Sunday, May 12, 2013

Congratulations Jana!

Friday afternoon, after me and Memaw drove the southern border of Missouri, I set off to drive the northern border of Arkansas...from Pocahontas to Fayetteville via Highway 412,

It was a beautiful drive...and not nearly as twisty-turney as Highway 160 in Missouri. That was tough on this sea-level, flat land, freeway driving girl!

It was a four hour trip from Pocahontas to Fayetteville. But it was worth the trip to be here and share this special time with Rosa, Steve and Jana.

Congratulations, Jana! You did it! I can hardly wait to see what adventure awaits you. I know that your time at U of A is coming to a close, but life has just begun. You have worked hard to make it to where you are today. With a very bright future ahead of you, we wish you the best and send you out with lots of love. Woo Pig, Soiee!

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life Is An Adventure

I have had quite the week. An adventure in the making that hasn't yet ended.

Last Monday afternoon, after putting in a half a day at work, I jumped in my truck and headed north. My mom was having surgery early Tuesday morning and I was to meet her, my sister and my two aunts in Little Rock that evening for dinner. We had planned to all head to the hospital together on Tuesday morning and spend a few days with her in Little Rock before traveling a little further north to Fayetteville, where my niece was to graduate from U of A, for the weekend.

Houston to Little Rock is a solid 8 hour drive. About 7 1/2 hours into it...just between Arkadelphia and Bryant/ sister calls to tell me not to hurry. It seems surgery was cancelled due to the doctor incurring a hand injury that afternoon.

That night and the next morning was filled with questions. Do I drive back home only to drive 10 hours or more to Fayetteville a few days later? Do I fly home on a last minute (and expensive) ticket and leave my truck behind? Too many choices! So, after we had lunch at the Flying Fish in downtown Little Rock, I decided to drive a couple of hours further northeast to see Jim's mom and dad for a few days instead.

As it turned out, Memaw had a few free days before I had to be in Fayetteville too. So, we decided to make the most of an unexpected opportunity and do something we had long discussed but never made the time for. We headed to Branson, Missouri for a few days.

I think you can tell from the photo above that she was pleasantly surprised. We decided that we would not ask why....but just enjoy the unexpected pleasure trip.

We stopped at the first resort that caught our eye. The Chateau on the Lake.

Isn't it gorgeous? It sits above Table Rock Lake and made for a beautiful view.

We decided that we were just going to take each day as it presented itself.

We visited the Butterfly Palace and took it at a leisurely pace to stretch our legs a bit.

I just love these white butterflies. But my favorites, which were a rich iridescent blue inside their wings, I could never get to stop with opened wings long enough for photo.

After the Butterfly Palace we decided to stop by the Pierce Arrow theater to see if we could get tickets to that nights' performance. It was the most highly recommended show according to our bellman as we checked into the hotel.

We were pleasantly surprised that someone had just called in a cancellation and were awarded fourth row center seats! We rushed back to the hotel to freshen up before the show.

It was a good show and Memaw laughed so hard. She even asked me to go back by the theater the next day so that she could pick up a DVD of the comedian to take home and share with Poppy.

The next day we spent some time shopping at Branson Landing. Memaw needed to run a few errands anyway, so we decided to just make that the majority of our day. The highlight was lunch at Joe's Crab Shack.

She had been talking about eating crab legs several years ago when they went to visit we decided to make another memory and grab some crab.

That night we had front row tickets to the Original Country Jamboree on the Branson Strip. We went to see the Presley Family. It was neat to see how all the family participated in the family business, even the younger ones (fourth generation) helped us find our seats.

The next morning was time to head back to Pocahontas. I still had to drive back across the state of Arkansas to make it to Fayetteville for Jana's graduation on Saturday.

Here are a few more pictures (all taken on my phone) from our pleasant Branson surprise vacation.

The view from our room of Table Rock Lake.

Gorgeous white wisteria growing along the rocks leading up to the Butterfly Palace.

The irises at the Chateau. I was mesmerized by all the beautiful irises that were blooming along our route. We just don't get to see them last that long back in Houston!

