Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Dan and I tend to be "planners." Our friends, Kay and Andy, are much more spontaneous. We need people like them in our lives to encourage a little whimsy, and that's just what happened this week.

Now that I think of it, it was Dan who first called Andy, on Friday, and asked if they'd like to go to Miller's Country Market for lunch. Miller's is a Mennonite-run deli/market out in the little farm village of Lott. (So I guess we do have a tiny bit of spontaneity in our bones!) Kay and Andy were willing and eager to join us for lunch and, in turn, asked if we would be interested in traveling to Granbury on Monday, to see the Gallagher show! OF COURSE we were interested! Who, in our age group, wouldn't jump at the opportunity to see that watermelon-smashing comedian of our younger years?

So, right after lunch on Friday, Andy and Kay came by our house. We tossed our overnight bags in the back of their SUV and headed north. Granbury is just over two hours from Temple (it's south of Fort Worth), and our route took us through some beautiful farm land, glowing with early fall colors.

We stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn, perched on Lake Granbury. Both of our rooms had lakeside views, and we ate dinner at the Mesquite Pit, also right on the lake. The weather was amazing.

View of the lake from the Mesquite Pit property.
After a long, leisurely and delicious dinner, we went a short distance to the historic town square, where the Granbury Opera House is located and where we would see Gallagher. We got there a little early, so just walked around for a few minutes.

A half-block or so from the theater, we met a fellow walking toward us, who was sporting a Gallagher-like hair style - although the hair was pure white. I nudged Dan and said, there's a Gallagher-wannabe, for sure.

Pretty soon it was time to go find our seats. The wannabe was standing outside, on the sidewalk, laughing and talking with others who were obviously looking forward to seeing the show. Andy and Kay had chosen our seats, and had picked the next-to-the-back row, in hopes of staying watermelon-free. But then we realized that the room just wasn't that big, and it MIGHT be possible for food to fly even to our row. Everyone was donning plastic trash bag ponchos. We hadn't brought any, but Andy went back to the lobby to pick some up for us. When he got back he said that "wannabe" was actually Gallagher, and that he was still outside on the sidewalk talking, signing autographs and having his picture taken. So Kay went with me, and we ran out to see him. He was very gracious, and when a nice lady offered to take our picture with him, and he was more than willing, we did!

Back inside, we spread our plastic bags as far as they'd go (they were all out of large ones, so we had the child-sized ones), and waited for the show to start. The Opera House had prepared the auditorium, having covered the carpeting and the seating.

I'm really glad we went. I'm glad to be able to say I met Gallagher, but Kay and I agreed that there was something sort of sad about the whole evening. Gallagher, himself, is 72 and has had five heart attacks, two of them while he was performing on stage! So he has definitely slowed down and toned down his show. The setting was very intimate, and it felt, to me, like someone's funny grandpa entertaining the family in the back yard. No music. No spot lights. No giant couch. No adult-sized Big Wheel. No one to introduce him. He just walked in from his sidewalk visits, stepped up on stage and began throwing fistfuls of candy to the crowd. But you could tell he still loves making people laugh, and laugh we did! (Oh, my! How does he get away with some of those politically incorrect jokes?!)

The first half of the show was mostly stand-up comedy. In the second half, he invited some kids from the audience on-stage, and demonstrated and tutored them in the art of food-smashing.

Luckily, we stayed food-free, so after the show we took a short waterfront stroll near the hotel before calling it a fun and memorable day.

Kay, walking on the hotel's waterfront boardwalk.
Our hotel on the lake.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Church Small Group

Our small group from church met this evening at David and Denise's home for a wiener roast. It couldn't have been a more perfect evening . . . clear blue sky; a beautiful country setting; hot dogs and s'mores,; kids with sticky fingers, rosy cheeks and smiling faces; a meaningful devotional; and people of all ages who love and care for each other.

Halloween's Coming!

Drac having donuts at Shipley's

In a neighbor's yard

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bakers' Challenge - Scones!

Left to right: Me, Kay and Trish

It was the Great British Baking Show that sparked Kay's and my interest in doing a baking challenge of our own. We agreed our version would be a "challenge" rather than a "contest." In other words, we wanted to stretch our baking skills, but not name a winner.

To kick off our challenge, we decided to do something rather simple - scones.

We felt that scones were the perfect choice, since Kay and I both have Scottish roots, and scones originated in either England, Scotland or Ireland. In fact, the first known mention of a scone is from a 1513 translation of the Aeneid, translated by Scotsman, Gavin Douglas. In Scotland, these little sweets are called skawns or skahns.

We invited Trish to join in the fun, which was fitting, since she also boasts Scottish ancestry. We might include more bakers in the future, but for our first try, we wanted to keep it low-key.  So last night, after our Wednesday evening Bible study, we brought our baked goods - and our husbands - to Kay's house to enjoy some hot tea and scones. 

Trish baked blueberry/lemon scones, using the fresh lemon juice of the fruit of her own little lemon tree. They were great! Kay outdid herself with cinnamon/apple scones, and I brought orange/apricot ones. Our husbands raved over all of them, making us all feel like winners. 

Before we left Kay and Andy's house, we asked Dan to take a picture of the three bakers with our scones, which he did. Then Trish's hubby, Kelly, took on a challenge of his very own. Kelly is blind, but he, too, wanted to try taking our picture. The one posted at the top of this post is the picture he took. He did ask Dan if he had all three of us framed in the picture, and I did do a little post-processing crop, but BRAVO to Kelly for being the official First Baking Challenge photographer.