Thanking The Texas Weather For Being Crappy, A Great Reunion Times Two.

My girlfriend D’Anne had a planned visit with us the Friday before last; she was in Florida for work, arrived to our place on Friday afternoon and was scheduled to depart on Monday afternoon, but the Dallas weather had other plans. I think they call it Winter?

I spent a long weekend with her around this time last year in Orlando, before that she and her family were here eight years ago and before that it was eighteen years since our last visit. If you recall, D lost her son Kelly last year; she and I are good at commiserating together about such a huge loss, but we also laugh our biscuits off; it’s a balance.

She is traveling a path that I can’t imagine surviving, but she is doing it with grace, love and humor.

Easy Friendships are the Only Kind I Subscribe to.

I had only scheduled a Comedy Club visit (Linds and her BF joined us) and virtually nothing else while D was here. No worries. She and I have a good time sitting outside, chatting it up by the pool, walking the property with Peanut looking for different varieties of caterpillars, marveling at our Florida birds and orchids; we never run out of things to talk about or laugh about. We’re No Fuss, No Muss.

We did end up visiting the Botanical Garden, (it was very hot, Thanks Florida!) we had lunch at the marina, I took her by the Condo which looks like a scene from Beirut and I let her hop out of the car, go put her feet in the sand at the Beach. (I’ve yet to get a parking sticker on my car, so I didn’t park-also, the water part of the gulf is closed since we have so much damage/crap/bacteria from hurricane Ian)

Another afternoon, I shared with her our favorite Mom & Pop Grocery store and you would have thought I took her across the world on the Concord; she’s easy like Sunday Morning!

Peanut wasn’t complaining about having another Mama all week.

By Wednesday I realized I had let the laundry go. I mean grow.

Granted, our hamper isn’t huge, but still, this is unprecedented! I lost Peanut for a minute and thought I might have to dump the clothes….alas, she was under the bed and the laundry could wait another day because Fun needed to be had.

The Weather in TX finally calmed it’s tit’s and D flew home on Thursday afternoon, but I was so thankful for the extra time together. While D was here, we got to see Linds three times and Lolo once; that’s what I call WINNING!

Friday afternoon our friends Don and Kelly arrived with Peanut’s boyfriend Louie and much fun ensued. It was two and a half days of this:

Mind you, we have a large house and yard, but they like an Up Close And Personal audience for all the shenanigans.

We had a lovely dinner that night at one of our favorite places.

Saturday brought us to a concert/fundraiser for our local Wolf Sanctuary.

And by Sunday afternoon, the three of us were exhausted.

Done like dinner…

Did you even realize I was MIA?

Do you have friends in your life where they require nothing in the Entertainment Department?


A Not So Good Surprise And Wanting To Shank Those Who Share Your DNA

I had the rug-pulled out and the wind taken out of my sails recently, thanks to my first cousins. It’s a very long, complicated story, but they sold my Grandparent’s home without letting me know. They were rightfully the owners because their father, my Uncle, was the last owner of the home as Grandma passed away in 2009. But in my brain, in my heart, it was always our Grandparent’s home. Always. 

Crazy enough, Linds was the one to break the news to me as she is close to, and works with my oldest cousin’s daughter. (the daughter, who I adore, was appalled at her father not contacting me as well)

For them, (my first cousins) this was about money. For me, it was all emotion. 

Suz and G’ma, Suz, Gma, Linds and Lolo

My childhood wasn’t stellar, but when I look back, the time I spent at my Grandparent’s home was always joyous. I had meals prepared for me, was doted upon, and was loved unconditionally. It was my safe haven. 

Grandma’s house is the one place that I visited/stayed at that had no bad memories or reminders of shit-gone-bad.

My dad (he passed in 1993), Suz, Uncle Alan (who passed in 2018) It was a windy Easter morning.