It was a great trip and memories that I will always treasure. Not all things can be planned...we just have to accept them and make the most of the times we are given.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Guardian Angels

Last Thursday night, Brian and his friend, Doug, headed off to visit KJ in San Marcos for the weekend. He packed a bag and I packed his Care Package for a fun free weekend with friends before finals this week.
It wasn't long before I heard Jim on the phone with him asking where he was. I thought his car had broken down again, as his last trip to San Marcos required a few delays and a stay at the mechanics when he returned home.
Jim walked into the bedroom and told me to hurry up and get dressed because Brian had been in a wreck just outside of Bryan. Being the fourth of five children, we have been in these situations enough to know that if they are calling us themselves before the police arrive, things aren't too terribly bad.
Though we were anxious to see with our eyes that he was okay, we didn't rush and hurry in an unsafe manner. It seemed to take FOREVER! But we finally made it to the scene. Someone had turned into on coming traffic and hit the boys head-on.
The police officer suggested that even though Brian had turned down the EMS's offer to take him to the hospital to check out his left leg...we might want to get it checked out. The farther we drove, the more he winced in pain. So, off to the ER we went.

Here he is lying in the hospital bed waiting for his x-ray.

He thought his "Fall Risk" bracelet was sort of funny since they made him walk to his room! It turned out to be soft tissue damage and nothing broken. Thank goodness.
His car had already been towed by the time we made it to the scene of the accident. Imagine our surprise when Doug texted this picture of the car from the tow yard the next day.

I had already told Brian that angels were watching over him and Doug for them to walk away from a head-on crash with just a few bruises. But when I saw this picture I told him that Good Lord Himself must have had his hand just inside that front quarter panel.
I am so thankful that those two boys (and the other driver) are okay!
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Walking Slow And Looking Long

Last weekend, Jim and I spent most of the weekend down at the seventeen acres. While he was working...

...I was walking slow as I peered through the vines looking for the dark black berries.

They have just begun to ripen and we have lots of vines. It's our first year to notice them. I think because Jim hasn't bush-hogged the seventeen in a couple of years, they have had a chance to spread. (With the drought, there was not much growth down there.)

As I was picking the blackberries, I had flashbacks to childhood. I remembered going down to the creek bank with Grandma Fulton and picking berries. I could also hear her reminding us grandchildren over and over again to watch for snakes. (I was so intent on watching for snakes that I didn't pay any attention to the wasps until one got me on the leg!)

I had more than a few briars grab hold of me too. Which made me realize why Grandpa Fulton must have planted the thornless blackberries in his garden. I think he was tired of the prickles too!

After making a long lap around the trails, I took a break and sat looking over the water. The water in the pond is stained by the pine needles, but it was still a nice view.

Sunday afternoon I took the three cups of wild blackberries and made a blackberry cobbler for dinner. I need to pick them a few more times before the birds get them all. I would love to have some wild blackberry jelly!

Jim has been telling me lately that we need to slow down. I must say that I really did enjoy that weekend of just being...and taking what came at me. I certainly didn't go down there with the goal of picking blackberries. They were a pleasant surprise and I decided to just enjoy the slower pace...and the blackberry cobbler with Bluebell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream on top!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ladies Love Country Boys

Last Friday night we ventured into H-Town to see a concert.

Trace Adkins was performing at The Arena in southwest Houston. Jim and i have been watching him on All Star Celebrity Apprentice this season. He's been one of our favorites (though I haven't seen this past week's don't spoil it for me if he was kicked off or has gone rouge on me).

We had great seats...and, yes, my husband actually went to a concert. Not only did he go, but I think he had a really good time! It's a small venue so he didn't have to wait in lines or feel herded like cattle.

My favorite Trace Adkins song is 'Ladies Love Country Boys'...and this is why.

I do love my country boy!

(And I do remember riding in the middle of his pickup truck blaring Leonard Skynard, yelling 'turn it up'!)

Thanks for getting out of your comfort zone and giving it a try for me, Sweetheart.

Thanks also to dear friends who make any outing an epic party. Robin, Stacy, Kelley and Albert. It might not have been the evening I had envisioned (our limo shrunk to a SUV) but it was an evening to remember! Love you guys!

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