Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February ends right! - On the BEACH

22 Feb: Another sunshiny day!! We hit the beach for two walks totaling 6 miles. Ron finished our Christmas letter and had it copied to mail. Some of it is the backside of the 2010 letter mixed with the 2015 and current letters. Merry Merry and Happy Happy.  The CPA has almost all of our tax records.  Another job finished. Two more days and Ron will have the bulk of his paper work finished and be ready to start more SCS projects.  The sunset is spectacular.

21 Feb:  Sunshine! 4 mile beach walk, 8 fishing boats to view. After lunch at Ocean Grille, we visited Barb and Jon nesting in their new beach house!  They picked us up for dinner at Steves Landing.  The clear sky is full of stars, especially Orion; it is quite amazing.

20 Feb: Rain again!  A special weather bulletin flashed a serious storm warning for a hit in the next 45 minutes.   Well, the wind and rain increased but nothing more happened.  The heavy rain is forecast To last all day.  The rain did diminish enough for Smooch to take a two hour beach walk. We rode the bike to Steves Landing for dinner at 4:30; it was wetter returning home. Cabin fever is the true test of a strong, healthy relationship.  In the dark, The ships lined up for miles awaiting inspection at Port Bolivar  looked like homes lit up on the distant shore, like little blocks of light in a chain.  Totally frustrating Blogger won't locate Photos to publish on IPad.

19 Feb:  The days are flying by. We walked to the Big Store - so named because it carries everything in small quantities.  A vendor hawking tickets to win a fancy golf car captured Cynthia's attention.   She bought 10  tickets and received one free.  The drawing is in May.  Amazing what can happen with a positive approach to life!    On our return we passed by a  tent on the beach with the window flap down. Nikkid bodies.  Cynthia walked quickly. Ron thinks he should go for another walk.  Steve's Landing grilled chicken dinner with baked sweet potato fries was muey bueno.

18 Feb: Lauren and Tyler, are beaching with us for the day.  Oh, what fun!! Mardi Gras officially begins today on The islands with several more parades during the next 2 weeks.  The Crystal Beach parade is next Saturday.  We will go into hiding.  Maybe we will go riding.  Barb arrived in time to meet us for dinner at Ocean Grille.  Without wi-fi we can't backup the photos to post on the blog.

17 Feb: Rain Rain Rain produces naps. Zzzzzzzz.  The rain continued throughout the day; the lights went out momentarily, the waves are whipped into whitecaps, the sun is peeking through a hole in the clouds creating a strange yellow light on the houses next door.  A severe storm watch is in effect until 6:00 PM. It is now 5:57.   Three more minutes to go. Good night.

16 Feb: The spectacular red sunrise was a marvelous sight to see before going back to sleep for 2 more hours.   A nap followed breakfast by Ron.  The beach beckoned with balmy 63 degree temperature.  We walked to Ocean Grille accruing 4.36 miles upon our return.  Ron walked to the store tonight while on hold waiting for Verizon to tell him how many minutes remain.  He forgot the code.

15 Feb: Departure at 7:00 AM -  47 Degrees COLD!!!  Return condo key, rental car and eat breakfast at the Toasted Yolk.  Ron has a Dental Appt at 9:00'AM followed by a Recycling drop-off and lunch at Pappadeaux.  The beach is 2 hours away on a very cold day.; we arrived about 4:30 -in time for a nap.   The beach house does not have Wi-fi.  Computer Communication will be limited to Verizon on Cynthia's IPad or to Ron's walk to Ocean Grille with the Mac for guest wi-fi.  We love this beach.  If only they had a restaurant that served egg white veggie omelets instead of biscuits and gravy.

14 Feb: Happy Valentines Day!  We arose at 5:00 AM!  Ron feigned a hammer blow to put Cynthia back to sleep so he could sneak out of bed; he had plans for sorting piles of stuff into more piles of stuff to pack into boxes to load into the car.  It didn't work; she didn't go back to sleep.   Fortunately, The rain was very light driving to breakfast; walloping winds whipping sheets of rain lasted about an hour hit after we were in the restaurant.  Cynthia was surprised to awaken from a morning nap to find her Valentines cards to Ron recycled into a new and funnier Valentine with kisses and more kisses. Aweeeeee!  After a late afternoon trip to the storage unit and dinner it is time to Pack the motorcycle bags.   30 cubic yards of recycling remain to be bagged,  "to hang from the bike to be taken to the recycling center," announced the Rider unable to conceal his delight at image.   Ron's congestion worsened; he might have a fever.

13 Feb: Pack! After two trips of stuff to the storage unit, the condo remains littered.  We exercised; Ron walked to the Point talking to Dave E.; at 3:30 Ron and Cynthia walked to the Fitness Center where Ron hit the elliptical machine getting his heart rate to 92 a few times.  Cynthia had her last session with Brenda, the fitness instructor, who noticed she has lost 7 pounds.  Woo Hoo!  The skinny jeans fit again. Weather tomorrow is disconcerting; heavy thunderstorms are forecast until mid-afternoon.  Cynthia complained about being, "out of sorts."  Ron offered to buy some sorts.

12 Feb: Sunday brunch with Roxanne, Julie, Eric, Haylee at the Yacht Club was a delight.  Jon and Barb had to meet clients, and Kiira was too ill to attend.   Eric loved the Norwegian trunk Cynthia had built and designed for his wedding gift.  Ron hit the elliptical machine for 45 minutes; it was just enough to require a long nap upon his return.

11 Feb: Rested, but departure on Wednesday looms like a speeding bullet train.  The Tasmanian Devil is cleaning everything but Ron's stacks of recycling and papers.   Everything will be returned to the storage unit Monday except  items we take to Bolivar Peninsula. We are meeting a Bankston/Rambo cousin and her daughter at one for a late lunch.  The moon was incredible.

10 Feb: A Rambo descendant met us at Magnolia Diner; Cynthia left early to meet Bambi.  Cynthia forgot she had fitness training until she was on the trail to meet a very, very tired Ron at the fitness center.  We walked to the Yacht Club for dinner to discover Yassar doing three jobs because he was short staffed tonight.  Ron got the Airport back up working again.  Jon could not meet us for dinner but he dropped off computer parts for Ron's next project: Ron is rebuilding the late 2011 17" MACBook Pro with a new solid state hard drive and quadruple the Ram because Apple quit making the 17" model.  Exhausted! We went to sleep at 7:30 PM.

9 Feb:  Today was the dayto sleep in  Hurrah !!  Oops! We awoke at 5 AM unable to go back to sleep. We are so overtired we decided on a late morning nap.  Deep into the doze the phone rang and we awoke to pest control people knocking on neighbors doors.  Ron has preliminary packages ready for a couple of families.  Cynthia is on a cleaning frenzy in preparation for the weekend Valentines/Birthday event.  Late afternoon we managed a 4.0 mile walk.

8 Feb:  90 Degrees. NINETY! 90 degrees HOT (or so the car said while driving on I-45 this afternoon).  Global Warming has come home to roost.  We started our day with breakfast at the Toasted Yolk and afterwards dropped off recycling that had occupied Ron yesterday (rinsing).  It was perfect timing to boogie to our appointment with Eric K., fiduciary, on Beltway 8 (thankfully no surprises there).  As we returned to the Woodlands the police stopped us for an expired inspection sticker on the rental car.  After checking Cynthia's drivers license and verifying that Enterprise had indeed purchased the inspection sticker, he let us go.  We go-ed ASAP!  Our next stop was the EZ Tag Store (well hidden in a strip mall) to get an updated tollway tag for the new bike.  We proceeded first to Pappadeaux for salmon, then to the orthodontist to pick up the new retainer for Cynthia (with a spare and a mold in case the new retainer wanders into hiding as the previous ones have).  Next stop was Enterprise to have the faulty sticker replaced, then Smoothie King to overindulge Ron.  Whew!  We stopped at "home" to change into workout clothes and hustled to see Brenda, who is personally training Cynthia for the next Olympics.  Ron's legs are tired from getting "Younger Next Year" at such a fast pace, so he only lasted for ten minutes on the elliptical machine today, AND the dumbell had to use heavier dumbells.  It is suddenly shocking to realize that we have Thursday & Friday & Saturday before seeing Cynthia's daughters at Sunday brunch, then Monday, Tuesday and departure Wednesday !!  Don't be surprised if Ron is too busy to update the blog until the following weekend.

