Monday, December 31, 2007

A Little Bit of Christmas and Getting Ready to Leave

I know it has been a while since I posted. It is really hard to find something new to write when we don't leave the grounds. It would be pretty boring to keep telling you I cooked and visited with the residents. Although we have not been bored ourselves, folks reading the blog may well get tired of hearing of our everyday chores. So, I have waited till I have something different to tell you all.
Ed and Hazel left on the 16th, and it was terribly hard to say good-bye to them. They called us on Christmas night, and we were so pleasantly surprised. The Christmas Eve party was marvelous. Everyone had such a good time. Miss Kitty read the Christmas story, we sang carols, and played some cute games. Barbara and Jack Wade played some music for us, and Evie played her harmonica. Evie is visiting Jo and Fred Durham. She is blind, like Jo, and the 2 guide dogs would have loved some of the treats available. Everyone ate the great candies and cookies and other goodies made by all of us volunteers. The residents were all so happy we were willing to do it. Little do they know that we get more out of the doing than they get from us doing it.
Tomorrow is New Years' Day. We are having a special brunch and early supper. One of the repeat volunteers stepped up and came up with the idea. Everyone was in favor of the change in schedule. We'll have eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, and all the fixings. Then at supper we will have turkey soup. We have frozen all the leftovers from Christmas, and it will all be cooked up into a great soup by Roy. Tom and I are on call all day. It's not recommended we do anything else while we are on call. We do have a few little things we need to do before we sit by the phone. All of us work really well together, so all will get done.
Today we did laundry. Lots of laundry!!!!We had 6 loads of wash to do. Then 7 dryer loads. Next came the Wal-Mart run. Just getting stuff for the trip west. We will be leaving here on Thursday morning. It will be a sad day. Saying good-bye will be very hard. So many of these precious folks may not be here when we come back. We will be back!!!! Then again some will have no memory of us at all. Like my 2 friends Miss Ellie and Miss Helen. Thanks to Miss Elie I will always be even-steven. (a kiss on each cheek) We'll go over for breakfast and then get going. We have been packing up things for a couple of days now. The tree is down and sowed under the bed. All of the Christmas things are put away. Now we are in count-down mode. We have one more day in the kitchen(Wed.), which is our last job.
We are headed for San Antonio. We will stop at the town of Brenham, where they make Blue Bell ice cream. We want to take the tour, of course. What happens after that is anyone's guess. We are so excited to be tourists. Now that we will be on the move, I will be sure to keep up with the blog so you all can all follow us around. Happy New Year to all.
Here's some Holiday Pictures. Better late than never.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Coming Up On Christmas

We are well on the way to having a great holiday. With Christmas around the corner and the New Year fast approaching, we have been busy trying to get things going here and in the Center. Tom is driving folks to medical appointments, and I have been VERY busy in the kitchen. We now feed between 65 and 75 people every noon. Whether we have a cook or not. Right now we have no cook for Sunday. I have been doing the big dinner on Sunday for a couple of weeks now. Of course I have helpers, but they must think I know what I'm doing. How much food is 1200 hundred calories anyway? Oh well, no one seems to complain. On Friday I made my vegetable beef soup. It went over very well. Lots of compliments. Sunday was roast beef. That day didn't go quite so easily, but everyone of the residents was happy. We ran a little short on beef, but the volunteers all were very kind, and took only a little, and made up for it with potatoes and gravy. The menu called for brusse sprouts, but I also made a green bean casserole (my favorite), which went over better than the sprouts. We had just enough salad, and the dessert was also gone. I guess they will have to order a bigger roast next time!! I had 2 guys helping me. They were great. All in all, I think it all went well. I'm on the schedule for this coming Sunday, but I have a more experienced person helping me. Maybe I won't be as tired this time. 10 hours in the kitchen on Friday was enough for anyone.
Tom and I have started to geo cache. ( We log onto the sight and find some clues, then go out to find it. It's kinda like a treasure hunt. When you find it you sign the log, put it back the same as you found it, and be on your way. We have found 2 so far. One hear at CARE, and one in the RV park. We have tomorrow off, and after the laundry and shopping, we would like to go into town where they have a few more. With only one day off we don't get to do much fun stuff.
Monday evening, Hazel and I went into Lufkin. We wanted to go to the Hobby Lobby. (craft store) It was the first time I have seen a Mall since I arrived in Livingston on October 28. If you want to go someplace besides Wal-Mart you have to drive about an hour. I was tickled pink. I got to use a JC Penny gift card I had, and we both had a great time.
On Saturday, Ed and Hazel took us to see the Liberty Opry. We had so much fun. It was country legends night. They were all so talented! This little girl of about 14 came out and she belted out Dolly Parton songs like you wouldn't believe. What a voice. I suspect we will be hearing about Kayla Woodson in the near future. You can check her out at for a sample of how good she is. All of the musician were terrific. We would go again in minute. Every Saturday night for $10.00, you can't get better entertainment.
We also went to a little sea food-steak place called Ann's. We got a great meal, and music we didn't expect to hear. Some folks were there from a near-by church. Some of the youth sang Christmas songs, as did the minister and his wife, while his brother and sister-in-law played guitar and keyboard. They food was good ole Texas cookin' at a reasonable price, and the children where just so adorable. We enjoyed ourselves so much.
As you can probably tell, we have fallen in love with these folks in east Texas. Everyone is so friendly and polite. You sit down in a doctor office waiting for one of our folks from the center, and someone you never saw before just starts talking, and before you know it you know there whole life story. They know how to take their time here. Everything is slow and easy going. Just the kind of place we have been looking for. No one is in a hurry. Unless they are driving. The speed limit here is 70 on roads that would be 50-55 at home. We just move over. They go around. Makes things interesting.
Out little tree is up, and we have lights outside. We brought some little things to decorate with from home. We look a little festive. Sometimes we only get a couple of hours to ourselves here in the motor home. At night when we come back, Tom goes on the computer, and I just sit and relax. Then we are off to bed. Tom sometimes gets up pretty early to get folks into Houston for appointments at the medical center there. So needless to say, we are pretty bushed by the time we come home at about 7:00. It's a good tired, though. We know we are doing something good, It makes us feel good and the residents feel good. That's what we are here for.
I can't believe that Hazel and Ed are leaving on Sunday. We'll certainly miss them. We have become such good friends. I feel like I've know her for ever. We have such a good time together. We work so well together, probably because we think so much of the folks here. They are headed off to spend the holidays with family, and then off to Arizona. We may catch up with them there. When they go 2 other couples leave, too. We will be short handed again, so that means more hours to put in for us that are left. I know we can make it till Jan. 4th. Then we can be tourists.
I can't believe it's been 6 months since we left home. Tom said it yesterday, and I was stunned. A whole half year! Time sure does fly when you're having fun!!!!!