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegas in a flash!

The month of September was a BLUR!  We were on the move for most of the month.  Somewhere in there we hit Las Vegas for a very short time.  Here are a few of pictures from the trip.  It was my first time in Vegas, and all the smoking there prepared me for the trip to Romania.
Great hotel.
Beautiful weather.
Lots of fun!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Romania- day 6?

This trip is going by so quickly. The saying that "time flys when you are having fun" is certainly true.
Just a few comments:
There are lots of smokers here.
The women wear beautiful shoes.
I have never enjoyed a cup of coffee more than I have here in Romania.
The bread and pastries...oh my!
We have bought a LOT of bottled water. I will appreciate my filtered refrigerator water next week.
Most people here speak English.
Cabs are very inexpensive.
This really is a special country.

We will be touring around Bucharest and the surrounding areas for the next couple of days. Will post pictures upon our return.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Non~Stop

We have been on the move. I have started and deleted about 5 different blogposts. If I had better luck posting pictures from these posts, I would have actually published them, but no such luck. I continue to be technology challenged.
I hope to get back to a Las Vegas post,as it was my first time there and it was an interesting place. Currently we are in Romania and will be covering a lot of ground in the next week. In between business meetings for Lefty, we will reconnect with friends and enjoy some beautiful scenery. This is a special place. As we drove from Budapest, Hungary into Romania, we once again saw people moving around lots of different ways. All sharing the same road. Pedestrians, bikes, mopeds, motorcycles,cars, tractors, and horse drawn wooden carts. Off to the sides of the road are cattle and sheep herders.
We arrived in Cluj-Napoca last night and this is a bustling University city filled with young people. We had a late dinner at our friend's restaurant, the Marty Cafe. Best thin crust pizza and fresh salads. Around lunchtime we will start the drive to Poianna where we will spend the night. Tomorrow we go on to Oradea (Octoberfest activities) and then, by plane, train, or automobile, we will arrive in Bucharest.
The fall weather here is spectacular and after such a long, hot summer in TX, we are really enjoying it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Think Positiviely: You will live longer than a pessimist

Alexandra Stoddard is an interesting woman and has written a number of books.  The title of today's blog is straight out of one of her books.  I am just going to go ahead and quote her directly.
"You  are the only one who chooses what you think.  Think the thoughts that will increase your sense of well-being. Think the thoughts that make you feel good.  We become what we think about all day.  Positive thinkers stay connected to their creative power and use all their powers constructively, staying focused on what they want to accomplish and how they want to feel, doing the best they can to look for the good in every situation.  Negative thinkers find themselves feeling scattered.  Negative thought prey harmfully on us, triggering a number of distinctive emotions; anger, confusion, anxiety, depression, and frustration.  Negative emotion appears to weaken people's immune system.  Psychology, indeed, does affect biology.
In order to get the most out of your lifetime, formulate a positive philosophy and search, not for the ideal later, but for the actual good now.  You must have a point of view, a perspective, on life.  You always have a choice to select the window you look out from.  Choose the best possible view.  Look for ways to expand your horizon and multiply your possibilities.  Choose to look at life from a sense of increase, a sense of potential.  Being positive is being appreciative of the miracle of your life, even when things are not going your way.  A positive attitude looks for progress, ways to improve things and make things work out for the best.
There is far more good than bad in the world, more beauty than ugliness, more kindness than meanness, more love than hate. "
And... it helps to put a sticky note on your mirror that says "Don't Worry!  Be Happy!"  At least when you are brushing your teeth and getting ready to head out the door you will do so with a smile on your face and an expectation that this is going to be a fine day. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In and Out

No, I am not talking about the infamous hamburger joint.  I am back in from the garage sale in MN and am on my way out to Montana.
The garage sale was a huge success and could have been even bigger if the pricing on a few items had been lower, but all in all my folks were very happy with the outcome and my dad had so much fun doing it that he wants to have another one in the spring.  Hmmmmmm.......
Now it's time to enjoy a long weekend of doing some of this.
After a quick week  of catching up around the house and helping Dean find an apartment ( 1 mile from his new job), we are on our way back to cooler temperatures today.  It is going to be rainy in Bozeman when I land and I might just dance a jig over rain.  I hardly remember what it looks, feels, and smells like anymore.  But, the best part is that is going to get into the low 40's at night and I might just have to make a bonfire! I CANNOT wait.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bacon and Tater Tots

I am sitting on an American Airlines 737, and I am seated in 6 A. Yes, I was upgraded on a completely full flight. Praise the Lord!

I am off to Lake Shore Farm where I grew up in southern Minnesota. It is going to be 82 degrees there today and I might just have to borrow one of my mom's sweaters. It's been in the 100 plus degree temperatures in Dallas for so long that we have ALMOST gotten used to it.

