Archive | November, 2015

Day after Thanksgiving in Holiday Island

27 Nov

Denny and I are here to be with Mom for awhile. After being iced in the last 2 years I told my sister that we would no longer come in February. Now we are just having pouring down rain. The sisters left this morning in a downpour heading to Galveston where it looks pretty wet for several days but I hope they will still have a good time. Mom is doing okay, just seems frail but still up with the happenings of the world.
I have been sick since Tuesday night with some kind of achy crud and cold. Today my face hurt so bad it made me cry but that has subsided. Denny is also sick with a congestion bug so we are just staying in for the day.
Wanted to blog about our first family trip with children. It really went well, of course there are always a few incidences, but we were totally impressed with how well the kids traveled and they seemed very savvy with all the plane changes and customs.

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The resort was eXcarta Occidental. It was different because they didn’t cut down the forest and it was very jungly. We walked and walked all week. To the beach, to eat, back to the beach, it was good for all of us to get out and do that.
There were monkeys in the trees, flamingos, lemurs to be seen just as we walked around.

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Monkey
The beach was a man made set up in a cove. You could see the ocean coming in and there were fish in the swimming area. It was handy to food and drinks so that made it easy to spend the day there.

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I love the photo of Elliott floating. I wish I could do that. I just sink. I was able to lay on a blow mattress on the edge of the water and let the waves roll over me, that is until and bigger wave came up and flipped me over. Believe me, it was not a pretty sight watching me try to maneuver and get up in the shallow water. It was also very difficult to get on the somewhat narrow raft with my back and hip issue and it took me a few tries. I’m sure that wasn’t a pleasant sight from behind. (It is hard to be around beach bodies that are pretty and remember that I used to be pretty in a bikini and not swimsuit shame myself)

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One day while by the pool an iguana ate Billie and Elliott’s lunch. It was an accident but it was distressing watching people feed the iguanas and other animals around. I did get a animal lesson from Cade. We were watching them feed the manatees in the park. I said “look they are eating lettuce, I didn’t know that’s what they survived on”. Cade goes “They’re herbivores”. I said “they don’t eat meat!!” in a snotty tone they said!!! Where are my brains anymore. So of course I had to hear about that a few times.
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There were nightly shows with the Aztec dancers. A couple of them would be around the area to take photos. Cade and I decided to have our pictures taken. Cade looks so cute with his Aztec lady, but I look like I’m afraid he is going to eat me!!
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All in all Billie and the kids enjoyed themselves. There were no cell phones or computer games and we all really interacted. Every night Kyer, Cade, Billie and I would meet up for cards. That was special. KC liked that he wasn’t the shortest guy around. He actually was the same height as most of the employees. It must be the native heritage of not being tall.

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Denny found this lovely bed that looked out at the ocean and had a wonderful breeze. We took about 3 hours and took naps and basked in the beauty. When I got up Denny said “you are all blue!!!” I had on my blue sundress and the bed was really wet under the canvas top and the dye was all over my back and legs. Then he got up and said, “ow my back hurts”. So off we went back to the room for me to scrub the dye off and he to get on heating pad. He ended up being laid up the next day but I gave him muscle relaxers and he had a massage and recovered. So much for our romantic outing.
This resort is great for families who just like to hang in the water. We only did once excursion into the Excarta park. There was a huge foul up regarding our package and if we went there again we would not go there. It is extremely humid of course but none of our clothing would dry and even our bed at night would feel damp. I definitely would bring more summer clothes and my own floats and another swimsuit. Nothing worse than putting on a cold damp suit.
I only had one major setback as a grandma. We had landed in Chicago to change planes for Kansas City. It took an hour to go through customs, check bags and walk to the gate. As we came into our gate area Cade saw Auntie May’s pretzels, (or some famous name) and said “I want a pretzel!!!”. I said “just wait til we get to the seats and put our stuff down and then we’ll get food.” He said “Mom I want a pretzel now!” I turned around and grabbed both of his arms and started shaking him and saying “no pretzels right now I said. We’ll get them in a minute, etc. etc.”He was looking at me and didn’t know whether to laugh or not. OMG. Billie was laughing hysterically and it all ended up okay but definitely not one of my finer moments. It is now known as the Gma Birdie Shakedown!! My niece Marjay said that she has seen that happen at Disneyworld on the last shuttle out for the night and the gkids ask for one more thing, so I don’t feel so bad.
That’s it for now. Wish I was in La Veta with all the snow and walking around in my Alaska mukluks!!

