Friday, December 31, 2010


We spent Christmas at the Martin's home this year.  We went caroling Christmas Eve and had a great Mexican style dinner.  Of course we pulled crackers and wore the silly hats, told the daft jokes and played the naffy games. We spent the night at Emily's comfortable new apartment - we had our own b/r.

We got up Christmas morning and quickly hightailed it to P'ville to watch the kids open their presents. We had eggs Benedict with 2 bottles of fizz and ate my world famous pie-lets.  Later in the day we had our Christmas dinner.
It was spectacular.  Jenn did a leg of lamb on the rotisserie and we also had smoked Greenberg turkey.  Nigella Lawson's recipe helped Jenn make the most scrumptious roasted potatoes I've ever had.  (secret ingredient was goose fat)
Poor old Anth was off-color and we all wished him well over and over as we drank the Cameron Hughes Lot 200 Cabernet that Nana and I provided.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


We got a call from Steph yesterday afternoon saying that she and the kids had flown into town for an appointment.  They were on us 1/2 hour later.  We had been baking all morning and it was a very pleasant surprise.
We ate some of our cookies and then Evie took a nap.  The twins entertained themselves as they are so capable of doing.

Later that night we were surprised yet again.  After dinner -  baked eggplant parmagiana -  we were watching a movie when we heard noise at the front door.

Here's what we encountered upon opening the door....

Sausages make you Taller

Here's Little Evelyn having eggs and sausage with Nana and Grandad just the day before they flew off to California.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yet Another Cruise

I soloed last week and did the same itinerary as Bev and I did last April.....Fla to San Juan, St Martin, and St Kitt's. 

Wasn't as much fun without her but I had a good week.  I spent the first night with Steve and Linda in Florida....

Then Steve drove me to the ship after lunch on Saturday.  I was really pleased when I got to my forward cabin and saw the room.

And the view...

 It was fantastic.  I got to see things just as the Skipper did from my spot right below the bridge.
Here is San Juan.  We parked downtown.

I saw several sunrise/sunsets...

Heading in an easterly direction that of course is sunrise.
I went snorkeling in St Martin but the weather wasn't the best with high winds and a few showers making the bottom murky.  Fortunately the crew had plenty of suds so the day wasn't a total waste.

I got home early yesterday, enabled by a high speed $77 cab ride from Miami Port to FLL  so I caught an early flight.  At dinner last night Graham, Paige and Evelyn welcomed me home with this poster.....

While I read my welcome notes, Nana and Evelyn were telling each other how the cow ate the cabbage....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sudie's Day

My Aunt Sudie was interred today in Waco, Texas.

It was a beautiful day, cool and the sun shined on Sudie. The service was dignified and filled with many tributes to this kind unselfish woman.

At 95 years old Sudie looked good.

She was an accomplished college professor and, after her obit was published in the Waco Herald Tribune, we have heard from many of her former students.  My brother-in-law Joe Brooks gave a heartfelt recap of Sudie's life and he had us nodding our heads in agreement many times.  He put in a few funny anecdotes too, calling Sudie 'monkey tail' in Portugese, her first language, as her older siblings would do in Brazil in the 1920s.

Sudie and I got along well.  I remember the first time I saw her.

She was very generous.   She bought Emily a new car, She paid for Joe's debate classes at Baylor, She arranged for Steph's first semester at college, she bought Jennifer an Apple computer when computers were not common possessions, she shopped at Neiman-Marcus and brought dresses for my girls season after season after season.  Paige wore a dress today bought by Sudie Pearl for Steph when Steph was 7.
She gave without fanfare and I'm sure there are lots of members of our family that were recipients of stuff I never heard about.  That's Sudie Pearl for you!

She gave me Reader's Digest every year for 20+ years and I didn't know how to tell her I didn't want it. I guess she figured it was a rightist leaning pub and that I would therefore like it.