This Friday and Saturday my parents are having their garage sale that we have been getting ready for on and off all summer. I will tweet some pictures of before,during, and after.

When I talked to my parents to see what they needed me to pick up at the grocery store, I was told only 2 things were needed. Tater tots and bacon. Hmmmmm. I think I might just pick up some "bag salad" too.

In the meantime,I best take whatever they offer me for lunch on this flight and enjoy it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Z's first day of school

It seems like yesterday that I was taking "first day of school" pictures of my kids.  Where have the years gone?  I did take a picture of Z today before she drove down to SMU to begin Grad School.  The picture was taken with her phone and probably will only be seen by her sister, but it brought back lots of fun memories of new tennis shoes, new back packs full of binders and  pencils, first day of school "outfits", new lunch boxes packed with an extra good lunch for the first day, and all that blonde hair and tan skin from a summer spent at the pool.
As I drove into the neighborhood this afternoon, all the moms were walking to school to pick up their kids and I was also reminded  how much I enjoyed the quietness of the house that first day of school and what fun it was to think up a fun after school snack. 
THEN, I remembered that K, D, C, and L all brought home folders full of forms for me to fill out that first day.  I guess it's kind of nice that Z has filled out all the necessary forms.  We haven't had to lift a finger.  Well, unless you call helping with tuition "lifting a finger".  Good luck Z!!!!!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Things that fit together

I am reading two books.  I am reading them at the same time and they look like they are going to fit nicely together.  The first one, The Happiness Project is by Gretchen Rubin.  The second is The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer.

I have read the first chapter of each book and there is a common thread that I think many women will be able to relate to. (Perhaps men might as well.)

Gretchen makes this comment; "I have such a good life, I want to appreciate it more-and live up to it better".
AMEN!  She talks about disciplining yourself to feel grateful for an ordinary day and looking for happiness "in your own kitchen".  She goes so far as to say, "Act the way you want to feel. Fake it til' you feel it."

Fast forward to Priscilla's book.  Chapter one is all about embracing your now, whatever that may be.  She asks the questions: What have you been hurrying through?  What have you been hurrying to get to?  What can you do differently today, to gather up all the good things around you and begin enjoying the journey of your life? 

She goes on to say that instead of relishing each moment, each year, each opportunity, each step on the journey, we're constantly overeager to get to the next thing, which always looks more enticing than what's currently before us.  We are rarely satisfied in FULL with our present situation.

Isn't this true?  We are single and we want marriage.  We get married and we look forward to having a family.  We have a family and we push our children to "grow up".  Our tendency is to keep pushing forward to find more happiness when our happiness can most likely be found in our NOW.

I am going to follow both authors advice and read these books S L O W L Y...let the themes roll around in my mind and start being more aware of my NOW.  Life flies by far too fast to miss the moment I am in at present.

Priscilla Shirer has a Resolution Revolution Project going on over on her blog. www.goingbeyond.com/blog 
and Gretchen Rubin's website is: happiness-project.com  .


Monday, August 15, 2011

Escaping the Heat Again!

We enjoyed a wonderful break from the 100 plus degree temperatures in Texas.  After a couple of days showing some of the Phytel folk around Montana, Lefty and I did some fishing on a variety of creeks, streams, and rivers.  I caught my first cutthroat trout on the lower Gallatin.  Very cool river. 
We saw an adorable little river cabin that would be fun to recreate at our place some day.

We were able to fish a private creek one day,

and the Big Hole the next. 

We were thankful to enjoy beautiful and cooler weather and another week of decompression in one of our favorite places in the country.
Now we are back in Texas until Labor Day.  Feels good to be home even if it is still HOT!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Leaving Minnesota.

Last Wednesday I flew to Minneapolis, rented a VERY small, VERY red Chevrolet of some kind. Truth be told, I don't want to remember what it was. It had hail damage, squeaky breaks, and sounded like a Diesel truck when I accelerated. Enough about that.
I was in MN to help my parents start going through some things in their house. They need to get ready to downsize soon, so a garage sale is being scheduled for the end of August. We went through crawl spaces, attic storage, closets, dresser drawers,kitchen and bathroom cabinets, 2 garages and a boathouse. Wow! After 23 years in this house, there were lots of things that had accumulated that no longer serve a purpose for them. The temperature while I was there hovered around 95 which by Texas standards is a cool spell, but I had forgotten what HUMIDITY feels like at 95 degrees. I will be very sad if I haven't lost at least a couple of pounds from sweating for 4 days straight.
It just so happens that for the second year in a row I was back in MN for a family reunion. We had a little potluck lunch on Sunday after church. I spotted some jello salads that I had not seen since I lived in MN YEARS ago. As a proud Texan, I will be having some sort of Tex Mex tonight. My mouth is watering already.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Simplicity

