Monday, July 31, 2006


Lots of thoughts of Gene lately. Sometimes I wish he'd get out of my head. I need a rest! How can I still be missing him so much after all this time? As I keep reminding myself, "There's nothing to be done for it." So I continue on -- and sigh a lot.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Still Looking Up Old Friends

Yesterday, I was looking at a map and saw a town a couple hundred miles away where an old roommate, Lynn, lives. I took a chance that she was still working at the same place and that number was easy to come up with. And she did still work there! Left her a message and it wasn't long until she called me back. Was good to get caught up on her and her family. Her youngest is going off to college this year. How did that happen so fast? Seems like it anyway.

Ten Months Today

Well, once I thought about it, it was no great mystery why I was missing Gene so much the other day. It seems that the couple days leading up to the "anniversary" date each month finds me more weepy than usual. So, this morning I woke up, had the "pang" from that hole in my heart and had a good cry. Glad it doesn't come every morning.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What's Up?

Really missing Gene the last couple of days.

Friday, July 21, 2006

An Advantage of History

There was a seminar for History teachers at the local museum grounds hosted by university History professors. A friend of a friend invited us to come eat lunch. They cooked a huge meal pioneer style -- as in "making history come alive and more interesting" -- in dutch ovens and over the fire. Other food was brought, too, like green salads and fruit salads, to complement the chicken fried venison, braised pork chops, biscuits, corn bread, apple cobbler, peach cobbler, dressing, etc. I've never seen so many beautiful, seasoned dutch ovens in one place before.

Same friend of friend has gotten us tickets to local eatery tonight for a french meal -- part of a "let's rejuvinate downtown" event and includes a movie at the local restored theater. (The meal was "bistro beef burgundy." Putting bistro in front of it must mean you can serve it with very little beef in it. I had a couple of pieces in mine, but my neighbors had absolutely none. But we had some yummy desserts! The movie was Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain LINK or as we call it here, Amelie, which ends up sounding a lot like an East Texas Emily. I'd seen it before although I think I enjoyed it more this second time around. I guess the first time I was so busy reading the subtitles, it detracted from the film. It was a nice evening.)

Coincidentally, I used to work in this same old theater building when it was used as a factory to build traffic light controllers. You know, the box that sits on the corner and works the lights. Did that for eight years, don't you know. I look forward to seeing it restored back into a theater.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Vicki Meets Katie

It's been co-worker Vicki's dream to at least have a picture with Katie Couric. Being a colon cancer survivor, she attributes hearing Katie Couric talk about it on tv as having saved her life. Not only did she get the photo, she got a one-on-one chat with her in her hotel room before a fund-raiser luncheon, gave her a gift (a mosaic frame that says "Hope") and even got a big hug. The whole day was series of felicitous events and Vicki's dream come true!

Katie Reading The Card
PS: I made the card!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Decades Make The Heart Grow Fonder

I've been lucky lately to have visited with old friends that I haven't seen for a long, long time -- as a matter fact, we're talking decades!

On July 3, I was able to take time out from the Bauer BBQ visit with Sherry who lives near there. It was so great to visit. It had literally been 30 years since we have seen each other.

Here are Sherry and Paul in their fabulous backyard.

That was on Monday, and the following weekend I was able to visit with Jess and Jean and we think it was 24 years ago that we actually saw each other.

We went to a flea market. Jess is shopping for gloves.

So much fun to catch up. Just fell right back into that comfortable place just like it was yesterday! Although, lots has happened to us all. Big stuff. Just think -- none of them had ever met Gene, although both said his death really affected them. They are all such kind and thoughtful people.

Look up your old friends! It's fun!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Week of Firsts at Work

First angry mom, first speech, and first published comments. I survived it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Another First

I'm well into the first July 4th weekend sans Gene. Spending the traditional weekend with Barrie, family and friends. I think this is the seventh, although could be the eighth. It's been debated a few times this weekend.

Regardless, we've been having them long enough to have members die and be born. This year's addition was baby Brock. Such a sweetheart!

With July 4 falling on a Tuesday, it kind of made scheduling awkward since some people had to work on Monday. But we had Saturday and Sunday with everyone together of those who could attend this year.

