Wednesday, March 19, 2014

No Boys Allowed!

I drove to Katy on Friday and returned on Monday. Sandwiched between those two days, was the Best Girls' Weekend Ever!

Saturday was nearly non-stop, from morning until late night. Kelsey, Clara and I went to the American Girl Store so Clara could buy pajamas for herself that matched her doll, Julie's, pajamas. Clara has been saving money for this major purchase since Christmas. She also had enough left over to buy a little watch for Julie. The only down side to this leg of the adventure was that Julie actually lost one of her shoes somewhere between the American Girl Store and the Panera restaurant, which was just next door and where we had lunch. We searched for it and checked out the lost and found at both establishments. No shoe was found.  :-(

The American Girl Store . . . as much fun for Clara as the Apple Store is for Grandpa!

Checking the length of the pajamas.

A cute little watch with two bands for Julie.

Out for lunch at Panera.
After lunch we headed to a strip mall with a collectibles shop that was chock-full of dollhouse furniture. The shop was closed when we arrived. There was a note on the door saying the proprietor would be back soon. "Soon" stretched into a 30 or 40 minute wait, but what we could see through the windows was sufficiently enticing to keep us there until she finally showed up.

Selecting only a few pieces turned out to be a difficult task, considering the wonderful inventory of miniatures. We ended up choosing wallpaper, a living room set, a wood-burning kitchen stove, an ice box, and a kitchen sink.

Making the purchase.
After a little rest at home, we got ready for our evening activities.

Ready to go!
For dinner, our first choice restaurant was too crowded, and the wait would have been too long, so we ended up eating at a Mongolian grill place. Then we headed to downtown Houston for the highlight of our day - The Wizard of Oz. Some street closures close to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts made parking a little tricky, but we were early enough that it wasn't a problem.

Clara and Dorothy's ruby slippers.

Photo taken from our very good seats.
Kelsey and I agreed that the production might not have been as spectacular as some other musical stage performances we'd seen in the past, but it was well-performed and a lot of fun. Clara was enchanted the entire time. Oh, and the little dog who played Toto was amazing!

By the time the performance was over, it was late. It had been raining nearly all day long, and was still sprinkling. The tops of the Houston skyscrapers were shrouded with fog and mist.

Clara fell asleep on the way home, and Kelsey and I went to bed as soon as we got there. It was a day I'll always remember.

On Sunday, after church and lunch, we started decorating the first floor of the interior of the dollhouse. The first step was to prime the walls in preparation for putting up wallpaper. Clara was disappointed that we couldn't hang the paper that same day, but a sealer had to be applied to the paper, and it had to dry over-night before it could be used. 

Putting primer onto the divider walls.

When I left on Monday morning, the house was still waiting for the wallpaper. But since then, Kelsey has papered that bottom floor - the living room, kitchen and dining area (dining room table not yet purchased). She posted pictures on her blog, and it looks fantastic! Please take a look here to see the papered bottom floor with the furniture we bought on Saturday.

Even though this was a girls' weekend, Robert and I had some good quality time together, as well. Here's a picture of him with the little Grandma-gift I brought. He and Chris did some "boy things" on Saturday, which included seeing the movie Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Robert has become a Class A communicator. He carries on long and involved conversations, and uses impressive words and quirky expressions. What I love most is his never-ending supply of hugs!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dave and Karen's Spring Visit

The past few days have presented us with some serious winter weather, once again. We've had temperatures as low as 19 degrees, freezing rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Our friends, Dave and Karen, have been here visiting from Alaska, in their annual two- to three-month-attempt to escape the worst of the winter weather there. Ha! It didn't work so well this year.

Last year they were here on their motorcycle. This year they have shown up in the truck that Dave uses, in the winter, for snow-plowing.

After a 5-day stay, they left us this morning and are headed up to see our mutual friends, Steve and Sharon, where they will hook up their newly acquired 22-foot trailer, in which they will haul a large load of various hardwoods back to Alaska. Dave has taken up woodworking/furniture making as a retirement hobby, and has found it nearly impossible, and very expensive, to satisfy his hardwood needs in Alaska.

I wonder what kind of vehicle they will show up in/on next spring?

We had a great time together. We ate dinner on Monday evening at The Gin, in Belton. On Tuesday Karen and I went antique-shopping in Belton. We each found a few treasures. Mine were for Clara. Kelsey, Clara and I are looking forward to a girls' day/night out later this month. We'll be going to the American Girl Store, out to dinner, and to the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of the Wizard of Oz! So when I found these three porcelain dolls I thought they'd make a nice little memento for Clara. Now I need to keep my eyes peeled for the Tin Man, which was missing from the group.

After our morning of antiquing, we had lunch at the Sarsaparilla Saloon and Cafe, also in Belton. Yum! Great homemade soups! While we were out having our girl-fun, Dan and Dave did some handy-man things around the house, including adding some more flooring to our attic, making more room for storage. Dave also fixed the defective hinges on a couple of my kitchen cabinets! He's one of those people who goes crazy if he doesn't have a project in the works, so we accommodated him with a few things from my honey-do list.

Since Dave and Karen were needing some road-supplies from Costco, and since it was about time for our every-other-month Costco shopping trip, we drove to Austin on Wednesday and filled up the back of the Tiguan with supplies. We got home just in time to stow away the perishables and to hop back in the car to go to an afternoon matinee movie. We saw 3 Days to Kill, with Kevin Costner. None of us were expecting it to be very good, but we all agreed it was better than we expected! It had a quirky blend of action, suspense, humor and humanity. Not a movie I'd put at the top of my list, but it made for an entertaining afternoon.

Since the weather had moderated by Wednesday, Dan grilled up some steaks and fresh asparagus (from our Costco trip) on the grill for dinner, before we went to our mid-week Bible study. After church we came home and played a couple games of Farkel. As you can see from this scorecard, it appeared that Dan had sealed up the win on our first game, surpassing the game-ending 10,000 points before the rest of us. But, as the rules stipulate, everyone gets one more chance to roll the dice until they farkel, and Dave ended up stealing the game from Dan by getting 7,350 points in that single hand! That has to be some kind of a record!!!

After the game, Dave and Karen presented us with their cute little Ferry Farkel set, which was bought on one of the Alaska Marine Highway vessels ("the ferries"), on their trip down.

So, this morning, we exchanged hugs and said our good-byes. They don't have to be home until the end of April, so they are on their way to see more kinfolk and friends around the country and to pick up their trailer and load of hardwood. Safe journeys, Dave and Karen!