7 Feb:  It is tomorrow in three minutes.  Waaay past bedtime. Smooch!  After breakfast at the Toasted Yolk, we stopped at the ENT for Cynthia's hearing aid but we will have to return this afternoon because it won't arrive until three-thirty PM.   The car is rented again until February 15.  And now it is a sunny, bright and beautiful day with the temperature at 78 degrees as we commence our walk.  Well! Ron  walked and racked up 45 minutes on the elliptical machine while Cynthia drove back to the ENT to get the hearing aid.  The sunset is spectacular.  Blogger won't let me post photos!!!

6 Feb: Early morning rise and shine.  After breakfast at the Toasted Yolk, Cynthia has a medical appointment with Dr. Eads and then we go around the block to the Neurologist.  We have to renew the car rental, too.  Medical appointments are on the agenda every day this week but Thursday.  Now nearly tomorrow, Ron is again burning midnight oil doing genealogy.  Isn't it wonderful to have a nice safe addiction like genealogy?  We enjoyed warm, humid weather again today.  The walk to & from the fitness center was pleasant in shorts and tee shirt.  Ron survived 25 minutes on the elliptical machine again.  He is working his way up to 45 minutes in order to be "Younger Next Year."  Problem is that he indulges in the munchies (pretzels) until the bag is empty, so his weight isn't dropping satisfactorily.  Fooey.  Now it is time to retire ... and get the points for first "I love you" of tomorrow.

5 Feb, Sunday: A fun time was had by all of the survivors.  Church was deeply inspiring, the choir incredible, and the elderly woman Ron helped out of the pew to communion was most appreciative.  We were late for brunch because the children's sermon ran overtime.  The omelet chef bought a new supersize pan just for Ron, and Ron devoured the supersized omelet with gusto.  He emailed the Friend package of 700 pages to now be placed on a CD for the buyer and then completed an outline for a SCS newsletter article prior to a similar SCS luncheon speech on May 18th in Philadelphia.  We ate a late lunch/ early dinner at Magnolia Diner before Ron rode the elliptical machine at the fitness center for half an hour and walked home.   We might be the only folks not watching the Super Bowl; Cynthia just checks the score.  Congratulations to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

4 Feb: Its a happy day in Smoochville.  Work is progressing on DNA, Family Group Sheets, and eating.

3 Feb: Smooch returned!!  Ron had a 5 hour ride from Denton, TX where the overnight low was 29 degrees.  At 10:00 AM he was partially packed waiting for Dorothy to arise - and he departed by 11:00.  He was indeed cold.  Dorothy said, "Cynthia gets you all year, and I only have you for five days."  Laughter is back in the Beatty home again.   Jon and Barb bought a beach house on our favorite beach; their closing is today bringing them great excitement to move in.

2 Feb: Ron had a good night sleep.  The electrical power is off in Dorothy's house.  In the meantime, waiting for power, Ron is outside raking her leaves.  Finally, he was able to reach the utility company to discover power was turned off for non-payment. The bill had been paid but the check hadn't reached them so their policy is to shut off the power after 30 days.  Ron vented frustration at the customer service for turning off power for elderly during cold weather. Dorothy is over 100 years old.   Cynthia had a fun day with two year old Fyn.  She was very disappointed having to leave that precious child; the parents would eventually notice if Grandmother sneaked her out of the house??? All children are cute, but this one is above and beyond adorable flashing her dimples.

1 Feb: This month begins with the end in mind; Feb. 15th we return to walk our favorite beach for the remainder of the month.  Ron had a good nights sleep - Cynthia wakes up hearing noises and cannot go back to sleep.  Sometimes it is her stomach growling.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Starting the New Year Right! - on the BEACH January 1st

31 Jan: Cynthia had an appointment with the ENT to be fitted for another hearing aid that was insured against loss.  Ron phoned during breakfast at IHOP.  What a marvelous day to clean and organize the storage unit while Recycle Ron is away.  Three large trash bags of clothing and shoes were donated to goodwill.  It is ridiculous to keep clothes one no longer wears or hiking boots that didn't work but yet they are like new.   Yukkity Yuk: a box of unopened mail was in the storage unit.  

30 Jan: Ron is leaving Cynthia to ride to Denton, Texas to visit cousin Dorothy for five days. Because we are together almost 24/7 it is difficult to be apart.  There's nothing like being in love at our ages.  Nothing!  After kissing goodbye at the restaurant, Cynthia was very surprised to see Ron parking beside her at the bank for another smooch.  She crossed the street to mail post cards and there he was again.  He followed her on highway 105 west to a gas station where she stopped for yet another goodbye.  He followed her left turn on highway 362 for another goodbye. Granddaughter Lauren says we are like high school freshmen.  Ron enjoyed the ride to Denton on this pleasant spring day; after visiting with Dorothy, he went for a walk and called Cynthia.  She reported on her trip to the accountant in Hempstead before traveling on to Brenham for the eye test she aced.   She said being alone in the condo with creaking noises from the A/C, the ice maker and a growling stomach is uncomfortable. 

29 Jan:  We enjoyed a joyful brunch with granddaughter Samantha and her best beau Adam after worship.  Cynthia cannot find the icon for uploading photos from the IPad to this blog.   Hmmmm!   Cynthia's FitBit Summary awarded her the New Zealand trophy for 8000 flights of stairs in one year.  We haven't figured out the connection to New Zealand.  Ron walked for a couple of hours without talking on the phone; instead he pondered preparations for an early morning departure to Denton, Texas to see cousin Dorothy who turned 100 years old in September. 

28 Jan: The new IPad Apple II Pro transferred all of the apps, data and features from the 2.5 year old IPad seamlessly. Blogsy no longer functions,  but the Google App, " Blogger" is an improvement to Blogsy.  The Friend SCS package of 800 pages might be finished by the time  Cynthia returns from her girlicure.  The 4.0 mile walk was indeed pleasant with sunny skies and a mild 62 degree temperature.  

27 Jan:  We are happy to see the scale finally moving down by reducing portions and extra workouts.  Braving the 50 degree temperature we duplicated yesterday's  trek to search for the missing hearing aid to no avail.  We walked  to the Fitness Center at 4:00 for workouts. Ron happily reports his  backache is gone. Cynthia is very pleased with her personal trainer, Brenda.  Bursting with energy, sort of, we journeyed to the Cafe on the Green for dinner returning home with tired legs. 7.85 miles.  

26 Jan: Winter returned briefly with 38 degree temperature reading.  Today began as yesterday's with early rising; we watched a gorgeous red sunrise as the color changed with lightening speed to rose.  The magical view was mirrored in the lake.   After breakfast we drove to the orthodontist in the Woodlands for Cynthia's replacement retainer.  Those little buggers are easy to lose.  Just imagine our excitement driving to recycling to empty the trunk full of recycling.  Well, at least one of us was very excited.  We stopped at Verizon so Cynthia could have the VZ chip put in her new IPad. Ron wanted his account on Auto Pay; we spent an hour unsuccessfully dealing with the new VZ security issue which doesn't work with Ron's flip phone.   Long story but it took another two hours in the afternoon on the phone to finally resolve the problem.  Still cold, we started walking dressed for Antarctica, but removed clothing as we heated up.  Unfortunately,  one of Cynthia's hearing aids was lost when she pulled her sweatshirt over her head; she was unaware it was gone until we dressed for dinner.  We had a marvelous evening  with Jon, Barb, Jan, Jim, Charline and Jerry. Ron managed to get the dinner check while the others were unaware. 

