Sunday, July 26, 2009

Scattered thoughts



Things are still a bit scattered at my house, including my brain. The last of my month long German visitors departed on Saturday morning, taking a domestic flight at 8:25 am from the DFW airport to Detroit, where she would make her boarding to Frankfurt, Germany. I will miss Katrin, my daughters three year pen pal, who was lovely, sweet, and who will always be missed in my home. When I returned back to my place by Saturday noon, I felt exhausted and took a long nap. When I awoke, I went around the house picking up, and noted she had left behind the cute little cat ears umbrella we had bought her over the hot 4th of July holiday. Perhaps it was an accident, or perhaps it would not fit in her luggage. I had noted that Bernd had left behind his straw hat too. I suppose I could mail these off at a later time, but as I sit and reflect on things, they really didn't buy many souvenirs. However, they did take lots of pictures, and perhaps these are far more important to take back to Germany: their memories etched upon many photographs, of us.

I've been trying to catch up on emails and just getting my vacation brain back up to snuff, to blog, to write, but with the dog-days of extreme heat outside, I don't feel much energy. I sit at the computer and do my part on Cafe mom, where I'm a co-admin person. I assist on keeping up with our group posts, the daily questions, the journal challenges and such. It's fun, but if it requires much thinking, my heart is not willing. And it needs to be. Our fearless group leader, Susan, is taking off with her Marine hubby and son, to transfer to a new location in Japan. What a transition she will be making, but she will be without the internet for a month, and so leaves behind the posting to her co-admin folks. I don't mind helping, as our group, THE WRITTEN VOICE, is a lot of fun. Right now, it's the only group I belong to at Cafe Mom. If you'd like to join a non-judgemental writing group, who takes passion of writing to a fun level, then join us at: (copy & paste to your browser:) http://www.cafemom.com/group/45990/

I also joined another social site, called the Writers and Readers of Distinct Fiction and have made some fantastic connections there. The ladies are supportive and friendly. I'm still getting my feet wet there and soon enough, will have to join in the bandwagon of their contests, blogs, and such. I have posted a banner on my page if you're interested. Just be sure to befriend me once you get started. :)

In reading the internet news this lazy Sunday morning, I saw that Lance Armstrong took 3rd place in France. Way to go Lance! I've always been a fan of his, only because he has snagged that trophy prize 7 times. What a feat! To me, he is an inspiration, someone I look up to in hopes that one day I might get my physique up to standards such as his, or at least make an attempt. Bicycling is a challenge and it's my goal to take my bike out of the garage and actually ride the damn thing. Ok, my excuse right now is it seems too darn hot outside, but when I dropped by my daughters house yesterday and pulled into the driveway, some older man, wearing shorts and a helmet, struggled up the block on his bicycle. I could tell he was sweating and breathing hard and had a thick middle-section. Did I laugh at him? No. It just reminded me of how much I need to get off my lazy keester. So I now note an item on my hubby's to do list: Put air in the bicycle tires!! And on mine "Quit procrastinating! You gotta lose twenty more pounds by Christmas for Gods Sake!"

So perhaps on this blog my thoughts do seem all over the place. I have to get focused. So much I gotta do for myself and no one is going to get me there but me. Thank goodness, atleast in my book marketing efforts, I have made new friends on line to help me along and that's a huge plus. So forgive me if my thoughts here are so random and not on target. So much has been on my plate this past month.

But now it's time to set new goals and to get things lined up. August is almost upon us and my guests have gone home. School will be starting up again. my last child at home will be a senior this year. I must get her ready for school and line up senior photos.

My 2nd daughter, Tracy, will turn 28 on the 10th of the month and I have to plan a party for her. In September, my hubby's is on the 19th and mine on the 28th, where I will turn 50. Yikes! But I know its coming and in thinking of my next decade, I must do everything to stay healthy, finish out my book series, and actually make some accomplishments to satisfy myself. God willing, the almight will help me move forward to do these things, and some coaxing from my friends and family as well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My vacation trek in Texas


I'm back from a week long vacation traveling about Texas. We left on Monday and didn't return until late Friday evening. We averaged about 1000 miles round trip, going to Galveston, cutting down to Aransas Pass/ Corpus Christi, skirting our way to Padre Island, zigging across to San Antonio and then skipping through Burnett, Marble Falls, Johnson City, Fredericksburg and back into Bell county. Whew! What a journey. We checked out Joe's Crab Shack and scrunched down on some crab meat and shrimp. We ate fish sandwiches. We tried out Tai Food at a gorgeous restaurant in Corpus Christi. The owner of the place even gave us tips on how to cross into downtown Corpus right along the night time sea shore line. It was breathtaking. I thought we were going to stop and then I might had a chance to take pictures of the sites, but we didn't. But it's in my memory for my next excursion that way.

