Friday, November 12, 2010

Stereo cabinet done...begin the party

At last the outdoor stereo cabinet is done – it was shipped two days before we left for Grenada – just in time. I am sure Dad was happy to have the space back in his workshop.

Bob and Rose had a great party the day before we left but alas I did not get any pictures…all our stuff was packed…all 8 suitcases full for boat parts and very little else.

Though we were in the states for almost 4 months it seemed that time flew – we missed many friends this time around…guess we will have to fix that next time!

Enjoying the fire.

Enjoying the fire.

Fire tongs

Another invention of Dad’s – these are fire tongs and they work great! One can easily pick up a log and place it in the fire in exactly the right place. Dad says that Rose hasn’t ruined one fire since he made and gave a set to her!

Young's is ALWAYS busy

The whole gang went to a place called Young’s near where Cathy and Jim live. It was a lot of fun and great ice cream as well as barns with farm animals, goats to feed, hay rides, etc. Cathy and Jim tell us that there is never a dull moment here and indeed it was very busy!

We meet Becky

While my folks lived near Falcon lake in Texas they met many nice folks. This lady is the daughter of one couple. Since we were so close to Troy Ohio dad wanted to pay a visit to Becky. We had a wonderful visit and hope to see her again and stay in touch…there are just too many wonderful people in this world!

A fall drive to the south of Ohio

While we were at the family wedding our cousin Cathy and her husband Jim asked us to come for a visit. We arranged to do so and 4 of us drove south to Dayton Ohio on one of the prettiest fall days.

 We had dinner out with the family – again left to right, Amy, Cathy, Dad, Jim, Uncle Art (Cathy’s Dad), Sharon and Beth. Amy and Beth -  Cathy and Jim’s daughters.

A wood working friend for Dad

Dad found an old friend Dick (they worked together at Samuel Moore/Eaton before Dad retired) who is also a wood worker. Dick also mills his own lumber and we had the chance one day to watch how it worked.

A family of cooks

Dad, Sharon & I cooked most of our meals but occasionally if I asked for Mexican I could get everyone to go out. Dad has taken to the kitchen again and has been enjoying cooking. When we were kids he cooked most of the dinner meals before Mom got home from work and all that needed doing was the mashing of potatoes – obviously they both enjoy kitchen time.

Salsa made with spare tomatoes

As mentioned earlier since we had SO many tomatoes Sharon and I decided to make and can salsa. The Jalapenos were SO spicy that we wore bandanas to protect our selves from the fumes – believe me a gas mask would have been appreciated!

Sharon and Carl.

Sharon and Carl.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Clam bakes

Since we were in Ohio in the fall it was also the season for clam bakes. We were invited to two on the same weekend…and yes they were wonderful.

Rose and Bob with Dad in the background.

Rose and Bob with Dad in the background.


During one conversation I had with Dad before arriving in Ohio he asked if I remembered eating Piccalilli as a child. I said that indeed I did, and then he asked me if I would like to make a batch for canning from his mother’s recipe. I said indeed I would. So here we are dropping the pickling spices in the mixture. (It was wonderful…)

An outdoor stereo cabinet

Mark decided that Robert needed a cabinet for his stereo equipment. It was in a kitchen cabinet (much to Julia’s dismay). So once in Ohio he began to build a weather-proof cabinet. Here it is in the beginning stages, but Dad & Mark take some time off to attempt to make a wine bottle holder.

Tomatoes galore

This photo is for my cruiser friends who are always on a quest for tomatoes which are few and far between. From only 8 plants we had more than we could possibly eat so canned many of them. (These were picked in one day.)

Ohio again

We finally make it back to Ohio on 9/18/2010 much to my family’s delight. Dad was particularly anxious for us to arrive calling frequently and making plans for projects while we were there. But first we had a family wedding to attend which was nice as we got to see many relatives all at once! Here I am helping Dad wrap his wedding gift to the new couple, his hand-made wood tools, a step stool, napkin holder, toaster tongs and his newest addition a wooden spatula. I have already used mine too many times to count!

Jari and me…

Jari and me…

Indiana for a visit with Jari

We finally do leave Dallas and head north again in time for fall. We stopped to see Fred & Yvonne in Kansas then head for Indiana and a quick visit with one of the ‘boat girls’ of 1990 fame. (Long story so if you don’t know it ask me sometime.) This is her dad Gary and his wife Vicki.

...and Mark and Robert

Along with our wonderful husbands Mark & Robert.

On the patio with Julia...

And again in the evening on the patio when it has (sort of) cooled off for the day.

Lounge lizards

Guess we are going to have to leave Dallas and go on a diet. Julia and I lounge in their lovely back yard.

The Hayslip's

Of course no visit to the Dallas area would be complete unless we stopped to see our other ‘family’. The Hayslips have been a big part of our lives for years – Mike, Mark, David, Jenny and Jerry.