25 Jan: A gorgeous spring day in January - the trees are beginning to bud out. Arising early we breakfasted at the Toasted Yolk before driving to IAH, Terminal C, to complete Cynthia's TSA PreCheck. Our Recycling was dropped at Target and recycled cords to Best Buy; we drove to the ENT to order allergy drops and have the hearing devices synced. After shopping at Kroger's we slurpped lunch at Smoothie King. One more stop at UPS to pick up insurance forms they printed for us and we were home. Ron is almost finished with the Friend package totaling about 800 pages. Our walk wasn't as long today... but Ron made progress on the new elliptical machines while Cynthia worked out with Brenda. Jon stopped by with packages that included a new IPad Pro. We walked to the Yacht Club for dinner. Ron's order of Ocean Grille had bacon. That item won't get ordered again. Life is very good. Tomorrow is another early day. Good night.

24 Jan: The temperature she is a rising - 81 degrees by lunch time. The walk to the Cafe on the Green was indeed pleasant because of a good breeze. We waited until 4:30 (when the sun was lower) to do the 4.0 miles hitting a total of 6.6 miles today. The afternoon was spent trying to pay the phone bill; Verizon demands a pin code but they accept an account number except they changed the account number. Friday we go to VZ and have it direct billed to the bank. Ron is nearly finished with the Friend FGS containing about 800 pages. 7 more packages are in the queue.

23 Jan: Another Monday, another breakfast, more work on family group sheets for the SCS, oh, my! The weeks whiz by. The morning chill disappeared when the sun appeared making our 4.0 mile trek warm enough to take off the shirt. Cynthia is really enjoying working out with Brenda while Ron gets younger next year on the elliptical machine. Knees and back feel improved by remembering to lead with the right foot when walking. A large herd of deer was spotted on the walking trail. Our study book for the Forensic Genealogy workshop arrived; Cynthia is tackling it first. Sister Carol agreed to fly from St. Louis to San Antonio to join us for the three day study in March.

22 Jan: Gone with the Wind. That is, the electrical power in the church went out in worship likely by a transformer outage in the neighborhood caused by horrific winds. But we sang loud and joyfully. The traffic signals were inoperable for two or three miles, but, thankfully, electricity was on at the Yacht Club. Bill and Merry, Jon and Barb joined us for brunch. A fun time was had by all the survivors! Ron walked for an hour and the wind blew him back.

21 Jan: Morning dawned very foggy and somewhat cool. We dallied so long that we arrived at Magnolia Diner after the normal Saturday breakfast crowd. 9am is a great breakfast time there. Our waitresses there just ask if we want the usual; I'm guessing that the cooks know the routine by heart also. Now Ron will resume straightening and organizing. The goal is to put fewer boxes back into the storage than came out. Later: The cool stopped when the sun appeared while doing our 4.0 Walk and we really sweat. Winter might be over??? Ron called Sister Carol who is joining us in San Antonio for the Forensic Genealogy workshop in March, but she said she refused to fly. We are Hoping she drives into Houston to research Mechem records with us, too. Granddaughter Zoe is participating in the Women's March with her mom in Houston today. Now it is time to shower for dinner with Granddaughter Samantha and her new Love, Adam.

20 Jan: Montgomery, TX morning dawned cloudy and cool. After our usual breakfast, Cynthia turned on the TV; her eyes dripped as she watch her first ever inauguration. She is praying for success in building bridges of unity out of the ashes of hate and division. If the new administration is successful, we will all be successful. May God Bless the USA. We walked our 4.0 miles, drove to the fitness center where Ron proudly tracked 25 minutes on the new elliptical machine while Cynthia worked out with Brenda. Driving to dinner was a good idea because the torrential rain was like being under a waterfall. The rain stopped after dinner, the clouds parted to give us this beautiful sunset.
Shadings and colors were much more remarkable that this photo, but it is still nice.

19 Jan: Rainy day at Walden today again, but this is the rainy season! Ron and da wee-fee beloved bride were up early for breakfast at the Magnolia Diner and then drove to Brenham for Cynthia's appointment at the ophthalmologist. She passed the test albeit remained blurry-eyed under dark shades for hours. Dr. Beim gave her the cutest little cling-to-your-face, wrap-around plastic shade to wear. Cynthia's good Friends met us in Hempstead for lunch and a couple of hours of hearty laughter. We then drove to Scotts Grove, the family cemetery where Cynthia's son is buried. Ron worked on the SCS project while Cynthia drove. We haven't experienced the torrential rain and flooding seen in Houston yesterday and today, but the tall power line poles near Dobbin, Texas are leaning at odd angles from the water- logged soil. Once we arrived back at our condo we changed and walked to the Caddyshack for dinner getting a FitBit buzz 3/4 of the way home.
Carol, Cynthia (sans shades) and Sandy

18 Jan: Rainy day at Walden today, and Ron is up early (7:15 am) to work on the SCS Friend package on Cynthia's computer. Yesterday she dictated that I must clean up my clutter in this rental rather than return said clutter to the storage locker. Yes Dear.

We've been sticking to our 4-mile daily walks very consistently. Yesterday we witnessed a "river of deer" crossing Walden Road near the fitness center. Perhaps thirty to sixty deer running in a stream for a minute or two; spellbinding. We've also seen several big bucks with impressive antlers. (The stream was mostly does and fawns heading towards two big bucks.)

Cynthia is enrolled with Brenda, a personal trainer at the fitness center, for 13 sessions, Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the duration of our stay here. The fitness center has new elliptical machines. Because the new machines do NOT hurt Ron's knees (so far), he has decided to become "Younger Next Year" by pushing his heart rate to 90+ beats per minute for 45 minutes daily, the fitness regime demanded by the book. He started yesterday and will be ever-so-slowly advancing slowly towards 45 minutes. This is in addition to the micro-weightlifting he is currently doing there, again part of the regime. (You have to be retired to afford the time for this "Younger Next Year" stuff.

The dentist has taken impressions (and payment) for Ron's new lower teeth (caps). Cynthia is delighted with the improvement even the temporaries present. (See January 11 below.) Her pink roses are still pretty and smelly. Ron trims them an inch every second or third day to extend their pretties.

17 Jan: Montgomery, Texas: Rain provides us opportunity for inside work: Ron is hitting the keyboard doing FGS while Cynthia is doing taxes; then Ron took a break to do Recycling. Ron decided he is eating too many pretzels; a bowl of apple slices and carrot chunks with pretzels on top is now the remedy for computer driven munchies. Sitting long hours at the computer is causing munchie weight gain. When the rain stopped we walked 4.0 miles with Ron doing an elliptical workout at the fitness center. Ron hit the trail for an evening walk and talk.

16 Jan: Torrents and tornadoes are teasing Texas. The sun is shining at least for awhile. After breakfast we loaded up more boxes from the storage units to organize and return them to storage. The stop at Wally World replenished our groceries for a few days. The rain did materialize giving Ron the opportunity to wash the motorcycle when it stopped. It is just too amusing an almost identical bike is parked by the next set of condo units. Ron parked the bike right in front of his so he would be certain to see it. After computer stuffs we walked 4 miles stopping at the fitness center for Cynthia to work out with Brenda, the trainer. We musta seen 40-50 deer running cross the highway twice. A small buck was missing a horn, a huge majestic buck was visible across the path fro m where we walked.

15 Jan: Church was lively this morning with a little bit of dancing to the hymn stanza, "we are dancing to the light of God." Well, being Lutheran we wiggled just a little bit. Grandson Steven joined us for brunch and then to the condo where he received his Norwegian heirloom trunk. His grandmother commissioned the handcrafted trunk painted in the Hallingdal rosemaling style by Leslie Landis of Sherman, Texas. Steven was elated with the trunk that tells the story of his heritage in design and symbolism. Cynthia thought she looked very small; she is, but it helps to know the trunk is 6' tall. The rain was torrential for an hour or two but stopped to permits our 4 mile walkity. We had dinner at IHOP and a Smoothie for Ron.