Sudie loved to play Scrabble.  She was good.  But as she got into her 90s she eased off a little and would often tell me she knew of a Spanish word or a Portugese word that would fit. Purist me I always chastised her and didn't let her use them.  If I could play with her now, she can use any damn word she wants to.

I am particularly proud of my three daughters and my first granddaughter Anna who paid their respects today with music.

Here are two vids, one in church and the other at the gravesite.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some Steak!

I was solo tonight and, since I have a B12 deficiency, I thought a big steak was in order.

This bugger does not look as large in the photograph as it actually was.

But here it is.....

It was smashing.  I only ate 1/3 of it and saved some for manana.

Monday, November 8, 2010


My cousin Geoff and his wife Helen are visiting for a few weeks on their way to San Diego to see their son Mark.

Geoff mentioned to Graham that he was bringing Mark's Castle Legos and had them with him.  Graham was excited and wanted to see them. So Graham and Geoff sat quietly for two hours constructing this castle.
It was great for me because Saturday morning while Graham and Geoff built the castle I had 2 hours of quiet time to do my crossword.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's My Life

Tonight we did a reprise of a dinner we had here at our pad with the Walker kids last week.  They enjoy it so much last time and we did even better tonight with a few new twists.

We had sprouts, carrots, red taters boiled and in a butter Egyptian mint sauce.  The kids love it. We had 16 lamb chops with a reduction sauce to die for from leftover Zin and buerre with a little stock and capers.....oh my. Shoulda took a pic I know!
 Only 3 little chops were left over.  Then, for dessert, we had Apple pie (peach for Graham) and cheeses.   The kids were delighted with the new taste sensation of blue and cheddar cheeses with a'pie.

Then whilst Nana was cleaning up the mess we went over to see our neighbor Mr Bob.  Here's a vid......

Evie at Lunch

Here is a video that I was prompted to take while having a snack/lunch with Evie.  She was all into this conversation about spicy food and I thought it would be interesting.  Of course, when I got the lens on her the conversation stopped. Still worth a watch though I think because Ev and I have a chip snapping crackling contest!.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Floors

We've always wanted new floors so we decided to indulge ourselves.....




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Evie and the Chickens

Evie came to my house today for me to walk her to school.  Here she is working her computer....

We visited for 20 mins and when it was time to walk along the path to class she said she had to say bye to the chickens.  I couldn't get my camera out fast enough so I missed the first part of her talking to the birds.  Also, sorry about the sun flaring.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


One of my sisters used to say, "so I thought I would indulge myself" whenever she bought something special for herself.
It was usually preceded or followed with, " I've always wanted one of those"

Well, I've always wanted chickens.  I used to feed Antie Ett's in Fleetwood and I think of them like tomato plants or fruit trees, relatively easy to care for with a payoff-- fruit or eggs.
In all the places we've lived there wasn't one where 'farm animals ' were allowed by the zoning laws. So I never could indulge myself.

However,  Steph has 3 hens and since she is not allowed to have chickens in the rental house they're renting , we (I) offered to take in her hens temporarily. We'll keep them until Steph and Al  move to California in December.

We made a little area for them to run around in on our back patio.  Here's a video...

And a video of Nana and Evie yesterday....

Addendum to this post.

Here are our first eggs.  Pretty aren't they?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Graham and Evie .... lunch at Nana's

Graham asked for a reprise of the potatoes with butter/mint sauce, Evie had yoghurt and cereal.

Evie wanted even more cereal, a different kind.  Then she had more with milk.  She can eat!

These videos show Graham nicely playing and Evie the Imp.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Emily's Visit

Emily had a little business in Houston this past week. so we had big dinner plans at the Walkers.  Steph and Evie didn't get much sleep the night before because Evie coughed all night. Dinner at Piping Rock was cxd so we invited the twins to Bammel Lane and had a nice dinner there while Steph and Ev stayed home. PK and GB were thrilled with the reduction sauce I made for the filets and the butter/mint sauce for the boiled red spuds. They each ate 3 lamb chops to boot!