Friday afternoon, the mom's took the little ones into the studio for a cousins portrait while the dad's were playing golf. I got in much earlier than I expected so to pass the time until everyone was home, I got a pedicure and manicure -- not something I do with any regularity. However, after three hours fighting Fourth of July crazy traffic -- sitting in a massage chair and having your feet and hands massaged is not a bad thing at all! Besides, my feet really needed the attention. I've just not noticed such things since Gene died. I guess after nine months one starts to wake up? Is there a gestation period for grief?

Saturday, the out-of-state folks joined the group. For the most part, it was a relaxing day of visiting and playing with the kids. Let me tell you, the kids love their Aunt Mimi! She is pretty loveable.

The excitement of the day came when we all (sans Tim who was at the house engrossed in futball) went to the waterpark. It really is a great waterpark and has something for all sizes of kids, very interactive, too. But, Owen just up and tried to make a jump that he just doesn't have the size for yet and landed on his chin. Poor little guy. He ended up with three stiches and as he calls them, "stickers" in his chin. Cade was oblivious to the incident and with her Mimi at hand, she didn't even notice that her mom, dad and Owen were gone. You just don't know -- these kids LOVE their Aunt Mimi!

That afternoon, we all relaxed and regrouped. Amy (Mimi) and I took Cade and Brock for a walk around the neighborhood. That evening, a sitter came for the kids. The adults (and baby Brock) went to a German resturant for plenty of schnitzel. Came home a tried a few rounds of charades.

Sunday, we started out the day with a big breakfast casserole and fruit. By early afternoon, the James-Amy-Baby Brock contingent had to leave. So the remainder of us went to Canton First Monday which is crazy that it is only on Fri., Sat., and Sunday. Coincidentally, it is in the same county where my dad and family moved to when they came to Texas. I talked to him about it and he said that he remembers that the first Monday in September of 1930, his father went to Canton and bought a team of Texas mules, wagon and plows.

That evening was the hamburger cookout for the weekend with all the fixings. Including a really nice shower while the burgers were cooking. A very welcome sight as dry as it has been. The evening's entertainment was Shrek 2. Still funny with something new to see that you missed last time.

That brings us to today (Monday). Barrie and Nat are supposed to go and shop for their dresses for Colleen's upcoming wedding. The guy's are working. I'm supposed to meet up with an old friend of mine from high school days. She lives near here and we haven't seen each other in about thirty years.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), Natalie and Tim will be flying back home. We'll probably go to the local fireworks display in the neighborhood. Young Owen loves the fireworks. I wonder how Cade will take it this year.

More later as the rest of my little vacation unfolds.

Tuesday, July 4
Well, here we are at the day -- Independence Day. My first July 4 as a newly independent woman. Sigh.

Yesterday (Monday), I went to visit the friend from my high school days. Not that we went to high school together -- we got to know each other when she would visit her grandparents where we lived. We'd exchanged a few emails over the last few years but haven't actually seen each other in thirty years. It was a grand reunion. We had lots to catch up on and it was a really enjoyable visit. Barrie and Natalie had fun shopping for bridesmaids dresses. And I suppose the guys got lots of work done. Right after dinner, Tim and Natalie left because they'd gotten an earlier flight and had to leave early, early.

Today (Tuesday), was a day of just hanging out for the most part. I did some Treasure Hunt maps/clues for Owen who loves to do treasure hunts. By the way, if it isn't bright and shiney -- it doesn't qualify as treasure. Those became Prize Hunts. Since he doesn't read yet, all his clues have to be drawn. But we had fun. Cade seemed to really enjoy her stick horses I brought her. Wasn't sure the little city girl was going to, but she did.

Other than play with the kids -- the big event of the day was sitting down to watch Guiding Light and the real "Bauer BBQ" in real time. That was fun. Happened to coincide with kiddie naptime which was a bonus.

The neighborhood BBQ basically got rained out, but who's complaining when rain is needed so much. So we went down and got some bbq but declined to hang out and play in the rain. Boston Pops on tv was more our speed. Plus, it did quit raining and we got to see a little of a city fireworks show in the distance over the rooftops.

That concludes the Eighth Annual Bauer BBQ July 4th Extravaganza. I hope to get up and get an early start in the morning. Looking forward to collecting my cat from having boarded him all this time. By the way, I came up here with a fine case of poison ivy from the cat having gotten in it and rubbed up around my neck. Yikes! I'm itchy! Still looking forward to seeing my little kitty. Hope the experience hasn't traumatized him or anything.
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