4 Jan: Cynthia commissioned a rosemaling artist from N Texas to paint two (heirloom) trunks in the Hallingdal style for grandsons Steven and Eric. Artist Leslie and her husband Dan delivered the handsome trunks today. Steven will get his trunk tomorrow. Turns out the artists are hikers, too, he being the 42nd person to hike the PCT. We are looking for his photos on the PCA site. A great time was had by four hiking friends!! Cynthia flitted off to do a mani/girlicue before we walked to the Caddyshack for dinner. Ron was too full to order after eating pretzels all afternoon. We stopped to visit Ryan, a former wait staff person at the Cafe, now working at the Texaco Station nights.
13 Jan: With the luck of the Irish, we survived Friday the 13th. How can we be so busy and retired?? Breakfast at Magnolia Diner, cleaning the condo, SCS projects, walked for 4 miles, worked out at the gym while Cynthia worked out with a personal trainer. Dinner at the Yacht Club was great. We split the red fish entree and enjoyed two servings of sorbet for dessert.

12 Jan: Another trip to Enterprise car rental to return the Jeep for a small car without so many problems. Satisfied, we were off to breakfast and then the electrophysiologist in the Medical Center. Dr, Dougherty moved to 6400 Fannin. Her tech assistant is half Norwegian; she and Cynthia enjoyed a delightful conversation. Dr. Dougherty was surprised that a blood clot developed while on three blood thinners. She ordered mere labs to look at clotting factors; this is a test not done at the hospital in North Carolina. All is Weller than Well! Dinner at Pappadeaux,a short walk just the twos of us, and Ron walked and talked under the incrediblly large orange orb called the moon. Deer.

11Jan: The morning sun on the horizon is humongous and spectacular!! And we are off ten minutes late to the Toasted Yolk but ten minutes early for Ron's dental appointment with Dr. Anderson in the Woodlands. Two handsome men!! Cynthia sent Carol and Brother Dean a photo; he asked if Ron's smile is from the "no cavities club." Of course! Lunch was a repeat of breakfast. The rental car is a Jeep which was exchanged for the Nissan which didn't have a good operating key. The Jeep is not good either so we stopped at Enterprise to obtain something else. No one was in the office. We hit our Fitbit buzz with a lovely walk seeing three groups of deer: 8, 13, and 7. Cynthia made an appointment at the Fitness Center to begin working with a personal trainer on Friday.

10 Jan. Happy Birthday to son Paul! How good to start the day sleeping late with no place to go! The day is warmer, but gray overcast. Breakfast at Magnolia Diner followed by stop at the storage unit where we discovered we forgot the key. Boxes packed into the car, a stop at UPS, another stop at the dry cleaners, a 4.0 mile walk and we are good for the day.

9Jan: Medical appt. - 9:00 AM - Woodlands - after a yummy breakfast at the Toasted Yolk, followed by a trip to the Apple Store in the Woodlands Mall to learn they cannot add RAM, even if we bought Apple Memory chip, nor do they carry parts for our 17" MacBook Pro because it is discontinued. Lakeside Pharmacy was the next stop. We walked 4.0 miles and went to CrossFit to learn our strength has greatly decreased. Dinner tonight was at the Magnolia Grill followed by more computer projects.

8 Jan: Yes, it is still cold in Montgomery. Grace Lutheran Church (where we are members) changed worship time to 10:00 AM making it far more convenient for us late sleepers. The downside is not getting to brunch before 11:30; but it wasn't crowded and we rejoiced seeing good friends again. After brunch we walked a couple of hours enjoying the sunshine and a young buck.

7 Jan: Texas, Montgomery, Lake Conroe, Walden: our home for the next six weeks. Yes, I can post this now. It is 4:23am and time for Ron to return to bed. What a great day beginning with a lazy morning, breakfast at Magnolia Diner, then to visit a family who have been in Reunion since Cynthia found a young woman's birth parents for her ten years ago Monday. We ate naked cedar salmon at Pappadeaux, shopped at Krogers, walked the gated subdivision across from our condo and had to wait for a vehicle for us to exit again. About 15 deer were grazing on the grounds. Cynthia loves the pink fleurs Ron sneaked into the car.

6 Jan: On this chilly (38 degrees) Friday morning, we opted to ride the Hilton shuttle to our 6am medical appointments at 6411 Fannin. The staff there is always so very nice. Mary H. was quite surprised that Ron reported a new, transient "symptom" that concerns him; her words, "Nothing ever concerns you, so I have to really pay attention to this." It was delightful to see Mary and Dr. Gould both looking much more cheerful and less care-worn than last year. Dr. Gould did indeed pronounce Ron definitely alive and did not reprimand either of us for our 5-lb weight gain since last year. (We had good excuses: less exercise in the last couple of months since departing the mountains; no fewer calories consumed. Imagine that.) We stood outside in the freezing cold drizzle awaiting the hotel shuttle from 10:20 to 10:45 and were very thankful to eventually espy the driver. He immediately responded to my suggestion that he back up to the street instead of wait for the valet drop-off lanes to clear. (Valet parking there is ABSOLUTELY incompetent.) Consequently we arrive at our breakfast table after 11am, but the manager was cooperative and understanding and provided us with egg white veggie omelets and fruit. The light rain falling earlier had stopped, so after breakfast Ron quickly checked the color radar, future-cast, and the hourly forecast. The results were mixed but promising, so he shifted into packing frenzy mode, and we were ready to roll shortly after noon. The color radar showed no rain anywhere along our route, so we loaded the motorcycle to the amazement of the clerk "helping" us and pulled out onto the pavement. The first several miles went exactly as expected. Ron's hands quickly began feeling too cold, so we stopped to pull on a pair of socks (because his gloves are in storage) and then hit highway 288 to I-45 without incident other than a couple of traffic slowdowns to complete stops. The roads were only damp with dry "tire tracks" until further north on I-45 when we first ran into sleet, then light rain a couple of times, then a substantial rain that soaked the roadway for ten miles. Traffic turned that soaked roadway into a dense fog so that visibility was severely reduced. That combined with the chill water made the riding experience less than desirable - a definite contradiction to the flippant motorcyclist saying "Any day riding is better than any day at work." That too ended within ten minutes; it is amazing how many eternities there are in a 40 mile ride like this. There were several more minutes of ducking behind the windscreen to avoid light rain, but by the time we passed Pappadeaux the rain had quit for good, and by the time we exited onto TX hwy 105, the pavement was actually dry !! Instead of stopping for a meal, we continued to the Enterprise rental shop where Cynthia had made arrangements for a car. Imagine her relief to have an enclosed vehicle with heat. Ron continued to Walden, picked up the apartment keys from Dannielle, and had unloaded the motorcycle by the time Cynthia arrived. We next stopped at the storage locker to grab twenty boxes into the car, Wally World to purchase minimal groceries, and returned to the apartment to unload those boxes into our two bedroom condo rental on the first floor, which has no view of the water, bummer. No surprise then that Ron was a basket case zombie who went to bed to sleep ASAP - 8pm.
5 Jan: We are now in Houston. Cynthia is enjoying quality time with Sasha, her hairdresser. No longer will she have to wear "hair by helmet." Next stop is at Pappadeaux for seafood; they are amazingly good and can cook for our diet. Thereafter we check in to the Hilton near the medical center so that we can walk to our "fasting blood tests" tomorrow. Ron is ever hopeful that Doctor Gould's professional opinion will be that he is still alive. It was a bit chilly getting here; 58 to 63 degrees for the hour and a half ride. Thank goodness Cynthia has her heated gear. Crystal Beach is one beach that Ron felt a bit sad leaving; it has been nice to be able to walk along the surf at will. The first 20 miles hugging the shoreline was fun seeing the surf, the next 20 miles were relaxing and pleasant despite the overcast sky since the road was not crowded. That changed for the last 60 miles on I-10 and US 59, but seeing a haze-enshrouded Houston was quite a surprise. If we were near the beach it would be fog. We did run into sporadic light rain, but couldn't decide if the haze was pollution or low flying clouds.

