Friday, June 15, 2018

Sometimes Things Don't Go As Planned

Well, things do happen in life that change your plans.  We had another one of those game changers, changing our plans to travel to Florida. (I am saving that itinerary for another time!)  Our daughter Liz who was in an accident early March ended up having a 5th surgery on May 3.  Because so much attention was given to her skin graft healing, it resulted in freezing her ankle. So here we go again! The orthopedic doctor had to release the achilles tendon in the back of her ankle.  That means that mom/Nana needed to spend more time in Houston.  Thankfully this surgery was in Sugarland at the Methodist Hospital – such an awesome facility. 
Pre surgery. She's a pro at it!

I walked into WalMart by Liz's house and was greeted by a mariachi band.  Never seen that before!

 However the weekend before surgery, Ron and I left the LBJ Historical Park and headed for some relaxing time at our favorite spot – Fentress on the San Marcos River, at my cousin’s land. 

Forgot to mention that it was also my 60th birthday weekend celebration!
Ron is swinging out over the river!

This extra time with Liz and Lucy gave me the opportunity to watch several of Lucy’s softball games and go to her dance recital.  She’s an awesome 3rd base player. I am amazed at her level of concentration.  And that dance recital!  Such a production!
Lucy and her friend Elle

Lucy getting her hair and makeup!

Hardly recognize her!

Beautiful smile!

3 generations here!

She always gets a hit!

Also got to see another of Aiden’s baseball games. He has so much fun and is really good. 
Ron and I went to the Hostyn Catholic Church picnic one Sunday. These picnics are so fun!  Not only do we get to see family, but there is great food, beverage and polka music!

Good music!

Original Czeck dancers

I felt things were going good enough with Liz that on May 21 we pulled out and headed to Garner State Park for a week.  It was so nice!  The perfect time to come as the crowds started pulling in that weekend for Memorial Day.  The river is pretty low. It’s not going to be much fun if they don’t get some much needed rain soon.  We went back to Fentress for Memorial Day weekend.  My Uncle Pete passed away but we were able to head back for his service. So good to see my cousins again!
The Frio River has such pretty clear water!

Ron getting our floats ready.

Check out this woodpecker!

This Vermillion Flycatcher was quite entertaining!

A beautiful pair of cardinals!

We headed back to our spot in Sweeny at the Backyard RV Park on Memorial Day. This is a nice place, but it’s still concrete. It does back up to the city park so it’s easy for me to go walking on the days when I’m here. I am thankful that we have family that gives Ron things to do while I head back to Houston and Liz.   Lucy has one more week of school and Liz is still in a hard non-weight bearing cast. Just easier for me to go back and help.  However, she ended up getting into a walking boot after her doctor appointment this week. I decide to go back to Sweeny and then……whammy she gets an abcessed tooth the next day. She just can’t catch a break!
Lucy got to go to an Astros game with cousin Matt!

Swimming after a long day of school!

That last day of school!!!  Check out my piano!! LOL!

Off with the cast of 2 weeks!

Into a walking boot, finally, for the next 2 months!

We stayed in Sweeny for a few more days. Babysitting both grandkids and getting in those final doctor appointments before we head out to Inks Lake for a week long vacation with family and then finally leave for Colorado.  Did some fun things with the grands during this time!
Someone did great at fishing!

Lucy visiting Great Grandma!

It's time to leave the cement trailer park!

Papaw under attack!

The touch tank at Sea Center in Lake Jackson.

Love my Lucy!

Kids were so good during our appointments. They got rewards!

Up next…….family time at Inks Lake and travels to Colorado.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Where Have We Been These Past Months?

We started as volunteers for the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park February 1 and we have been busy, busy since we arrived!  It took me a couple of days to remember how to give tours through the Texas White House and sure enough, it was like riding a bicycle. It did come back!  Ron fell right back into his maintenance spot. And the icing on the cake?  It’s having our friends Jim and Randa and Ed and Carolyn here with us as volunteers and we are all camped back at the ranch.
Me, Jim, Carolyn, Ed, Ron and Randa

Check out that sunset!

The NPS staff provided a couple of field trips for us.  One was to the Waco Mammoth National Monument in Waco.

Cool park!

Of course, what's a field trip without an ice cream stop!

The next week they took us on an awesome trip to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library which is located on the University of Texas campus.  Of course we got to see a part that most folks don’t get to see - the Presidential Suite.  When we left there we then went to the Lady Byrd Johnson Wildlife Center and got a personal tour.

Inside the Presidential Suite at the library.

What a treat to be allowed in here!

An example of the Johnson Treatment!

What an awesome group of first ladies!

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin

Standing behind a waterfall

February and March have really given us some cold weather here.  The spring calves are being born and that has been a real treat to watch.  We have made several trips back and forth to Sweeny, allowing Ron to go for follow-ups on his shoulder and me for my foot.  Super Bowl found us having a party here at our motorhome for all the volunteers.  That’s one way to make use of that outside TV!!!

Super Bowl Party!!!!

We have gone exploring a little in our area.  Really enjoyed a stop at the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery.  You have a choice of sampling their vodka, or you can choose to have the bartender make you a couple of drinks with the vodka. That’s what we chose!  I have a new favorite!  The sweet tea flavored vodka - delicious with lemonade and soda.