Grandma’s house is near the Miami airport in a lovely little neighborhood; My Uncles’ Widow, Joanie was living there, which was how it was supposed to be. They’d only been married for five years and she was sweet; she would have loved for me to visit again, but I just didn’t. I kept in touch with her by phone and snail mail. (unlike my cousins) I sent her flowers on her birthday and little gifts at Christmas; she knew that I cared about her. She was a bonafide wackadoodle, albeit harmless, but my Uncle loved her, so I checked in on her. 

Grandmas house stood still in time, aside from the updated Kitchen Coach gifted to her around 2001. My grandma’s tchotchkes were still displayed in the same spots. The little terrarium I made for her in elementary school was still sitting in the niche behind the refrigerator wall.

I know. Things are just things. But still sometimes you want to put your hands on sentimental things.

Recently, Joanie had a myriad of physical and mental health issues and went into assisted living. I would have loved to visit the house again and perhaps keep a few of my Grandmother’s things that were forever residing in that 1942 house.

The news hit me harder than I’d expected; I think because it was sudden and of course because my feelings were not accounted for. The Coach assured me that they’re only concerned with money, which I know. Linds was so sweet and offered to go with me to the house and see if anything was still there. (Turns out Joanies nephew was purchasing the house)

The morning I found out, I spouted some cuss words and shed a few hundred tears, but within a few hours, I was ok with it all and had moved onto other matters. I think that’s called personal growth, right?

Anyhoo, I just needed to document this here for later when my cousins ask me for something.

I’m kidding but wouldn’t it be fun if they needed something from me later on?

Thanks for listening. XOXO

Could Green Acres Bee The Life For Me?

I’ve put this off long enough as I’m pretty forthcoming with things around here.

*looks around at no other human in the vicinity*

About a year ago, the Coach decided he wanted to have some property in GA near our mountain home. We love the house and the ‘hood, but like all POA’s/HOA’s, you are required to follow rules.

My husband? Not a fan of all the silly POA rules.

He’s been pining away for some land where he can ride four wheelers, safely shoot target practice and pee outside. (men and women are an entirely different species. Am I right or amiright?)

When he first started discussing this, there was much eyerolling from my end. Yeah, whatever, you’re not going to do that. I mean, he has too much going on already; he/we can’t fit in another project, another piece of land to tend to, etc…

Well, he’s like a dog with a bone. He got my Aunt Trisha (our realtor) involved and we went from just looking at property to looking at property where we could possibly build little VRBO rentals and let the Kid’s homestead the property in various ways, while the Coach had room to ‘play’. We’d looked at several places, all around 15-20 acres and nothing really spoke to him.

Post Thanksgiving where my family watched YouTube videos about building VRBO’s, building a lake, growing mushrooms and raising hairy cows. *sigh* My Lillie on Coach’s lap.

Finally, a piece of land, not only spoke to him, it practically shouted his name. Crazily, the mouthy property was not for sale. It was a lovely sprawling pasture across the road from a place we’d just looked at. It caught his eye and he couldn’t let it go.

About three days later…

Insert yourself in the car with my Aunt, Uncle and Coach one afternoon looking at potential properties.

Coach: Well, I emailed and called Nancy SuchandSuch, she currently owns the property at 123 perfect place road. She’s an educator at a university in Michigan. This was her Daddy and StepMom’s house; her Dad built in in 1984 so he could get away from City Folk. Her Dad passed away in 2015; she comes here one or two times a year. Yada Yada….

I looked at him sideways…what a SLEUTH!

Nancy flat out told him it wasn’t for sale.

My husband LOVES a challenge as much as I love old trees.

Fast forward six months later, he wore her down with a generous offer and we closed on the property in October. Ya’ll, it’s eighty eight acres. 88!

But wait, there’s more!

A neighbor caught wind of the sale and offered the Coach another 25 acres attached and of course my husband took him up on that.

We’re the proud owners of 113 acres in beautiful NW Georgia.

There are rolling hills, old trees, amazing views, a beautiful creek and the property backs up to State conservation land.