4 Jan: Temperatures dived overnight. Tomorrow will be even colder. Bundling up, we walked the beach to Ocean Grille for lunch; Cynthia found a nearby place to get pedi-mani-girlaqued and walked back..

3 Jan: Ron emailed the 25 MB Clements package of family group sheets that has consumed an exorbitant amount of time the past month. A poor internet connection via Verizon has been the one drawback to this "cabin." (It seems SOooo very strange to label a house on stilts as a "cabin.") The sun was out and delightfully warm, so we enjoyed walking a couple of miles on the beach before taking ALL the recycling to Galveston's recycling center, conveniently next to the Target store. We arrived at the ferry dock just as the ferry was leaving, surprised to see a long line already ahead of us. As we watched that ferry pull out, the second surprise was that another ferry was already approaching the adjoining dock. They were running three ferries today, surprisingly heavy traffic both ways on the ferry for January 3rd. We dropped off the recycling, purchased pretzels at Kroger, and then dined at Gaido's Restaurant again. The salmon was much better than the previous meal of steamed red snapper. We ferried back mesmerized by a spectacular sunset that turned even more incredible as we neared our beach house. A sizeable swath of the horizon turned a vivid, deep red while the sky ahead of us (east) became astoundingly violet. We raced from the motorcycle to the beach for a good walk and took photos. Ron went for a second long walk & cellphone talk after dark.
Sunset from the ferry
2- Jan: Morning arrived with a fierce thunderstorm and high winds - drying out by noon. Our 3.0 mile afternoon walk to the Big Store was warm and pleasant; but they were out of the fat free pretzels. Returning after lunch we were ever so pleased to see the pretzels had arrived. We had a delightful email from a Genealogy/DNA Little cousin: background - Ron is genetically a Little with such unique markers he can trace to Dumfries, Scotland and the infamous lowland Clans, the Beatties and the Little's before 1600. Read the book, "William Wallace," whose nephew may be Edourd Little from whom Clan Little/Ron is borned. The beach beckoned us to a glorious sunset stroll. By the time we turned back the beach was nearly empty and the night sky sparkled. Life is good.
Afternoon Beach Walk
Sunset on Bolivar
1-1-2017: We walked 4.03 miles roundtrip to Ocean Grille for lunch with 75 degree temperature and a few raindrops; the beach is littered with used fireworks boxes and beer bottles strewn about. We fussed about the idiots not reading the signs... then realized they are IDIOTS, repeating our thoughts to a guy by the sign that said not to walk on the dunes. He agreed, then crossed the dunes. Jon and Barb returned to Lake Conroe abandoning us to our quiet lifestyle of computering. We really like Crystal Beach but being without wi-fi is not good. Even the Verizon signal is weak. Here is a good thought for 2017: Listen to your life, listen to the joy, the pain, and you will get a glimmer that your life is grace. Deep inside of you Is the Holy of holies. Listen to your life. Here is a good link to doing gooder in 2017:
Trash and No Litter Signs

