Friday, November 18, 2011

Mimi & Leonard do Holiday Happening

On Wednesday, Mom called me all excited and said, "We're* going to Holiday Happening** tomorrow!" 

*We = her compadres at Raider Ranch who have signed up to ride "for free" on the RR bus transporting the Ranchers to the event
**Holiday Happening = a grand 4 day fundraiser that the Junior League of Lubbock has every year - a style show, Breakfast with Santa, evening events, and a HUGE market hall filled with really tons vendors of cool stuff.

"That sounds fun," I tentatively replied.  My years of Holiday Happening experience, including serving on the Holiday Happening Committee, raised a yellow caution flag in my brain.  "It's going to be really crowded, I hope that you don't get lost," I warned.

"Leonard is going to go with me and help me find things," she assured me.

I greatest hope was that Leonard could help her find the bus home at the end of the outing.

"I want to get some more of that good lotion you gave me!" 

Sidebar:  My mother is notorious for walking into stores and asking to see the brown velvet pants that were shown on the front of their catalog "a couple of years ago"...not-dark-brown-they-were-light-brown-but-not-khaki.  Don't even try to convince her that the saleslady will most likely roll her eyes in the same fashion I did.

"Mom, it's going to be really hard to find that lady out of all the booths at Holiday Happening.  I'm not sure that I could find her with my 20/20 vision," I cautioned.

"I know,***" she replied blandly.

***I know = passive-agressive fake acquiescence 

Yesterday afternoon as I was driving Leonard and the Meems to a function for Alan's bank, I asked them how they enjoyed Holiday Happening.

"It was OK," mom replied.

"Did you find that lotion?"

"No," she said quietly.

"We asked 28 people**** where the lotion was, and not a one of them could help us!!" Leonard exclaimed as if all of the Holiday Happening attendees were keeping secret the vendor of good lotions.  "They didn't even know where I could find some notecards.  I'm almost out of notecards!"

****28 people = an exact number because Leonard is a numbers guy who can tell you the exact number of state senators and representatives there are in the Texas and he's from Baltimore. 

"Leonard, I can't recall ever seeing notecards there," I said trying to console him.

"Well, that's all I needed, and they didn't have any," he said looking out the car window.

"And, we couldn't find that lotion.  Maybe you could go and see if you can find it," Meems added.

On Sunday when we pick up Mom and Leonard for church, I'm going to hold high over my head the extra bottle of lotion that I have squirreled away in my closet and herald it as Holiday Happening conquest.  I believe that would fall under the category neatly titled, "Let's Don't and Say We Did."  Boo-ya.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WARBT Update - Decorating

Being Wrapped-and-Ready-by-Thanksgiving (WARBT) is wearing me out.  I've spent about 4 hours today cleaning and decorating two bedrooms.  I'm starting in the vacant bedrooms so that Alan and I don't get sick of Christmas by the end of November.

I set out all of my Kitchmas treasures in Bryce's old room.  It took me for freakin' ever to decorate the garland that goes over the window with a ba-zillion knee-hugger elves.  It's one of my favorite Christmas collections, so I guess you could say that it's a labor of love.  (Pictures to follow of the knee-hugger garland.  First, I've got to get Alan's help pushing the iron bed back into place.)

Reed's room is full of snowmen.  Each boy has a "tree" (that I turned into garlands a year or so ago to save space).  Reed's is a snowman tree.  Therefore, his room explodes with snow and icicles and snowmen during the holiday season.  I love that he chose snowmen. He's got a great smile.

Bryce's ornaments have migrated to a garland in my bedroom.  Jonathan's will soon be up in the guest room.

More WARBT updates to follow...
Smiling Snowman

Smiling Son

I loves me some Kitchmas!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thirty-Somethingth Annual Fall Romp

I believe that the year was 1977.  I was a junior at Baylor.  One lovely fall afternoon as I headed home from class, I found a little white envelope tucked under one of my car's wiper blades.  My heart thumped.  I knew that it was a message from my beloved Baylor sweetheart, Alan.  Inside the envelope was tucked a perfect little crimson fall leaf on which was written in ball point pen "You are invited to the First Annual Fall Romp."  The date and time were given.  An adventure was about to unfold.

The following Saturday, Alan drove me to a particularly beautiful spot in Cameron Park where the bright fall leaves were floating from the trees.  He had packed a fall picnic of cheeses, crackers, and deli meats.  We sat there in the silence of the trees soaking in the beauty of a sun-filled fall afternoon.

For years to follow, I received a little leaf invitation to the Annual Fall Romp.  We've had picnics in city parks, state parks, national parks, and our own back yard.  Yes, we've missed a few years here and there as our kids were growing up.  But, still the tradition has lived on in our hearts and memories.

Yesterday we returned from our Thirty-Somethingth Annual Fall Romp.  This one took place in one of our favorite national parks:  Zion.  The air was crisp and clear.  The leaves were golden and crimson and emerald.  We hiked over 11 miles in 3 days time.  This in itself was a miracle considering that I haven't been to Bodyworks in months.  I can't even find the Bodyworks thingy that goes on my keychain.

