Living in the Country

Notes about living in rural USA now and before!

Monday, January 03, 2005

It has been so warm here. We spent the weekend in shorts and tees and this morning Jim came in and I had to help him get out of his sweaty undershirt which was stuck to him like glue.

We spend Friday night at Moe & Amber's after the New Year's party on Pleasure Island and in the morning, Jim & Michaela rode home with us and M & A came up later in the day.

The weekend was busy with more furniture moving, the grandchildren here.. marching around in rubber boots on our 90 acres (talk about aerobic!!) and such. The men cut a lot of brush around the lawn and raked around the house, etc. Moe's friend Larry Lee came up both Sat & Sun to help and he & Moe found some plywood which they used to put a ceiling/floor up in the garage rafters and they they hoisted most of my Christmas stuff and other things like that up to that storage. What a relief to actually see the garage floor.
Neal gave me a Hickory Farms gift basket for Christmas. Imagine my absolute delight when I looked at all those wonderful cheeses, spreads and beef sticks, etc...all carb-free!! I took out the dozen candies and gave them to the children and then opened one small package of "Chavarti" and ate the WHOLE THING!

New Year's at Pleasure Island was certainly a pleasure for this NY kid! We were the guests of one of Moe's clients, Morris & PeggyTurner at their home by the sea. It was 76° and a strong breeze coming in from the Gulf, but our hosts had all the windows open so we could smell the sea. We were trotting around in summer clothes (sweaters later on in the evening). Jim said it was the first New Year's party he even attended without his long underwear on!

The "mansion" was... not so elegant as I had hoped! Most of the homes there are multi-million $$ places, but inside was modest size and the Turner's home looked as if it had been "decorated" all Waverly fabrics and bronze sculptures.
It is built right in the headlands on those tall "hurricane" stilts and they drive their very large boat and their small boat right under the house. They served lots of appetizers (seems everything went on a cracker) so I just nibbled cheese and had a couple of shrimp.
The main course was Cajun gumbo... it was fabulous! I took just a smidgen of the sticky rice and skipped the potato salad, but ate two huge bowls of the gumbo. Oh so, wonderfully seafoody!
Jim & I brought two bottles of champagne which we had moved (??) and they popped them.
Lots of families there, many brought children/grandchildren and they galloped across the beach and rode golf carts over the dunes, etc.
It was a grand introduction to Texas hospitality! I loved it!

We have no long-distance yet. We got a dish network service, but it really stinks as we get no local (NBC,CBS,ABC) service and there is not much of interest to watch. I have to phone them and make some inquiries as it doesn't seem to be what they "sold" me.

Jim's shoulder is bothersome.. he has very limited use of his arm, but he's trying valiantly to cope.
One day last week as I was standing in the side yard trying to figure out what this bush covered with long drupes of black berries is.. and a flock of about 40-50 cedar waxwings began to fly in all around and over my head to feast on the berries. It was so remarkable! They must be migrating. Yesterday, the berry bushes were alive with Texas mockingbirds.. spectacular with white belly and wings. Jimmy captured a skink (little lizard) that was green and yellow striped with a bright blue tail. We put him into a clear plastic box and observed him for a few minutes before dumping him back in the yard. He moved like a streak of lightening.

This morning I picked a bouquet of narcissis from my front garden. This is a very strange country!


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