Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012 with Arik, Jenny and grandkids

Santa checking the list

Raja checking the wrapping paper

Tablets for everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Leading up to Christmas

Pot Luck at Shady Oaks on Friday

Corn and Potato/Carrot Chowder on Saturday with home made biscuits

Sunday I took the grandkids to the park and tried to get pictures ... but they decided to run and hide from the camera.

But I fooled them ... I took movies

Gran'ma and Sofia playing an Elf Game on the phone

Tree with lots of gifts
Raja praying over her breakfast

Beket getting the food for Raja

And here we are at IHOP for lunch

After Sunday school and church at Highland Lakes UMC on Sunday, we headed into Marble Falls to stop at WalMart and pick up prescriptions.
We stopped at Golden Chick for lunch.  Ella had the roasted chicken and fried okra.  I had the fried chicken and dirty rice.  I think I prefer them to Popeye's Chicken.  Though we don't have Golden Chick back near us in Iowa and I really like Popeye's for the red beans and rice.
We then headed into Cedar Park to pick up the grandkids at their other grandmothers.
As you can see in the pictures above, we spent some time at the park playing on the equipment and also going through the tunnel that runs under the road.

Today, Monday, both Mom and Dad left for work very early.  Mom at the Hospital and Dad at Bartlett's.  That means Gran'ma and I get to spend to more quality time with the younguns.  We are going to make sugar cookies sometime today.  However, Sofia has some friends over to play at the moment.  So, we'll wait until they have gone home.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's beginning to NOT look a lot like Christmas

Sunset without any fanfare
Before the beard trim
December 18, 2012 sitting outside in the 80 degree weather
After the beard trim

 I am having a hard time copping with Christmas this year.  Now don't misunderstand me ... I'm loving the warm weather here in the Texas hill country ... but I'll admit that I miss the snow.  I don't miss it enough to a WHOLE WINTER of snow ... but a day would be nice.  Today's high is between 80 & 85 depending on whose report I see.  And tomorrow's low is supposed to be 21 or 23.  But there's no chance at all of snow with a humidy of only 10%.  And then the weather will jump back into the 60s and 70s.

Winter is hell

I posted this on FaceBook expecting to generate some comments from friends back home in Iowa.  Nope! Not a one!  Probably too busy pushing snow.

This morning I received a Weatherbug alert for our area in Texas that said "Fire Weather Warning".    The air mass moving into the area is so dry and windy that it triggered the warning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 10-18 2012

I had posted on Facebook that I was becoming so good at doing nothing that I could now do it in my sleep.  It seems that our lives went from 'doing nothing' to busy every day. 
On December 7th we had our Christmas Potluck and gift exchange here at Shady Oaks.
Sunday school and church on the 9th.
Bible study at Shady Oaks on the 10th
11th was a different Bible study at Highland Lakes UMC
On the 12th we had a community breakfast at HL UMC
The 13th I attended a Qigong class (exercise)
14th other than the daily coffee with the guys was a quiet day.
My granddaughter's birthday party was on the 15th ... after the party we also did some shopping while we were 'in town'
HL UMC had their Christmas Cantata on the 16th
17th Shady Oaks Bible study
18th HL UMC Bible study

The following photos are out of chronological order because that is the way they loaded and I haven't figured out how to easily move them into order.

December 12
Sitting room for these
gorgeous Texas days

Steam rising from Inks Lake above the dam

Another cloudless Texas sunrise

December 12


Colorado River below Inks Dam
December 15 ... Sofia's Birthday Party

December 18 
Landscapes from near our campsite

Buzzards near our campsite

With this many buzzards around, I don't take naps outside!

December 17
Predawn on a cloudless Texas morning

Monday, December 10, 2012


Bread having risen for about 50 minutes

As long as I'm cutting expansion slits in the top ... they might as will be pretty

Fresh from the oven
Potato bread
12 oz room temperature water
4 cups flour
3/4 cup instant potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed)
1 package dry yeast

Combine dry ingredients
Combine water and oil and add to dry ingredients
Mix to form a sticky dough
Kneed on a floured surface until dough is elastic (about 10 times)
Form into a ball
Let rest in a lightly greased bowl until about double in size (cover with a damp towel) 
Lightly punch down dough and reform into a ball
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
Let rest on a lightly greased cookie sheet until about double in size (cover with a damp towel)
Bake until golden brown (45 to 55 minutes)
Place bread on a cooling rack and wait until almost cool to the touch. (It's not easy to wait with the smell of warm bread ... and you can imagine the butter melting so quickly into that hot slice of homemade bread ... but it'll be better if you let it rest a little first)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fireworks on Inks Lake

On December first there was a parade of boats, the lighting of the decommisioned bridge over Inks Lake and fireworks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Trip to Sam's Club

“In one thousand feet turn left,” said the feminine voice of my smartphone’s navigation system.
“My GPS shows that we keep going straight,” said the feminine voice of the wife in the seat next to me.
“Turn left.”
“We need to go straight for two point three miles.”
Like any man who has been married for any length of time, I chose to listen to the wife.  We went straight.
The Navigator said, “Make a U turn at the next intersection.”
“We need to make a left onto six twenty,” came the countermand from the passenger seat.
Having missed that intersection, the GPS directs, “Make a U turn at the next intersection.”
“You were supposed to turn back there,” came the wife’s instructions.
I said, “But you said to turn at six twenty.  I didn’t see anything that said that was six twenty.”
“Okay, now we need to keep going for seven and a half miles,” came the exasperated voice next to me.
To which I responded, “How can we keep going straight for seven and a half miles if we  were supposed to have turned back there?”
“Seven and a third miles, now,” replied the wife.
“Rerouting.  Continue straight ahead for seven point one miles,” said the Navigatior.

            Okay, this hasn’t been word for word of our journey into Round Rock today.  However, sit is true to the essence of the trip.  In the end, we reached our destination but I have no idea as to how we got there.  I’m quite certain that it was circuitous route.  I have an image from the cartoon “Family Circus” where little Billy is asked to go to the mail box and the dotted lines show that he has jumped a fence, climbed a tree, played ball with a friend, splashed in a puddle, petted a dog, talked to the neighbor, rode his bike, dug a hole and returned to the house without going to the mail box.  That was what our Global Positioning Satellite was seeing from space of my attempts to find Sam’s Club today.
Proof that we made it to Sam's Club

              Getting home was a piece of cake.  We pulled out of the parking lot onto the entrance ramp to Interstate thirty five got off onto highway twenty nine and followed it home!  
           Next time … next time … I’m not listening to anybody  but the voices in my head.