Wednesday, January 1, 2014


31 Jan, Fri: Two missed vox messages by 10:01 AM because Smooch Smooch slept.  And slept.  How great to sleep without being awakened by pain or the phone.  Ron (in SC) had a 5' high stack of recycling from the "formal living room" READY to go to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.  He finished the third proofreading of 208 pages, about half of Vol. 6, walked with Dick R. this AM, and explained punctuation, the use of comma or no comma with a compound sentence, to his WeeFee, his beloved SmoochSmooch.  Cynthia, with CDO (a little like OCD, but in proper alpha order), reports the plan to lose five pounds is progressing perfectly, although it is distressingly difficult to abstain from diet Coke; Auuughhh.  The rest of the wedding party is also losing bunches and is delighted to do so.  The WeeFee walked five miles in 72 degree temp this afternoon, stopping at the golf clubhouse for an early dinner of grilled Snapper, steamed asparagus and spinach salad.   Tomorrow afternoon Cynthia drives to Dallas (4 hours) for the second dress fitting, Sunday at one PM, in preparation for Rachel's wedding.  Simply too much driving (8 hours) for one day, so she will overnight in Dallas.  Tonight, the SC RonFriends are partying: Vince, Mary, Tom, Cheryl, and Dick sent cheery hellos from a very noisy Ruby Tuesday.

30 Jan: 12:01 AM vox message from the competitive Smooch, DETERMINED to win those critical points for the first I LOVE YOU of the day.  This morning he reports a scheduled walk with Dick  at 9:30 AM when the temp reaches 29 degrees.  The roads are clear of yesterday's ice.  After the walk they breakfasted at Lizard's Thicket, but favorite waitress Susan was too busy to talk.  Ron is spent the day proofreading Vol. 6 and found only punctuation errors.  Now he needs several answers from Kim-Eric.  Prayerfully, Vol. 6 will go to press in May.  Ron counted about  a zilion and a 78th 1/4 boxes of HIS stuff sitting in the Greg & Donna's formal living room.  The mix of stuff includes magazines & books that Ron rescued from Greg's discards since, in an earlier life (before marriage), Ron thought he might enjoy reading them.  SmoochSmooch will be greatly surprised if Ron recycles the boxes of old magazines.  (HA, you doubting WeeFee, they are already gone.)  Cynthia reports from Texas that the sun has been shining intermittently, but the temperature did not reach the forecast high.  Life is good.  There is always reason to be thankful.  Yet, my heart hurts over the Italian verdict reversal today.

29 Jan:  No satellite!  No internet!  No weather reports during Ron's sojourn in SC; Greg & Donna disconnected cable and internet during their "Christmas" in MinnaSNOWda.  (Hi, Dick, Please tell Ron the ten day forecast for SC: wintry mix today,  warming on the weekend, with rain to follow during the days he will ride to Atlanta.)  Cynthia will arrive in Atlanta the 7th during a predicted snowfall.  The traffic reports from ATL yesterday are horrendous; the  Atlantans drive on snow like Houstonians.  The airport in ATL is my least favorite.   Delay after delay.  Fortunately,  we will stay at the Hilton Garden Inn one mile from the airport, and the airport shuttle will insure that my "Precious Cargo" arrives intact.

Ron ate breakfast at Lizard's Thicket with Dick and Clark & Elizabeth; Elizabeth brought Ron some Dave's Insanity Ghost Pepper Sauce, since his stash of HOT sauce has disappeared.  Ron is is on the move recycling old papers left at the Gowdy's for the past trillion years (since our marriage) plus visiting Mary Lou, whose eyesight suddenly deteriorated beginning last November.  He dined with Clark & Elizabeth and Dick R. at Ruby Tuesday's.  The grocery shopping completed, he has food to survive the next couple of days of winter.  Ron had a nice nap around dinner time.  The recycling is ready but the center was closed today; maybe tomorrow, too.

Our 23 and Me DNA test results returned tonight.  Good news for the two's of us: neither one has  Parkinsons's or Alzheimer's genetic issues.  I do not have genetic breast cancer genes, but I have a slightly elevated risk for colon and lung cancer (still minimal); Ron does have male inherited baldness  (hhahaha; what a surprise!).  The cardiac/thrombosis risk is elevated, but certainly not news for his family of origin. Ron and I have an elevated risk for gout.  We have the same elevated risk for macular degeneration.  Ron has an elevated risk for prostate cancer but his PSA's are perfect.  Atta boy!   Ron has a high metabolism; now that is news! hahaha.   Ron's 23 and Me DNA family results are not completed.  Mine returned over 1000 DNA cousins with Norwegian names.  Uff da!  (Hallingdal, NOR inhabitants married second cousins; the DNA is puRRRRe.)

 Our Texas forecast warmed to the mid-forties today with 70's predicted by the weekend.  I will be preaching two Sundays in March, meaning two sermons to write. One cleaning project remained; finished it this AM.  I am mystified the Norwegian parish record books are missing from the upstairs library book shelves.  WHO would take four Norwegian language volumes out of the library?  Weird.  Sleep has been great once again, the back is almost pain free; the next ten days will focus on physical activity beginning with the 2.5 mile walk to the fitness center.  Ron reports good sleep last night, too.   I can't believe anyone reads this stuff,  yet, 1091 page views reported for January!!! The walk was 5 miles RT!