The kids had a blast. Bern and Katrin, my German visitors, were so impressed with the sites and especially in San Antonio as we walked along the River walk during the evening. The lights were beautiful, the food smelled terrific, the place was brimming with people on all sides. The Texas heat wave did little to stop us on our excursion. We had heard, while we were on Padre Island, that the coast line was having triple digit heat with it feeling like 112 on most days.However, when you are playing in the waves, you don't actually know it's that hot. There were parts of the waves that felt cold underneath the surface. Just awesome to play in.

We even noted some guy on the pier bring up a hammerhead shark on his line. The kids ogled over it and asked plenty of questions, like how big does it have to be to keep? Is it edible? What else can you catch in those waves? Hmmm. It still didn't deter them kids from playing in the waves again. I loved the sea breeze and watching all the people lay out in the sand, play on surf boards. I was a big kid, rolling like a tumbleweed amongst the hard waves. What fun. Of course, when I did it in Galveston, some sand decided to become play dough within the liner of my swim suit. it didn't want to come out!! but Thank goodness, there was a grocery store next door where I acquired a pair of scissors to cut into the liner to get that sand out of my suit. I had to do it, because I knew i would be hitting the clean water swimming pool later that day.

Ah, what exercise I got out of this vacation. I swam and walked and walked and walked. My poor calves were sore on this trip. I think I did great with exercise considering how often we were stopping at Sonic for ice cream treats, the fast food restaurants for fast eating along the miles, and of course, the cool wet drinks that we drank down as well. I only gained one pound on this trip! Hooray! And I actually managed to swim more than I ever had done in quite awhile. Those who know me well understand how my very flat feet will cramp up under such duress of swimming exercise after an hour or so, but after a couple of days of frolicking in the water, my feet persevered! And now I can't wait to go dive into a pool again. All that activity and site seeing was quite exhilarating.

I finally got to visit the wineries in Fredericksburg. Bern has been everywhere and here is this little German community just an hour away from me. He was amazed that I had never visited it before. Yes, he has definitely inspired me to start saving my pennies to get to traveling more. There is so much to see in Texas and I haven't seen a fourth of it yet. And i was BORN here! Here is this German citizen who has visited almost every nation next to Germany and has gone to Hawaii, and the little islands near Taiwan. I don't recall the names of them, but he could describe the foods, the people, and the geography. He's been to England, Paris, and up to the Netherlands. He speaks German, Indian, French, and some Spanish. he is constantly studying language books. This guy is impressive, but is so sweet and humble and easy going. He promises if my family ever do make that trip to Germany that he will show us the nearby places. I can't wait to go there. My daughter Tracy was born in Augsburg back in 1981 and I want to show her the hometown. I want to visit the castles in Germany and see England and Paris. Yes, I will definitely need to acquire my passport and save my pennies. It's my hope I can take this trip with Kayla and Tracy and my hubby Bruce within the next three years.

However, now that my whirlwind vacation trip is done, It's also good to be home again, with such great memories from my trip. It was good to come home to see my eldest daughter, Lori, waiting for my return; who had travelled with my hubby down from colorado while I was off site seeing. She's here on a more permanent status and that's ok with me. I'm glad to have all my kids in the same vicinity. It's been a long time coming.

However, with them all here, and almost all grown, they are taking turns on picking on their mom about things. I so noted this during our barbecue the other nite! Guess that's the cycle of kids/parents in reverse. Ok, now.. I'm not that old yet and still have a mind of my own. :) I'm still independent minded and want to do my own thing. I'm not ready to be coddled by them yet, for goodness sake. I still want to get out there and LIVE! yee haw!! :)

Ok....So I posted pics from my trip on my page. It was hard to decide which one to place on here as they all turned out well. Enjoy.









Sadly, my friends from Germany will be daparting home soon. Bern on Saturday and then katrin, on the following one (the 25th). I hope they will take back good memories from their stay with me and my family. So far, Bern has taken several cat naps, eaten plenty of barbecues, and drank my world famous margaritas! He's played with my Chihuahuas's and kittens and cats, and endured the kids/teenagers who invade my house on a constant basis. Of course, Katrin has had a blast too, going to the mall, hanging out with Kayla and friends, but she's use to this, as she was our exchange student for three weeks last October. I know she'll be sad going home again. I think they will both reminisce about us in the future with the kindest thoughts. It was a great way for my family to be ambassadors for Texas and the US, to show good will by hosting them in friendship. Such an opportunity, but in all actuality, it is I who has been lucky to know them and to have them here in my home. Because in the end, they are now more than friends to me. They are part of my family, forever. And that's an optimal memory to cherish always.