I ran across this quote this morning; "We rush through the present toward some future that is supposed to be better, but generally turns out only to be busier".  So true.  After a week in Montana where I feel totally relaxed, I return to the lists, appointments, and responsibilities of real life, and while that is all well and good,  it sure fills up my days with busyness. 
I think I am at that place in my life where "less is more" applies.  All the "stuff"  doesn't make us truly happy and content, rather it's our relationships and our life experiences that really matter.  So I am taking a few deep breaths and mentally going back to Montana for a few minutes... and then I am going to clean my house!  I will be looking for more things to donate to Goodwill in the process.  "Less is More"!  And while I am cleaning, I will remember what I am really thankful for; my wonderful family, my fun hubby, my morning coffee, 2 crazy little dogs, and Jillian Michaels and the 30 Day Shred! Have a great weekend!
And, by the way, I won't be worrying about why my font shrunk in the middle of my blog post because that wouldn't fit it with my focus on simple living today.

Never mind that last comment, when I went to preview the blog, it all looked fine.  I will never figure out this technology "stuff".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just plain, old, FUN!

I will do a longer blog post about our week in Montana, but just wanted to get these out right away.  We had such a fun time Zip-lining in Whitefish.  Can't wait to do this again!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cooler temperatures in my future.

Oh my word! After a week of riding our bikes in 100 plus temperatures,we are off to MT where it will be in the 40's at night. Praise the Lord! I can 't wait to put on a pair of jeans and a fleece. We hope to do some fly fishing, some 4 wheeling, perhaps some zip lining at Glacier,some hiking, maybe a bit of rafting, and who knows what else? Let me just say that as much as I love Texas, I am more than ready for a break from this heat. And we will be joined by Z and Z, so we know there will be humor involved in this adventure.

Pictures will follow. Packing the the BIG camera.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working on some blog changes

I have lots of technology challenges, just ask my kids. One of the worst was when I tried to use my stylus from my IPad to do something on my laptop. Not just once but twice. So, as I attempt to make some subtle changes to my blog, I suspect I will be asking them for some help. I hope this doesn't take too long.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Norway

The trip to Norway was certainly an enjoyable one.  I have never traveled on a "tour" before and not sure if I will going forward, but this one included distant relatives and it proved to be an easy way to see a country FAST.
I thought I was going to be the youngest person on the trip, but thankfully that proved to be wrong.  A brave 20 year old came along with her mom and grandmom. 
We moved around mostly on a tour bus, but also took ferries through the fjords and a couple of trains as well.  I have never seen so many waterfalls in all my life.  We even saw a glacier.  Thankfully, everyone was awake for that.  ( At one point in time, I looked around the bus and 4 out of 39 of us were awake.) 
Here are a few pictures.  The last one is of my roomie and I at the Ice Bar.  
It rained almost every day we were there and never got above 60 degrees, so I am having a bit of an adjustment to these 100 degree days here in Dallas.  I sort of wish I could have brought the Ice Bar back to my house.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tine's B Day!

So, I was looking through some old pictures and came upon these.  Where has the time gone?
 Not so long ago after all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bergen

One thing I will remember about this trip to Norway , is the rain. We are having a lot of fun and seeing some interesting and beautiful places, but we are getting soaked in the process. I remind myself how hot and dry it must be in Dallas and that is enough to keep me from being distracted by the cool and rainy weather here.
I will post pictures next week of a few highlights of the trip. I am sure there are more to come. Yesterday afternoon we had a bit of sunshine so seized the opportunity to ride the funicular to the outlook over Bergen. Beautiful.
Today we have had a "free day" and have walked all around the wharf area. One more night here and we continue on to Geilo and then on to Oslo for 2 days and then on a plane back to the states.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We have arrived.

After a 2 hour delay out of Minneapolis we had a smooth flight to Iceland and somehow made our connecting flight to Oslo,Norway. It was a very long day ,but no complaints. Now we are in Lillehammer and a wonderful rain is falling as we settle into an absolutely charming hotel that looks out towards the ski jumps. Tomorrow we tour the town.

Monday, June 6, 2011

On the road again.

Years ago Willie Nelson recorded a song that, truth be told, I don't want to hear again. It was overplayed. But, nevertheless it is my theme song these days. On the Road Again. I am driving our bikes to MN. I will hop on a plane to Norway and Lefty and Z will fly in to Minneapolis to ride in the MS 150 with our college friends this weekend while I am touring Norway with relatives. My guess is that they will have a bigger adventure riding bikes in northern Minnesota than I will have on my tour bus, but I may get the best pictures. I will let you know...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life is a whirlwind.