28 January, Tues: winter returned to Texas.  Wintry mix of ice, sleet, rain, snow means a quiet day at home.  23 degrees forecast with schools and businesses announcing closings.  Ron (in SC) is walking with Dick R. And petting Yodel (the cat ) while proof-reading Volume 6.   The internet is turned off at the Gowdy"s.  Perhaps he will use one at a public library.  From MN Ron's genealogy cousin writes that the temp is 50 degrees below zed with a blizzard bearing down and yet mystified they close schools in MN when it gets below freezing.

The day is quiet and peaceful; the Sappington database has been updated; now to format the book, the Sappington Spirit (Good Grief!  FIVE books.)   The Sappington's are included in my book, the Spirit in the South, now prepared for a second printing, but it will also include the new research from England.  The Sappington's database is very large beginning with colonist Nathaniel Sappington of Maryland whose great grandson Richard Sappington and his wife (Rebecca Jarrett) became  parents of all Georgia born Sappington's for 150 years.  I really detest formatting!!!  I can organize easily, but do not like writing the Foreword or bibliography, etc.

Good news via a phone call moments ago: the Hempstead property closing will proceed on Monday next.   The paperwork is in order.

I took a break to read a (tiny) favorite, "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson.  "I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled him down the arches of the years; I fled him down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind; and  in the midst of  tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter."  Of course the upshot of the story is He catches us when we have no place to turn only to discover everything we were running from and towards we find in Him.   Hey! Its not even Sunday!

27 January, Monday morning waiting for Ron's phone call watching white-tipped waves dance across the lake as the palm trees shook their heads in response. Ron RODE through the night to SC, "because it was warm and the cold front is coming,"  Is that a surprise? No!  Donna and Greg are in MinneSNOWda while Greg recovers from recent heart surgery.  Yodel, the kitty, is certain to enjoy Ron's company although he is yet to be seen.  Ron said he will turn the vacuum cleaner on and Yodel will come running.  Ron enjoys the SC friendships, bantering with Dick R. on morning walks until 7 Feb. when CFB arrives in ATL.   Cynthia sent four boxes  of her motorcycle gear by UPS to Don C. in Lithonia with her motorcycle gear; Don said one of the boxes was so large he thought he should check to see if she had shipped  inside the box.   While Ron is getting into stride in SC,  Cynthia has been working on foreclosure of a property she sold in Hempstead; Texas has easy foreclosure regulations which she did herself.  The situation became complicated when a buyer appeared hoping to transfer the contract between he and Cynthia; it fell through because the current contract holder cannot clear his TX corporation issues so the closing fell through and now it is back in foreclosure but this time with an attorney doing the two notices twenty days apart, then an 18 day wait to see if the current contract holder can find the full balance due.  Wouldn't that be nice if he did pay off the contract?  I am surely owed a trillion zillion thirty-eight one-third of a fifteenth percent in late interest.

26 January,  Sunday early morning:  Sunlight sparkled like diamonds on the blue Beamer as the golden orb arose in the eastern sky; Ron is rolling towards Tupelo.  The temperature is 40 degrees.  (Smooch! Be warm).   Two phone calls by 9:30 AM (south of St. Louis, MO) reward Cynthia with the news Smooch IS indeed warm, albeit, the wind is gusty.  7:31 PM phone call from Birmingham; temperature is 55 degrees.  With a Turkey sub in his stomach Ron is ready to ride on this evening while the warm weather permits.  Once he turned east the wind was no longer a problem.   Cynthia, OTOH is impressed with her day, too.  The closet/drawer cleaning out process is completed; BOXES of stuff have been given away, yet, her finest accomplishment was cleaning genealogy files/records. The records are inventoried to be delivered tomorrow to a print shop to be scanned onto flash drives, thus they will be archived permanently in storage.  The edits on two of the books are now completed.  Formatting will follow over the next two weeks.  YES!  She dun good!  Four books.

1.) James Lea, 1790 Caswell County, NC  (which one is he?)   2)  The Spirit Runner (Extensive Norwegian genealogy dating to 1100 AD, Hallingdal, NOR, the farm still in the family),  3.) The Prussian Spirit of Wagner-Schulz, 4.) Contemplative Bible Studies, "Living with Questions."

25 Jan, Sunny day on the lake in Texas, cool weather requiring jackets.  Winter is over.  Maybe.   Cynthia has accomplished miracles cleaning closets, drawers and files in preparation to move items into storage when the lake house sells.   Housing is selling so well; building is everywhere.   But, Texas economy is so diversified the ups and downs are not so severe as areas with narrow fields of employment or business interests.   The tech industry in Houston rivals southern California.

24 Jan: ICE in Texas.   Cars in ditches.   Businesses closed. Ron and Sistah Carol looked out the sliding door in the early AM to see and count 24 geese amongst the grape arbors. Such fun!