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Merry December

31 Dec: Happy New Year!!! We celebrate the 9th anniversary of The Great Marriage Proposal that followed four months of Together. She said, "Yes!" surprising us both. Today the rains sequestered us until mid afternoon; Jon later took us out for dinner at Steve's Landing. After a glorious sunset we walked the beach but the revelry is too much. Fireworks are loud!! It is party time at Crystal Beach.
30 Dec: Ron arose early; the sunrise was astounding. Barb captured the photo. Cynthia slept. Paul and his family arrived at 1: 45 for a cold beach day. The ferry road was briefly impassable due to a gas leak. Cynthia was thrilled to have two granddaughters here for a visit. We walked the beach with 2 year old Fyn determined to wear Beach shoes collecting shells loving the sea and sand. With 28 years and 6 feet between the youngest and oldest grandchild we marvel at this perfect miniature person. Jon joined us for dinner and great conversation. Peace reigns supreme.
29 Dec: The sun appeared on Crystal Beach; so did the wind whipping the sand as we walked twice today for a five miler. We especially enjoyed dinner at Steve's Landing with Jon, Barb and her niece from East Texas. The temperature cooled off enough that we won't do a night beach walk.
28 Dec: Only 3 more days to the end of another "Terrific Year of Together." And we have fun. To say I love you is only the half of it. Fog continues to abound as we walked the beach. We looked at a beach house with Jon and Barb before continuing on our projects. Not having wi-if is Not Good!! Dinner was interesting: Cynthia ate fried shrimp, one teaspoon of seafood gumbo, two hush puppies and splurged on a whole pint of Triple Caramel Chunk Ice Cream. We walked the beach in the fog.
27 Dec: Crystal Beach, Texas on the Bolivar Peninsula east of Galveston: Amazing that we are about to turn over a new year again already. I'm not going to complain about time flying (beats the alternative; time stands still for only those who stop breathing.) We have very much enjoyed this beach. Hurricane Ike took all the soft sand elsewhere and left firm sand on this beach that makes for very comfortable walking - so much so that we over-taxed our out-of-condition bodies yesterday, and Cynthia's resulting painful feet made for an uncomfortable night's sleep, poor dear. Ron Continues to work away on computer projects that require no internet connection (since this vacation rental comes with towels but no WiFi. (Jon and Barb have WiFi but no towels.). Did I say dense fog?
26 Dec: Merry Monday: Christmas blissing abounds. Jon and Barb arrived to spend a few days in their own beach house so we walked the beach - a five mile roundtrip - to visit. Cynthia's feet are too-much-over-sore. Dinner tonight with Jon and Barb at Stingaree's was delicious. Home again, we are pondering how to improve Our Bankston website searches on Google: Good night from Bolivar Peninsula.
25 Dec: Merry Christmas to all our friends; and Ron to Smooch Smooch, "I love you, I love you, I love you... and never in my wildest imagining did I imagine that a marriage, a relationship, could be THIS GOOD." We were buffeted by very high winds riding to the family Christmas gathering at Roxanne's home in Houston. Ho Ho Ho!!!
24 Dec: O Holy Night! After a busy day of beach bumming, computer stuff, showers, dinner at Steve's Landing, the night is young, the story never old. May Christ be born anew in your hearts this night, too.
23 Dec: White Beach Christmas - God does "the light." After walking the beach we bounded onto the bike to catch the ferry to Galveston Island. Guido's Red Snapper was not to our liking. We ran a few errands then caught the ferry home.
22Dec: 27 Miles of beach - only four people, three golf cars in sight - making this very a very peaceful beach.
21 Dec: Winter Solstice: "There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy," (Ralph Blum). Ron made delicious omelets before we walked the beach for 2.75 miles round trip. We added 3.6 miles roundtrip by hoofing it to Ocean Grille for dinner, returning with a sunset so magnificent that we stopped often to look back. Ron is nearly finished with the Clements Family Group Sheets.
20 Dec: We ferried forth to Galveston Island about noon-thirty. It was fun to watch sea gulls, pelicans and even blackbirds swarm above the ferry. Ron has a new best friend with a green truck who invited us to visit. Two hours were spent in Urgent Care for a minor infection that wasn't. The beach was really lovely; many large ships were lined up at the port waiting for inspection. Guido's Seafood is the IN place to dine, so we did. The return ferry was loading as we drove up but so many cars were ahead of us we were routed onto ferry# 2. About 10 or eleven people poured out from a Nissan wagon in front of us to watch the ferry cross the inlet - looking like a frat party piling out of a phone booth. The sunset was spectacular.
Our nephew Eric and his lovely family (Carol's son):
Cynthia's sister Merrilee and grandniece in NYC.
19 Dec: Real feel of 22 degrees! The high will reach 48 degrees; we will not take the ferry to the mainland today. At 4:00 PM we venture forth with heated gear to have dinner at Steve's Landing buy more sorbet and some Christmas cards for Sunday's gathering. Ron will mail our cards sometime next year or the next. It is a plan. This is our 9th Christmas together. It's a good thing we like each other being together 24/7! Bundled up, we walked the beach twice today to get our fit bit buzz of 10,000 steps. The sunset was glorious.
18 Dec: Brrrr! Real feel is 33 degrees. This means 10 degrees less riding on the motorcycle - we really felt it when we rode to Steve's Landing for lunch and missed the turn. We forgot the heat apparatus, too. Our salmon was so delicious, so, too, the baked potato. Thankfully, they will be open daily during our stay. Despite Freezing cold, Ron remembered the Gelato sorbet that comes in four flavors at the market; four is a good number in large quantities, plus a half gallon of fat-free sorbet that was greatly enjoyed upon our return to the beach house, all By Ron. The beach house does not have wi-fi so updates will happen eating out. We won't try the ferry to the mainland until warmer weather. Cynthia's sister Merrilee fell in NYC today; a man nearby said he was glad she fell because she was a Trump supporter. His picture was posted on FB and is being shared. Merrilee went to the hospital by ambulance, checked out OK and was released.
17 Dec: Baton Rouge to Bolivar Island, TX (beach house) to 5 January. The temp will reach 80 degrees; we were spared the forecast showers but not ginormous gusts of wind. An interesting stop was Delta Downs Rosewood Grille for lunch. Waiting for the doors to open, the chef passed by; Ron explained his heart condition and restricted diet with the chef acknowledging the perfect meal. And it was indeed. The beach house is terrific, but only one fast food restaurant is open our entire stay. We bought a lot of groceries. Cynthia fell down the last few steps to the carport in the dark landing on her hip. It seems to be OK but she should have it checked Monday when we can ferry to Galveston.
16 Dec: Biloxi, MS to Baton Rouge, LA - scenic gulf coast with serene water views on the left hand and antebellum homes on the right hand. In between stately white columned homes are lots of lots for sale where the devastating hurricane made many a direct hit in its path of destruction. Don's Seafood in Covington was a great place to lunch. Cousin Pat will join us for dinner tonight.
15 Dec: A mighty cold ride to Biloxi, MS; we followed the gulf coast roads staying at the Hard Rock Casino because the rates were $79.00. Guess they like mid week guests because our room/suite is in the tower. Two bathrooms, with a shower big enough for a car. Black and white decor with Mick Jaggers face painted on the bedroom wall. The temp was a bone aching 50 degrees in the room.
14 Dec: What happens in Mexico Beach stays in Mexico Beach. We rode to Port St. Joe for lunch at the Sunset Grille. Lovely restaurant but surprisingly few fish choices.
13 Dec: Mexico Beach, FL here we go! And six hours later here we are; we departed Macon at a Kairos 10:00 AM staying ahead of rain, fierce funnel shaped black clouds, into warm sunshine on the beach at $65.00 a night. Gorgeous sunset, brilliant moon and Subway. Restaurants winter hours - open only Th-Sun.
12 Dec: WooHoo! 15 degrees warmer en route from Lithonia, GA to Macon, GA to visit nieces.
11Dec: More Colderest: Ohmygoodness! 43 is the high today in beautiful downtown Athens, GA as we continue descent towards Texas where we are warned TX isn't any warmer. Our arrival in Lithonia, GA will be an hour from Athens not bringing any relief from the cold. Ron's nice warm gloves are in Texas but his socks are doing the Job along with heated handlebars. We look forward to visiting cousin Donald, the Bankston historian.
10 Dec is the day we resume riding south, and the forecast is a chilly 45 degree high that day. I knew we were a day late and a dollar short in our flight from cold weather. Fleeing south IN cold weather is not optimal. Heated gear will be connected. Our first stop is to see cousin Vince and his lovely wife Janet. By mid to late afternoon we arrive in Athens for dinner with cousin Quint and wife Lori. We overnight in Athens.
9 Dec: More Colder: Ron's schedule didn't vary after breakfast with Cynthia and Dick except the temperature dropped during breakfast. The dump was open to receive recycling. The USB extension cord was happily discovered along with three slightly used Christmas cards, too, at the Gowdo's. The mending Tape was not found so a purchase was made, the pants are patched. Cynthia did laundry and has her bag packed for morning departure. Tonight the gang gathers at Ruby Tuesday's for a farewell dinner. We love our SC friends.
8 Dec: Colder! After breakfast with Dick and Cynthia, Ron walked with the guys. Cousin Duncan is joining us for dinner this evening at Ruby Tuesday's. He is such a great guy.
7 Dec: Cold! Ron walked with the guys and worked at the Gowdos. By 5:00 PM Ron and Cynthia walked to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner with Lizbeth and Clark who kindly treated us to the Incredible Lexington Christmas light show covering acres of park and river area. We walked the river boardwalk through lights and laser shows.
6 Dec: Rain! Breakfast with Dick ended without a walk because of rain. Ron and Cynthia walked the mall with lunch at Ruby Tuesday's and tried to nap the afternoon away.
5 Dec: Ron was up at 6:45 and met Dick downstairs for breakfast. Cynthia provided him quite the surprise by sauntering into the breakfast room before Ron had finished eating. But then, we did get to bed early last night. Ron & Dick left at 7:50 to join Clark & Steve for a long walk around the Coldstream subdivision. Much fun conversation was had by all, but Ron had to cut short plans to hunt for mending tape at the Gowdo residence because his "pill alarm" went off and he needed to return to the hotel to assmeble packages of pills. We thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas concert at Riverland Baptist Church with Mary. The75 voice choir, string orchestra and ballet corps got us into the Christmas spirit.
4 Dec, Sunday: The BIG day, fish and grits at Lizards Thicket with the new hotter than hot sauce Clark & Liz gifted to Ron. We can all hardly wait. We were up early enough to grab a quick breakfast at the hotel. (Lizard's will NOT cook with little enough oil for our dietary restrictions.) Mary picked us up at 7:50am. (Cynthia was VERY grateful to avoid the COLD motorcycle ride this morning.) Liz and Clark entertained Ron all afternoon at the South Carolina State Museum in downtown Columbia. Liz gave Cynthia an email address of a Norwegian friend Ron met yesterday thinking Norwegians might have a connection. Turns out the woman's uncle is Albert Quie, former governor of Minnesota, who is Cynthia's cousin.
'Lizabeth & Clark at Lizard's
Mary and 'Lizabeth
3 Dec: We awakened in Columbia, South Carolina late this morning and were still abed when my phone alarm chimed 9am, time to take pills (as required by the hematologists at UNC. Last night Cynthia fell asleep whilst Ron was typing/ researching, so in the wee hours of early morning, he is now apologizing to all you faithful readers for blogging so infrequently in the past months... and probably the future ones as well - too many fun things ... Plan for the day is to join Clark and Liz at the train club for a couple of hours [DONE], check Greg and Donna's home for a couple of minutes [DONE], and continue computer stuffs [continuing]. MaryLou Bohler has also deceased since our last visit here in October; she was a delightful friend who nicknamed Ron "Wild Man". May she rest in peace and be with her Charlie again. Ron takes this as a reminder to be happy to be alive and to enjoy every minute of life. Cynthia agrees: Life is good. Ain't love grand?
2 Dec: It was a long, cold ride from Hilton Head to Columbia, but the back-road scenery was very pleasant. Vegetation has all changed into winter wear with browns and grays predominating. Sharon and Don delighted us with a good morning of conversation and a decent breakfast at a local diner. Imagine our continued delight to have dinner with six of our favorite friends in Columbia, missing only Greg and Donna who are on baby sitting station in Minnesnowda. Unfortunately the interim has been hard for everyone. Tom and Cheryl just lost their newly remodeled condo in Gatlinburg to the flames; Mary's loss of Vince is still too recent and too cruel; 'Lizabeth's new knee is swollen and restrictive. The good news is that we are all still alive to "enjoy the disadvantages of aging", all except Vince, whose cheerful presence was too sadly, permanently absent. Ron again got busy with Swedish Colonial packages after returning to the Hilton Garden Inn. The backlog has grown to four or five now since he spent so much time in North Carolina working on Cynthia's James Lea book. There are just too many fun things to do in life - and it would be overwhelming on a daily basis if he were less committed to his enjoyments.
1 December- Charleston, SC is Cynthia's dream city. The open air market was very fascinating and full of too-cute items to delight the grandmother of a 2-year-old. Imagine her joy when told that they can ship purchases! And ship they did. After an intoxicating hour of shopping, we departed Charleston about 11AM, stopped for Ruby Tuesday in Beaufort, and arrived on Hilton Head Island, SC about 3:00 PM. Hurricane Mathew's direct hit on this island left tree debris everywhere. No telling how long it will take to cart all that elsewhere. Cousin Sharon is so much fun. She prepared a lovely salmon dinner with fingerling potatoes and salad. We had so much fun with so much to talk about until we are all exhausted. Zzzzzzz