Since my last post, I have spent a couple of incredibly beautiful weeks at the beach at Emerald Isle, a stop in Greensboro to see some old friends; an uneventful drive back to Texas; and then a week of annual doctor and dentist check-ups.  Last Friday we left for Montana to spruce up our cabin and do some work around the ranch.  We were very productive as the temperatures lingered in the mid 40's with rain in the valley and snow in the mountains.  Truth be told, it was glorious after the Texas heat.  This week has been filled with cleaning, running errands etc. in order to be ready for another road trip next week.  I will drive to Minnesota to celebrate my mom's birthday on Tuesday and then hop a plane in Minneapolis to join my relatives for a trip to Norway.  Look for lots of pictures upon my return.  There are sure to be some stories to go along with them as I am fairly certain that I am the youngest person on the trip by at least 10 years, perhaps more.  I will try to chronicle the humorous moments along the way. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

A trip to be remembered

There are so many posts I have meant to write, but life's been busy. But, as I sit here in MD with Karl, I just had to briefly share what a crazy couple of days Z and I had getting to the East coast.
We left Dallas on Wednesday which was Z's B-Day. We made great time as we drove on mostly open roads all the way to Atlanta. No wonder. We started to see lots of broken off tree tops and entire uprooted trees along the way with work crews chopping trees where they had fallen onto the interstate. We checked into our dog friendly Drury Inn in Marietta, GA where we learned we were in a tornado warning. Lefty had flowers and one of those fruit baskets that look like flowers waiting there for Z and it was the highlight of the B-Day. We slept fitfully until 5:30a.m.
We packed the car and got back on the road,cutting across GA and SC angling across to my in-laws house in Angier,NC to drop off the dogs. Another day of crazy,stormy, weather. More tornado warnings and downpours on and off for hours. Once we got to Angier, the rain stopped so I was able to drop Z in Raleigh with her friends and I continued on to Gaithersburg,MD.
Today is an absolutely spectacular day in MD. I am here with Karl until Sunday while he recuperates from a minor surgical procedure. There will be trips to Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. We'll see what else K feels like doing. I'm happy to be out of the car for a couple of days!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Cowboy Stadium

A couple of weeks ago, Z and I took our ranch manager ( who was in town), to tour the Cowboy Stadium.  I really was impressed with the facility.  Here are a few of the things that I noticed:




Then, last night Z and I went back to the Cowboy Stadium to hear Uncle Kracker (not so much), Billy Curlington, the Zack Brown Band, and Kenny Chesney.  Here is what we saw on that Texas size BIG screen at Cowboy Stadium:

That's right!  NOTHING!  As you can see from the camera angle, we were on the lowest row of the top most level.  It sure would have been nice if they had turned this thing on so we could see the members of the bands.  Needless to say neither of us were overly impressed with Corona who sponsored this show.
Truth be told, we were most excited to see the Zack Brown Band so once they finished their set, Z and I quickly tired of our young and boisterous seat mates and decided we would pass on Kenny Chesney.  We don't think we missed much by leaving early.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A fast and furious fun weekend!

We have had more fun filled and action packed days in the last 5 days than we have had in quite awhile.

Last Friday we flew to Orlando for Dean's graduation from Full Sail University.  It could not have been a more beautiful day. 

We landed a little after noon and headed over to Dean's apartment and had a little down time to catch up with him before we headed over to the University for the ceremony.



 This school is  a high tech place.  Every graduate's name was up on this super sized screen when they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.  Really impressive. One would expect nothing less from a school that is all about technology.  Dean has thoroughly enjoyed the whole school experience, but is ready to leave Florida and return to the working world.  Time to start making some money again!











After the ceremony we went to Whole Foods and bought all sorts of  great ingredients to make a special celebratory dinner.  Steaks and a few of Dean's favorite sides. We could not have had a more enjoyable time combining the celebration of graduation and his birthday, which was Saturday.





We were off bright and early the next morning to return to Dallas to our company that was waiting there for us.  Steve's sister and her daughter as well as one of Louise's friends from NC had arrived on Thursday and Friday respectively.  Louise played the hostess in our absence and took them shopping and out to a great little Italian restaurant that evening.

After we landed on Saturday we did a little shopping and went out to a fun Mexican Restaurant and then it was time to relax a bit before we made dinner and took the girls over to Billy Bob's in Fort Worth for the night.  A really great country western band was playing and we saw some of the fanciest Texas Two Step dancing you can imagine.  We loved it.

On Sunday we had tickets to the Ranger's game and once again, it could not have been a more beautiful day.  We all thoroughly enjoyed watching them WIN and in the process, we all got a bit sun-burned. 

Today, everyone was back on a plane to return home .  The house seems way too quiet.  We miss our company already.