At this time of year, the only people roaming around in national parks are the elderly, European tourists and young parents with preschoolers.  The crowd was low.  The trails were peaceful.  There were very few interruptions to our Fall Romp Reverie.

More pictures have been posted on the Finding the Funny facebook page.  Enjoy.  If you ever get a hankering to head to Zion, let me know.  I've got lots of suggestions for great hikes, places to stay, and amazing food to eat.
So, so red.
Alan videoing the falls over the Lower Emerald Pool.
The Upper Emerald Pool

It was on the trail to Hidden Canyon
that I declared myself a Warrior Princess.
MY WP name:  She Who Conquered Her Fear of Heights.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mac and Cheese Lines of Demarcation

Now that my nest is empty, I've really been missing my boys.  I have started making and freezing some motherlove topped with cheese for Bryce and Reed to store in their apartment's freezer.  (Sorry, Jonathan.  I haven't perfected a method for shipping frozen entrees to Chicago.  Yet.)  These frozen love gifts have really helped soothe my loneliness for the three boys who not so long ago sprawled across the living room floor and the couch watching South Park with their dad.  I hate South Park, but I loved having all my boys in the nest at the same time.

I've sent King Ranch Chicken, Chicken Enchiladas, Macaroni and Cheese, and Chicken Dumpling Pie back to Baylor with Bryce and Reed.  Alan has sent ziplock baggies filled with smoked brisket.  One day as I was chatting with Bryce on the phone, I told him that they need to make sure and eat the casseroles that are on the bottom of the pile in the freezer first to avoid freezer burn.

Bryce:  "OK.  We kinda like to save 'em for special occasions."

Me:  "Special occasions?"

Bryce:  "Like when me or Reed [yes.  he knows better.] has a test or a big paper due or something.  We had some King Ranch Chicken that day that I had my Learning and Behavior* test."  (*psychology course)

Me:  "Oh, yeah.  That was a hard test.  I'll bet thinking about hot, cheesy King Ranch Chicken for dinner made the test less painful."

Bryce:  "Yeah."

On the way to the Baylor football game last weekend, I told Bryce that Mimi was going to have some of their mac and cheese for her dinner since she had opted to stay at their apartment instead of sitting in the stands cheering for the Bears.  Bryce quickly said, "I hope she gets it from Reed's side!"  "Huh?" I replied.

He told me about the special system that they have worked out for eating the casseroles.

Look very closely at the top corners of the foil.
See the "B" written on the left side and the "R" written on the right side?
Bryce explained that they each start eating on opposite ends of the casserole until they get to the center.  "That way we make sure that we each get half."  My heart swelled with love for my men who still love their mamma's cooking.  

Looks like Reed got robbed.
Love you boys!  More mac and cheese heading your way!

Baylor Homecoming 2011

This homecoming was especially important for a couple of reasons.  It was probably the last time the Meems will make the trip from Lubbock to Waco to enjoy the festivities.  And, a whole bunch of my Chi Omega buddies from the 70's were meeting up at different times during the weekend.  So, last Friday morning, we loaded up Mimi, all of our carefully selected Homecoming "looks" - Pigskin couture, Parade-wear, and Game togs - as well as a borrowed wheelchair (here's a shout out to Shirley!!), and headed down the road to Waco.

Here are a few pictures of our adventures...

The Meems, Bryce, and Reed at Pigskin
Thanks to Jeanette and Tommy Lou for the 3rd row seats!
Mimi could actually see the people on stage!!
The Meems, my Baylor Boy, and me
I'm still trying to figure out why I scrunched down for the picture.
Right in the middle of Pigskin, Mimi asked if we were in the Student Union Building.  That won't be funny to anyone but Baylor peeps.  We were in Waco Hall.  Mimi has been to Waco Hall for Pigskin and Sing about a ba-jillion times.  I pointed out that most Student Union Buildings don't include a huge stage and seating for 2200 (I looked it up...).  Meems:  "Oh. Yeah."

BTW:  If you are looking for a way to get a wheel chair into Waco Hall, look for the breadcrumbs we dropped along the path.  You would never find it otherwise.

After Pigskin, we bundled up little Mimi and rolled her over to the Bonfire.
Soon after the above picture was taken, I dropped my Canon Powershot Elf and goofed up the lens.  I am still in mourning thank you very much.

Sweet, sweet Bryce walked his Meems up a bit closer
to the bonfire so that she could see it.

Alan texted me this picture while I was at the Chi Omega breakfast.
He and the boys got Mimi to the parade early so that she could have a front row seat.  Can't help lovin' those men of mine.

It was great fun seeing all of my Chi Omega friends.  We all swore that we each "looked the same."  We lied politely.  Hugs were squeezed.  Pictures were taken.  Memories were shared.  Good times.

I hope that Meems will get to go to Homecoming 2012.  She loves her some Baylor University.


Meems had a very special visitor this weekend.  Our friend, Laura Ard, flew down from DC to spend time with her.  Laura lived next door t...