Monday, October 31, 2016

November - Following Fall South

30 Nov: The Smooch Family is headed south from Atlantic Beach, NC on any road (likely 17) to avoid rain. The winds are strong, the 75 degree temperature is great, even warm. The rain didn't last long. An eagle was spotted soaring over us; we arrived at a Meeting Street Inn, a marvelous old hotel in the historic district of Charleston, SC hungry enough to go out for dinner. The Low Country Bistro gave us a ten dollar discount because they couldn't meet our dietary restrictions. Tomorrow we continue touring the city. Now we sleep. Zzz good night. We arrive at Cousin Sharon's on Hilton Head Thursday, then Columbia, SC on Friday for a week stay.
29 Nov. Ron arose at daybreak to photograph the gorgeous sunrise that disappeared when clouds appeared and the winds picked up. Cynthia edited files all the day long! Packing was Ron's game plan for the day. Recycling was another big project. We skipped lunch and ate at the hotel again this evening. Windsurfers were out enjoying the high surf and windy day. We. Are. Packed.
28 Nov: Progress is being made on the Reunion Files (Software for the MAC to organize lineages). Ron walked the beach to Food Lion returning with very tired legs, the left arm does not seem as swollen. Dinner at the hotel was surprisingly good. We started packing for departure early AM Wednesday. This hotel does not have laundry facilities. WooHoo! We have walked about 4o miles this week.
27 Nov: Atlantic Beach, NC working away entering research data, taking a break for a 3 mile roundtrip walk to Food Lion. Gorgeous but humid day. We worked on our files so late we rode to dinner at the Island Grille.
26 Nov: Only 28 more sunrises before Christmas. Ron walked to the store while Cynthia edited genealogy files that became corrupt through merging. Tonight we rode to dinner at the Island Grille. Mark 11:24.
25 Nov: Atlantic Beach, NC - a gorgeous day - 72 humid degrees. A morning 3 mile walk to the post office and Food Lion for pretzels, sorbet and popsicles with zero fat was mmmm satisfying. After several hours on our electronics we ventured forth to the Island Grille for dinner only to discover Ron wasn't hungry after sorbet, pretzels, popsicles and 2 bowls of fat- free cereal with frozen fruit and protein powder. We split an entree of Mahi-mahi. Our daily walk totaled 10 miles. No. we did not do any Black Friday shopping but we talked to people who did buy clothes and TV sets. Photo of sunset taken near Island Grille
24 Nov: Happy Thanksgiving!!! Thanks be to God for all things living, each other, our health, each other, our family, each other, and for you, our friends, we thank God! Our 17 year old niece Erika is in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City making big news in her home town of Edwardsville, Illinois. We watched the parade, delighted to catch a glimpse of Erika, walked the beach enjoying waves, sandpipers, fishermen and Cynthia found some babies to talk to before the hotel's Thanksgiving Day Buffet. Tryptophan kicked in. Zzzzzzzz
23 Nov: Atlantic Beach, NC. After basking in the hotel room sun, we were surprised by a chilly walk to Food Lion; the return walk was warm. Update on Ron's deep vein thrombosis: the swelling in the left arm is significantly reduced. We plan 8 days of work on manuscripts and family group sheets before traveling to Columbia, SC. Energized by a 3mile walk this AM, we were encouraged to walk 3 miles to our favorite restaurant, the Island Grille, totaling 9 BIG miles today.
22 Nov: Departure for Atlantic Beach, NC for 8 more RON - REST days. temperatures call for heated gear, seats and handlebars for the three hour ride in 40 degree weather - now subtract another ten degrees for riding in the wind. Our first stop is the Orange County Register of Deeds Office by invitation. The recorder of Deeds is most impressed with Ron's' map platting. The day promised no hint of warmth; even the chronic hypothermic Ron was cold.
21 Nov: Cold! Very Cold! 38 degrees - 10 degrees = 28 degree riding weather on the bike from Hyco Lake to Yanceyville to the courthouse and library. Cynthia was thankful for Gerbings heated gear. Ron's new friend Bill invited us to lunch at the Yanceyville Country Club. Bill and his delightful wife, Karen, from old families local to the area, made our day. They are so fun we must return in the spring on our way to Philadelphia. All of the Deeds we intended to photograph are completed. Cynthia downloaded the book, "Murder in the Courthouse," about a crime in Caswell County during Reconstruction. Our friend Paul G. phoned tonight from his new home in Tonga to tell us construction begins tomorrow on his new home. Paul relocated from Hawaii about two years ago.
20 Nov: Where heaven touches Hyco (Lake Hyco) the temperature dropped to 31 degrees over night. The sun sparkles like diamonds on the lake - embraced by hills dressed in autumn bronze. Ron is deed platting, needing additional Deeds from Caswell County courthouse tomorrow. Taking a computer break we pack in preparation for departure on Tuesday. Smooch Smooch thought our clothes should be laundered again this year. Sniff Sniff! Well, maybe. Noon-thirty we hikety to Dockers Grill for lunch. Ain't love grand?
19 Nov: Accu Weather reports 64 degrees and sunny. Ron and Cynthia are hard at work on the Lea book; taking a lunch break, we walked 4.4 miles round trip to Dockers Grill marveling at autumn in all her finery; during lunch the skies clouded over, temperatures dropped, whorls of leaves swirled through the air, water was whipped into whitecaps on the lake: "these autumn leaves, November, December." The Smooch Family News: Grandson Eric had a car accident in Ft. Worth, but everyone is Ok.