Rick and Susan Carnes

Seems like all we do is go out to eat but here we are again with sailing friends Rick and Susan Carnes.

JR and Terry Smith

Then our sailing friends (turned power boaters) JR and Terry Smith met us for dinner at La Hacienda Ranch to catch up on old times

The girl gang

Got the ‘girl gang’ together for one more lunch at Houston’s. This time Amy Heselton got to join Mary, Vick and me.

Tom and Marcia Martin

After we found our way back to Dallas we had dinner with our friends Tom & Marcia Martin. Too long since we saw them last!

John and Mark enjoy cigars.

John and Mark enjoy cigars.

The gang relaxes on the verandah.

The gang relaxes on the verandah.

Me, Cathy and Brian Dittman

Me, Cathy & Brian Dittman

Kathy and Jana.

Kathy and Jana.

My gang from Xerox

My gang from Xerox got together at Kathy & John Furlong’s weekend home located somewhere out in the wilds – thank heavens Tim & Mary upgraded their GSP navigation system a graciously gave us the old one or we might still be lost somewhere in Texas

Angie and Megan

Then we traveled over to the ‘old’ neighborhood and spent some time with Angie and Megan – Angie to the far right.

Lorelle is in town

As luck would have it our friend Lorelle was in town so we had a ‘girls’ brunch at Houston’s – Lorelle, Chris & Deb.

Mike and Deb

Then back to Dallas and a visit with friends Mike and Deb.

Willie is not in Luckenbach for us...

On our way back to Austin we just had to stop in Luckenbach Texas to see if the ‘gang’ was there. Can you imagine that Anita has lived in Texas most of her adult life and never been to Luckenbach?

Anita, Chris and Bea.

Anita, Chris and Bea.

Seven Days in Utopia - the movie

We also drove over to see the biggest oak tree in Texas and then the golf course – there is soon to be a movie released called “Seven Days in Utopia”.

Nature close up

They have turned the ranch into a nature preserve and have constructed many bluebird nests around the premises. Since nesting is over for the season we took a tour on a golf cart on steroids around the ranch checking the nests.

Utopia in Texas

While we were there we made a trip to Utopia Texas where Bea Garrison lives – Bea and Anita had never met so we thought it might be fun to introduce these two very lovely ladies. (Pictured: Mark, Anita, Anthony, LeAnn – Bea’s daughter and son in law – and Bea.) Bea is also my wonderful friend Betty who lives in Colorado so we all have become family over the last 30 years…

A visit with Mom Lignoul, Tim and Mary

Then on to Tim & Mary Robinson’s (Mark’s sister & brother in law) to visit them and his Mom Anita.

River rafting Texas style

Gang at the river watching the drunks drift by – too much fun!

For those of you who are not aware of the Texas sport of river rafting if goes something like this: Get 10 to 20 of your best drinking friends, buy loads of beer, rent inner tubes for all people and 3 or 4 extra for the coolers of beer. Float down the river getting a third degree burn because no one thought of sun screen and drink all of the beer before you get to the end of the ride.

Kelly, Rose and Bekki.

Kelly, Rose and Bekki.

Chris and Susan

Chris & Susan

This is a rental house

We had a house rented in Gruene Texas for Mark’s high school gang and what a nice house it was, right on the Guadalupe River and it was very well stocked as well as having a gourmet kitchen…wow! (Pictured, Dave, Bosco and Pam).

The Cutrer's

Then proceeded south to visit Chuck & Jeannie Cutrer at their new home near Austin. (Jeannie & Chris).


Visited with the Crosslands – (pictured are Mike, Kelly and Mark).

Heinz and Margrit

We had dinner with friends Heinz and Margrit.

Dallas again

We arrived in Dallas after a stop in Kansas to visit Aunt Yvonne & Uncle Fred. Julia (Mark's sister and brother-in-law) and Robert graciously put us up for the duration.

Marvin and Judy

We also met his new girlfriend Judy and had a lovely visit – had to go to a new wine bar in Bloomington, Illinois just for fun.

Abbott friends

On the way down we stopped to see Marvin and another friend of Marks’ – Paul Schrier from Abbott (who just happened to be visiting Marvin as well).

No pirates thank you very much

We flew to Trinidad on 7/7 and then to Ohio 7/8 as we had made reservations (originally) to leave our boat in Trinidad…but…there were many rumors of pirates begin active there so we changed our plan. We have been asked many times about ‘pirates’ and our answer is not to go where they are!

So we stayed for a few days in Ohio, borrowed a car for a ‘few’ months from my wonderful bro & sis-in-law (Bob & Rose) and took off for Texas.

Thank God we were not staying on the boat...

All of our fenders were stowed in the aft cabin along with miscellaneous other ‘things’. There were a myriad of details to be done before our departure much to our surprise and dismay. In the past when we left for ‘vacation’ all we did was arrange for mail to be picked up and lock the door….hmmmm.