November 13, 2015

13 Nov

Just sitting down for awhile with my feet up and the heating pad on my back. (More about the back later) Denny and I arrived in Topeka on Monday afternoon. We spent 2 nights in Arkansas to see my Mom. She is frail but still gets up and gets dressed and looks pretty. She is taking Tylenol every 4 hours and that is really helping with all of her discomforts. She doesn’t want to eat much but still does. She is struggling with a hiatel hernia which is aggravated by the shrinking of her little body. She is still able to get out of her chair and walk some but she doesn’t want to go out of her room. We like where she is as they keep a good eye on her and sister Judy can visit almost daily. I had 2 great visits with her and felt better seeing her. We will go down there for a couple of weeks when we get back from Mexico.
We arrived in Topeka on Monday afternoon. First time here since July and Denny’s first time to see the house. We have a nice set up in the house with a bedroom and a bathroom in the basement. Now that it has been a year since Daddy passed away I was wondering how things would be. There are still some issues, sadness, but happiness too, some therapies going on, Elliott still drawing many pictures, but to have some more room has been great. I don’t how many grandmas go through what I do but Billie gets nervous about me coming and judging and fussing about house stuff. I try to come and not fuss but not too successfully. Then all sorts of other issues come into play for me emotionally. What can I do to help, What can I say to help, what can I do to not make things worse. Then my sadness hits full force. Luckily I have a wonderful friend Linda who does a lot of spiritual work. We talked a long time yesterday about letting go of the pain in my heart so that I can be here and be strong. Yesterday a very strange thing happened. Billie and Cade where having an issue and all of a sudden this memory of me feeling very unloved as a teenager (don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the best teenager to be around) and how I loved that once a year my Grandmother Betty came to visit from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I loved when she visited because she loved me a lot and would stay with me in my room and make egg custard. I would be so sad when she left for the year. Anyway that memory came roaring up from somewhere and overwhelmed me with sadness and wanting to be the loving grandma to come visit and make everyone happy. Sooo, while we are in Mexico I’m going to work on some buried issues and let them float away with the waves.
Speaking of Mexico, we are leaving Saturday afternoon to stay at a motel that will shuttle us to the airport at 3:30 am!! I’ve had to let go of wondering how that is going to work for all of us and let it just happen. (okay so I haven’t totally let it go) We did pay an additional $59 per person on the flight from Chicago to Cancun so that we can all sit together, 6 across, on the flight. I was stewing wayyyyy toooooo much about that and wondering how we would all be together if you can’t book seats til 24 hours before and….we would have to do it at 5:15am Saturday morning. KC is on a different flight but will arrive 15 minutes later than us so the shuttling to the resort shouldn’t be too hectic. Everyone is excited and Elliott is saying many of her Spanish words that she is learning in kindegarten this year. One outing that is going to happen is a trip to the Ruins which I will volunteer to stay at resort for. Trying to pack light which seems to be easy. The kids have plenty to do on the plane. It will be interesting how they react to flying. I told them they could ask Gpa Denny any questions about the noises so they wouldn’t be scared.

Had lunch with Jan and Marsha yesterday and very fun to catch up.  Had coffee with Shelly this morning. They are almost 30 year friends.

Wish us luck. This is a big step for Gpa Denny and Grandma Birdie!!

November 1, 2015

1 Nov

The park is officially closed for the season. It was a remarkable season and the best so far. We are still up for the next 2 years as of now. We tend to live our lives on the 5 yr plan. I basically work all year taking reservation which are already overwhelming for 2016. RV’ers definitely plan ahead. I did get all of the 2016 reservations updated on the official reservation book. It should be an exciting season. I have 2 quilt retreats scheduled, 6 art classes, another pastel class possiblilty and a possible square dance lesson! Denny has already emphatically told me he will not square dance!!! So has Dale!!!
Yesterday was the year anniversary of Justin passing away. It still surprises me the level of sadness I have regarding it. I can still cry just talking about it and I still cry when I think of Billie’s family and Justin’s family. Life changing event. So many friends are also going through the grief process; Linda, Jackie, Matt’s family, Bob, Julie’s family, Judy’s family, Marsha, Becky and Jack,…..
I’m looking at today as the beginning of a new year. I hope to spend a couple of months being creative and not focusing on what I need to make for orders. My “Pavo Real” (spanish for peacock) has inspired me to paint, paint, paint!! My friend is going to make a few prints for me and I’ll make note cards. Pavo Real is now being framed and I should have him this week. I also came across some shiny silver and gold fabric that I am going to use for my first Crazy Quilt. Jude Montano lives here and she is known world wide for her fabric art. Her beginning class is the Crazy Quilt and I have her book and DVD so I will learn that way. Also this year my friend Juanita and I are going to make a donation quilt to raise money for the La Veta Library.
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We will be heading out beginning Nov. 6 for about a month. We’ll be heading to Arkansas to see Mom who is not feeling to well. Then we head to Topeka for my Nov. 10 neurosurgeon appt. I’m anxious to see what he will say regarding treatment for my issues. Today I am going to start walking everyday. No excuses of work or being too tired or I have to make a bowl holder, etc. and I know that will help my back issues.
On Nov. 15 we are taking Billie and the kids and KC to Occidental Mexico for 6 days. We thought it would be good to get everyone away. The last time I took both of my kids on a family vacation was when they were 11 and 16. After 4 days of pouting and being bratty and frustrating me to no end, we finally got in the car to head home. I said and I quote “That will be the last f……. family vacation we will ever go on!!!!” And it was. Now KC is 34 and Billie is 39 and we’ll try it again. I know that may sound harsh to those of you who take these wonderful vacations together but I was brought up in a home where the parents took vacations by themselves and then the kids were sent to relatives for their vacation. My first vacation by myself was when I was 12 and I flew to New York City where my grandmother Betty picked me up. We went to the 1964 Worlds Fair, a Broadway play and ate dinner at the Rainbow Room. We then took a train to Vermont where I spent a month. Really, really fun memory. I am looking forward to this family vacation and think it will be good for all of us to be together. And…..this was Denny’s idea. He’s a great Gpa.
After Mexico we will go back to Arkansas and spend a couple of weeks to be with Mom. We’ll be home in December (except for a quick trip to Topeka to see Elliott as a mouse in the Nutcracker) and some of January and then we’ll take our motorhome to Brownsville. I’m looking forward to hanging out with some buddies while there and there is a pool, golf course and quilters!! I am curious about me and golf. I haven’t even wanted to swing a club because the movement gives me a 10 on the pain scale. It would feel very strange to not play again because it has been huge part of my life since I was 34. Denny and I have had so much fun on golf outings. Did you know I took up golf when I quit drinking? I also took up tennis.
My friend Sandi just left and we had a great chat. She lost her mother just over a year ago so we were able to comfort each other through some tears.
Time to go and get my walk in. Also want to visit my friend Dulaney and then I’m back home to sew and hopefully finish my last major order. Enjoying the Royals and so hope they win tonight and be done with it!!!