Drink menu at Deep Eddy

Despite the cold and rain, we did go to Alamo Springs for one of their famous hamburgers.

Almost impossible to put the whole thing in your mouth!!

Finally made a winery stop. I have always wanted to go to the Fat Ass Winery so we did. Ron was a trooper. We met a young couple as we were leaving and they asked us to go to the 4.0 Cellars with them, so we did.  Enjoyed good conversation with the perfect weather.

Took a drive over to Mason one day. Beautiful area and drive.  That evening we met some of our previous volunteers from LBJ at the Pecan Street Brewery in Johnson City.
Friends from 2 years ago meeting at Pecan Street Brewing in Johnson City.

We’ve been making it out to the Albert Dance Hall and Ice House on some of our Wednesdays. They open the dance hall on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. That’s where we spent Valentine’s Day and it was a blast.
One of the oldest dance halls in Texas!

Really enjoy listening to the Lost Sounds of Texas Honkytonks band!

This particular night they are playing inside of the Albert Ice House.

One Wednesday night we had the whole gang!  David, Chelsea, Cynthia, Jo, George, Tina, Randa, Ann

More Volunteers!  Lois and Steve, back row is Ed, Ron, Mary, Jim, front row middle is Paul, Emily, then Randa and Jo

One weekend when we went to Sweeny we joined Amy and James and went to the Matagorda Seafood Festival.  Perfect weather and ran into lots of friends we haven’t seen in a while.
James and Amy with grandson Marshall

I always enjoy being with daughter Amy!

Spring Break week at the park equals some very large crowds and the volunteer work seems like some really tough days. On Tuesday, Ron’s brother Don and wife Rene’, daughter Laura and her children and Gina and Allen (Rene’s sister) came out and ate dinner with us. That’s when we got the call that our oldest daughter Liz was in a golf cart accident near Austin and was going to be having surgery that evening. Oh heck.......  And this started a month long journey with her. Once again, glad we just happened to be in the area.

To quickly sum it up, I was her primary caretaker through 4 surgeries.  She had to have a skin graft on her ankle.  And a couple of screws to fix the ankle as well.  She’s been such a trooper through it all. I don’t know if I will ever again though say - I wish I could spend more time with Liz cause this isn't the way I would envision spending more time with her!  She spent almost 2 weeks in the hospital. She needed help back home as she lives in a 2 story house and she’s a single mom. She was on bed rest for the first 2 weeks and was not allowed to lower her foot any at all. And that’s a challenge.
First surgery at Cedar Park Regional Hospital

Oh my goodness Liz!  You can see why she needed plastic surgery. They would take some muscle and skin from her thigh for this wound.

Getting in the ambulance for a ride to Dell Seton Hospital in Austin.

Wheeling outside for some sunshine!

The hospital is just a few blocks from the Texas State Capitol.

One day we had a beauty shop day. Wheeled that wheelchair right up to the sink.

And one day Laura and Avery came to visit!

And one day we finally got released! Only to have to return later.

Foot is healing

Coming out of surgery for the 4th time with our fingers crossed!!!

One day we were visited by my cousin Fay who lives in Austin.

Home again. Liz and Lucy.

One weekend we met Amy and James at their deer lease. And Saturday night we went to Luckenbach and listened to Johnny Bush in concert.
Got to go see a hog tying contest.

The legendary Johnny Bush.

One weekend we worked the LBJ 100 bike race.  Nothing like hundreds of cars descending on the park and then all these bicycles.  Lots and lots of spandex!!  My job this time was to go up and down the runway in the golf cart and offer folks rides. (I know kinda humorous given the fact that we're dealing with the after effects of a golf cart accident with our daughter.)  LBJ's daughter Luci Johnson Turpin gives a tour after the ride so I assisted in shuttling all that it takes for her to give her tour.

Need a ride?

Lots of bikes! And spandex!

Luci Johnson starting her bike tour at the plane.

Her tour ends at the cemetery. LBJ and Lady Bird's headstones are behind her.

Easter we enjoyed church services in Johnson City and then went to Austin to have lunch at our niece Laura’s house.

And we have had an opportunity to go see one of Aiden, our grandson, baseball game.

What a great third baseman!

Look who got the game ball!
And Amy, James and Aiden came to visit us at the park last weekend!  It was crazy weather, but we still had a great time.
Aiden playing with the baby goats.

Aiden took this selfie with a baby calf.

I think Aiden would make an awesome president!!!

The park police were so fun to let Aiden hit all the bells and whistles!

Love this picture of Amy and me!

As our time is nearing an end here at the LBJ Park, it will be hard to say good-bye. We have a lot of good friends out here.  But we are looking forward to a road trip to Florida for the month of May.
One of our good-bye pot lucks with volunteers and seasonal rangers.

Will miss our evening campfires.

So, that about wraps up our 3 months here in the Texas Hill Country!  If you haven't traveled to Johnson City and Fredericksburg area, head out here!  It's a winery heaven and beautiful place for wildflowers in the spring.  Lots of good Texas dancing music and lots of good folks.

Until next time........