18 Nov: Life is good. We sure have fun together. Breakfast by Smooch was extraordinaire - and off we rode to the Orange County Library in Hillsborough to review Deeds. Orange County Deed Registrar, Mark Chilton, has published the first of 4 volumes of area land grants. The oversized book is exceptionally nice with fine quality paper. Lunch at Saratoga Grill is always a treat. From Hillsborough we drove to Yanceyville to photograph Deeds in the courthouse and took a road less traveled to Dockers Grill to enjoy the sunset on the lake. The late afternoon sunlight shimmered like diamonds on spectacular fall foliage. Oops! In the restaurant Ron realized he left his keychain and leatherman tools buried under leaves outside the courthouse (knives aren't allowed beyond security.). After eating a grilled chicken breast Ron returned to Yanceyville to retrieve the hidden items, dropping Cynthia off on the road to the lake house. Home again, home again, jiggity jig! Deer are out in abundance especially at night; 6 were at the corner of Solomon Lea Road tonight. See the road to our lake house:
17 Nov: Yanceyville today, Roxboro yesterday. Our days are short, with restful reading deed abstracts in libraries. Ron prepares egg white omelets for breakfast, but decent restaurants are not to be found. Yanceyville has a Subway and an Asian restaurant. A restful lake Hyco.
16 Nov: A beautiful note from a lovely couple we met at Balcary Bay in Scotland:
"I am so sorry to hear that Ron is having some medical problems. I read his blog every day and never cease to wonder at the energy and happiness you two enjoy. My geography of the states is getting very good as I look at the map and trace your routes. I enjoy googling the places you visit and read about the history of the places and learn something new. So you see Ron's blog is a continual geography lesson. So pleased we met you at Balcary Bay. I hope you will both be on the road again but please take care and God bless you,". Wynn
Thank you dear friend!
15 Nov: Still ensconced in room 4833: the attending physician reports the Hematologist wants Ron to stay for an additional five days and change Eliquis RX to Warfarin. We disagreed. Instead the Eliquis RX will be increased from 5mg to 10mg. And we were released with orders for Ron to rest during the double dose of Eliquis. The motorcycle was exactly where it was left in ER parking. Cynthia drove the rental car back to the lake house to be dropped off at Roxboro tomorrow instead of the Raleigh-Durham airport. Ron bought food en route. Plans post Tuesday are in ICloud.
14 Nov: Rm 4833, UNC Medical Center, Chapel Hill, NC. EUREKA !! After another three diagnostic procedures, the senior cardiologist said that Ron's situation is not at all unusual for pacemaker patients and that the best treatment is time to allow the body bypass the blockage. Let's hope the hematologist agrees. Since we are in an Oncology/hematology wing, they may have the final say about our discharge. Since today is rainy and cloudy, it is not a bad day to stay indoors. For exercise we walked more than 1.54 miles in the hallways of the Oncology wings. Ron is getting lots done to prepare for more Lea families plat plotting.
Will we go home tomorrow?? Stay tuned.

13 Nov, Chapel Hill, NC: Early AM a very kind male nurse from ER took Cynthia to Raleigh Durham airport to rent a car to go to our rental house and gather some belongings. The nurse waited for her and led her all the way back to Roxboro. An echocardiogram , a CT Scan, more labs, continued Heparin on IV, plus visits by various professionals took up our day. We were moved to a pleasant Room with a view. The Super moon is indeed super. Thanks to Jim and Joni for sharing photos of the Moon over Maryland.
12 Nov: Ron worked on NC Deeds until 2:30 AM because of excitement discovering they are on the web. We don't have to return to Raleigh. The library in Hillsborough closes at one. But Wally World is open so we can buy groceries and a compression sleeve. It is a gorgeous fall day on Hyco Lake. After a lovely lunch at Saratoga Grill Ron talked to Walt ((MIT alum, Dr. ) who strongly suggested Ron go to ER to have his arm/hand checked for a blood clot. We first went to UNC Clinic in Hillsborough who sent us on to UNC in Chapel Hill to have a venous Doppler (sonogram) that confirmed Ron does indeed have a blood clot in the veins where the pacemaker lead is attached. He was admitted, put in Heparin IV to test for clotting considering he is already on 3 powerful blood thinners to prevent clots
11 Nov: Veterans Day: Thank you. Sunrise started with a magnificent powder blue horizon blending into a luscious lavender. As the sun rose further, the fall foliage across the lake sparkled with burgundy and orange highlights. Vets Day means courthouses and deed offices are closed changing our plans to ride into Person County. Instead, we walked 4.2 miles roundtrip to Dockers Grill for grilled chicken and salad. The 70 degree weather was perfect. Ron chatted on the phone held to his left ear to keep his arm elevated. We spent the rest of the day working on the Lea book and DNA projects.
10 Nov: The ride into Yanceyville Library was very chilly. The Kendall Deed Book we ordered to replace the library's stolen/lost book arrived yesterday. Ron took 351 photos of the Deeds for map platting. Randall (a Lea/Lee cousin) arrived at the library late morning; we took a break for lunch at Subway - buying a foot long so Cynthia can have half for dinner tonight. (we can't go out for dinner because the driveway is too risky downhill on gravel after dark:thirty.) The electrophysiologist was emailed for a North Carolina referral in because Ron's left arm remains swollen - despite sleeping with the left arm elevated. Riots in 25 cities does the cause no good, behaving exactly as expected DT supporters would behave. Self destruction.
9 Nov: Hyco Lake - doing research. Today was chilly. Ron took a walk in the AM talking to Sistah Carol processing the election, a later afternoon walk to Dockers for food. The sunset was marvelous with two very unique rainbows arcing from a light sky into a darker, deeper blue night sky. What would the world be like if people listened to one another - accepting differences - not demanding. That is a democracy.

8 Nov: Hyco Lake - working on our research/computers sitting lakeside will beat sitting in libraries and courthouses for a couple of days. Verizon and Wi-Fi signals are not great. After a 4.4 mile walk (round trip) to Dockers Grill, we discovered it is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. There is a very nice young man in the convenience store next door to Dockers. Ron worked on Deeds lakeside. Looking ahead at our calendar, we have reservations for 10 days at Atlantic Beach, NC and a week at Columbia, SC to 2-10 December when cold weather will likely send us to Florida until Texas time in January.

7 Nov: Yanceyville, NC, the courthouse and the library are today's focus. The library genealogy room has not been organized for sometime. Ron organized the books in proper order searching for Vol. 1 of Caswell County Deeds by Katherine Kerr Kendall; it is missing. We bought a copy via Amazon to donate to the library after we use take photos. Dinner was at Subway. Oh my.

6 Nov: Good grief! A thief stole our week. On this day we sleep in, dine out, pack up, move out and move in ( to a lakefront vacation rental for ten days.) In between the ins and outs we will walk. We avoid news. Views from the lakehouse.
5 Nov: Roxboro, NC - our day in Person County Library was pleasant. We sorta/kinda enjoyed breakfast at the Open Kettle because they prepared egg white vegetable omelets with cooking spray; grits were made without butter. Dinner at Timberland Diner was... well.. made without oil, but zero ambiance.

4 Nov: The ride from Suffolk, VA to Roxboro, NC was indeed very pleasant. Upon checking in to the hotel, Cynthia was denied the customary honors Diet Coke. 6 Points were not recorded in our Hilton Honors account, but a phone call to HHonors resolved the issue pushing us into the next tier (so we are earning double points to the end of the year) and Cynthia gets a Diet Coke NOW! We choose Hilton Garden Inn because they make egg white veggie omelets and we avoid vendor breakfast garbage. Ron researched deeds in the Person County courthouse using the new tripod. Dinner at the Country Club Steakhouse was yummy good with zero ambiance.

3 Nov: Lewes, DE saying goodbye to Dean and Janina after an IHOP breakfast, on the road by 11:00 AM through DE, MD and on to Suffolk, VA arriving at 3:30 PM. The ride over the Chesapeake Bay bridge was beyond beautiful; the ride was pleasant, the temperature very warm. An eagle flew overhead. See photo of the rear entrance of the nicest Hilton Garden Inn we have enjoyed to date, built by the city of Suffolk. Our room has a view of the river; the sunset was spectacular.

2 Nov: Lewes, DE, Janina wondered if we miss having a home; we think, "Where we are doesn't matter, because we are." (Ron kissed the bride). The left arm and hand has been swollen the past three days; the electrophysiologist emailed a response to the photos, "This doesn't sound acute, try sleeping differently." A great 4.5 mile hike took us past 7 turtles lined up in a row, a dead, baby snake, and through a lovely canopy of trees. Dinner tonight was at Jake's Seafood; afterwards Dean showed us a video of a triathlon he won and another video their trip to Santorini, Greece.
1 Nov: Dewey Beach, Delaware visiting bro Dean and wife Janina; we enjoyed hiking through Ft. Miles followed by dinner at The Big Fish Grill. Carol was on a speaker phone giving instruction while we looked at chromosomes.