Here are some shots of the house already decorated with some Hallowe'en stuff and some nice video of Auntie Em and Steph feeding Evelyn. went to the Walker's and enjoyed some nice wine. Evelyn is still not 100% as you will see in the video of Steph feeding her chicken soup..
First here are a few pics of the downstairs of the house on Piping Rock.
 A great workable kitchen (with bat)
 Living room
 Game room


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jumping Beans

We visited the Walkers this afternoon. In their new home they have a trampoline, it'll only be there short while until it's moved by the builder who was storing it there. I videod the kids playing on it. There are more pics but it's late and I'll post more tomorrow. Well, tomorrow's here and here are more pics and vids

Evie making sounds like a lion roaring and it made her cough
Paige is a lion too
She did it again!
Graham is a lion in repose

That's a scary lion

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally after a heat related writing block here is the next post

Houston weather is great in Oct Nov and Dec and I am so looking fwd to it. I was spoiled by the July and August climate in New Mexico. September wasn't very nice here in Houston and the humidity and heat encouraged the mosquitoes, the bane of my existence.

Unhappily for Little Evie, they like her about as much as me. You can see the little bite near her mouth on these vids.

She has a little luggage lock and is intrigued by the little trigger that opens it.


Next she plays Hide -go-seek..


I don't know why I am unable to upload the videos from YouTube as I have in the past. I couldn't so I created links instead.
Enjoy them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We left this one out......

Here is a video of the kids playing with some clever masks they made.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trestle Trail

Since the kids and I got rained out a few days ago, Nana and I wanted to complete this trail. It is a tough bugger.
We finally got there and shared the roost with a St Bernard who was two years old and Patchie tried to snip at him.

Beautiful scenery.....

Finally we reached the end of the trail.....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Aww The kids left

After a busy two weeks of hilltop activity the kids went home to P'ville. We are missing their presence around the cabin in these first few days on our own again.

We arrived at the airport at 1400, plenty early for the 1545 flight. We were checked in by 1415 and told the flight was delayed till 1630. :-(

We decided to go to a nearby PPP to while away some time.

Nana tried to sneak a lick of Anna's ice-cream

Patches in the bag

Before we left Nana packed some snacks for the a/c ride

Here we are waiting to board

Airplane taxiing out

Take off...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rained Out........Almost

For the kids last full day here in Cool Country we thought a nice hike down the Train Trestle Track was on.

We started out and walked to the trail head which is minutes from our rental. Grandad thought he knew better than the signs posted on the track so we took what was supposed to be a shortcut that turned out to be a big loop back to the trail head! Oh well, we started again and found the trail to be a beauty. About 1/2 mile down we heard a monster thunder roll and examined the sky and decided to press on. Only for a few more minutes for the sky was very threatening and the thunder rolls attention getting, so we decided to hurry home.

Then after lunch and two hours of lazing around we decided to go play tennis. Col and I biked the 3/4 mile and Anna and Nana walked. We played for about 2o minutes before the heavens opened and we were soaked. loathe to leave the fun we hesitated just a little to long to pack up and leave. By the time I shuttled everyone home on the bike we were sodden.

But, a great dinner of queso and chips and tacos, followed by the hot tub made our last day here together memorable.

We will miss the kids after they leave. This place will seem too quiet. We are thankful we got them for two full weeks.
We have two more weeks up here in Cloudcroft. I am going to rest up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Here we go a-spelunking

We went spelunking.....

It was a great day today. After omelettes (Fr. sp.) for breakfast we took long ride through beautiful scenery and we went to Carlsbad N.M.

The kids were great on the trip because we had CDs to watch. They were totally blown away with the caves.

After we got home the kids had nachos for dinner ("Grandad, you make the best nachos"), we were preparing our dinner as they sang this lovely????? melody about telephones.