Let’s talk about the 1980’s house that has not seen one update. This is the side/front view.

Lolo was a fan of the shag carpet and the outdated kitchen. (can you see the Gems we found in the kitchen, but the owner would not include in the sale?)

Me: I think if we paint the brick white and paint all the trim a dark gray/black, the outside has potential.

Lolo: Don’t you dare go and Joanna Gaines’ this house!

By golly, I’ll Joanna Gaines whatever I want!

We’ve named the property Double L Ranch after our girls; signage is in the works.

I think the Coach might have had hopes of moving to this property, but that won’t work for me. I’d be too isolated and that’s not what I want in my future. We’ve lived on a large piece of property for 25 years (our Florida place) and I’m happy to now have neighbors at our GA place.

The lovely thing is that this piece of property is 12 minutes from our current POA home. The kids have all picked out areas where they will want to build a place one day and then, maybe then if they are there with their brood, I could be convinced to move to the Family Commune.

Right now part of the land is leased to a gentleman who has about 30 cows, but his lease is up this spring.

The Coach has already started plans on his Barn…which I don’t think you can even call it a Barn as it is something out of Architectural Digest. And he has dreams of raising some of these one day. (as pets, not for food)

He’s also slated to start building a large lake as well to attract even more wildlife. Right now there are a plethora of deer, bear and birds.

A few months ago, Lolo and Nathan were ready to leave Law Enforcement, move to the old 80’s house and start a new endeavor, but Lolo has just been promoted and has some new exciting things happening in her career that she’s always wanted to do, so they will wait.

Meanwhile, if you want to find me, I’ll be in my cozy POA ‘hood and my husband will be at the Ranch peeing outside.

What say you: would you prefer to live on a vast piece of land with no other humans, or in a ‘hood?


Another Heartbreak Before Celebrating All The Birthdays

Our Christmas was lovely. I mean, I went into it begrudgingly, but we had an amazing Christmas Eve; four were not able to attend (some were sick, some have weird priorities) but my girlies were there and that’s the Best. We had 13 people in the house, along with SIX dogs. Four of those dogs are considered large beasts, so I’d like a trophy for not losing my shit.

Backing Up the Busy Bee Bus, the Friday before Christmas, I had to let our Lillie go. I’m crying again just writing this, well, it’s only been six days, so I’m still deep in the mourning process. She wasn’t doing well, and we knew the day was coming, but damn it to hell, it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. I mean, I’ve put down four cats and three dogs, but Lillie was my heart dog and it hurt like hell making that call. When I adopted her, I thought I’d have at least 5-7 years with her. We had her less than two years and only one Christmas together.

Most of you walked (read) the Lillie Journey with me, so you know how obsessed I was with her.

Her last morning; enjoying some vitamin D with her new annoying sibling.

She was one of a kind and there will never be a replacement for her.

Happy Birthday Jesus

Please note that Peanut wore her Christmas PJ’s for over 24 hours as our temperature never got above 50 on the 25th and 26th. Finally on Sunday night I declared (to no one in particular) that I’m putting on the heater; it was 63* in the house. (yes, my husband still wore shorts the entire holiday)

Happy Birthday Lindsay

Linds celebrated her Golden Birthday; 27 on the 27th. We had a lovely Italian dinner with her bestie, her BF and my FIL and MIL.

My sweet, funny, has-the-biggest-heart Lindsay, she is such a special girl and she’s really thriving and doing well. When your kids are happy, well it’s the very best feeling in the world. I hope this year brings even more goodness into her life. And if I could share one thing of hers with all of you, it would be her big laugh; it’s my favorite.

Her bestie said that the last photo looks like The Last Supper, but Linds has zero Disciples; which is insane because I’d follow her anywhere!

I’ll spend the next few weeks days catching up with all of you. I hope everyone had a great holiday with all their favorite people. (My Feedly blog list shows I’ve missed 72 posts—ya’ll are so talky even when there’s a major holiday 😳)