23 Jan, 6 AM:  Ron is awake and fueling with coffee.  We should get more activity soon.  It was 1 (one) degree warm this morning after sunrise, another "cabin fever" day.  Biological sistah Carol is educating Ron about his DNA charts, fascinating to learn that the charts over-emphasize the miniscule ranges that are used for genealogical DNA studies and slyly misinform since all 23 chromosomes are actually inseparable pairs, so the same area on my 8th chromosome matches my mother's brother and my father's sister --- only because that "one" chromosome is actually a pair from my father and mother.

22 Jan:  Ron and Carol spent the day indoors even though the forecast high of 30 degrees wasn't nearly as cold as the day before or the day after.  The two of us only drank two pots of coffee; we're cutting back.   After dozens of searches, Ron has exhausted the possibility that Volume 6 of the Colonial Records can be completed with information from the computer-scanned files of the Craig Collection.  Poor little Smooch Smooch was severely traumatized by postpartum separation; her brand-new, twice-held great granddaughter is leaving with her parents for missionary work in China.  It was just too sad that so many miles separate the comforting Smooch from the distressed SmoochSmooch.
Grandmother Cynthia and Abigayle
21 Jan:  Ron awoke early but so did his sister, so they spent the greater part of the morning chatting and drinking coffee until she got the shakes.  Sistah Carol reported that Little Carol Ann is quite a pistol now that she's discovered how to pick locks.  Lord help us when she enters the experimental phase of cooking.

20 Jan:  Ron finished shrink wrapping the pallets at 5:30 AM and slept an hour and a half in the back of the U-Haul truck on the Big Agnes pad with wonderfully warm down sleeping bag.  That he felt rested after so little sleep is a minor miracle, and he drank far too much coffee quickly during breakfast at Denny's.  It was a substantial relief that RoadRunner Trucking answered the phone at 8 AM (on Martin Luther King holiday) and invited Ron to come on down with his shrink-wrapped-by-hand pallets.  I, Cynthia, am so proud of Smooch!  I deserve applause, too, after walking 4.5 miles!  We are having glorious weather at the lake, but leaving the doors open wasn't the brightest idea as two birds got loose in the  house.

19 Jan, Sun:  Oh what a day !  The forecast was not far off, so the motorcycle was flashing a snowflake warning at 8 AM, and its temperature gauge reported 26 degrees as Ron rode towards Highland and
A barely visible blue heron near the green tree

Edwardsville.  Ron and sistah Carol are having way too much fun digging boxes out of storage; those boxes await shrink wrapping in the 17-foot U-Haul truck Ron rented for this great adventure.  I (Cynthia) cannot imagine his storage unit less 220 board games and every piece of computer equipment he has owned since its purchase 3000 BC.  Boxes of games were extracted from high, low, over and under; requiring much muscle as well as bending, lifting, and squatting.  Several of the heaviest computer boxes were the most awkward, being extracted from under a train table.  Ron is convinced that it is Herculean effort like this that developed the collateral circulation
The rear view of our lake house 
that keeps him alive despite TWO totally blocked arteries.   Cynthia, OTOH,  arose late, arrived at worship during the sharing of the peace so no one noticed her sneak inside. Lumbar injections worked great - she is almost perfect again.  Today... is a gorgeous but cool day on the lake.  ( Ron: I forgot how to wrap text!!!!  Is it like shrink wrapping pallets?  Not much.)

Lake Conroe - almost back to normal depth

Rachel's Bridal Shower
18 Jan:  Ron says: Briefly, Don and I are visiting his grandson Brent in Highland, Illinois on this chilly Saturday.  Brent was a lot of fun and a good conversationalist at age 8.  Forecast for tomorrow promises a good day to yank games & computers out of storage & load them onto pallets for shipping Monday morning.  Carol has volunteered to photograph the process.  Cynthia says: Rachel's bridal shower on Saturday was magnificent.  Holding new baby Abigayle was the best.

The Moon Rises at Lake Conroe
(For those of you unfamiliar with the familiaritywith which we blog, this is a personal aside that can be skipped:  Hi there my beloved Smooch Smooch.  I'm updating the blog as we speak.  I love you (and she replies,"  AWWWWWW!  My eyes are dripping.  I love you, Ron Beatty!  Here is the start of sunset tonight at our lakehouse; smooooooch, g'nite")

17 Jan:  Ron again arose far too early (5:01) to start drinking coffee and attending to his projects.  With 21 degrees forecast for today's high, there will be no walk and no excursions.

16 Jan:  The computer called this Thursday at 5:51, so Ron was up drinking coffee, checking the weather forecast, and typing.  Today was filled by another trip to Highland for shopping with Ann and another lunch at the Family Restaurant.  Don and Ann enjoy the card game Liverpool Rummy, and Ron had forgotten that he never wins and doesn't care for the game.  Eventually he remembered that his favorite strategy is to "buy" the discard pile frequently to achieve his melds although that strategy makes it impossible to win.

15 Jan:   After going to bed at 10pm, Ron was awake from 2 to 5am working on the computer.  Don's approach at 7am was quite a surprise, but the two of us joined Hank for a long, early morning walk around the farm.  It was only a bit cold and icy until we turned to face the north and felt the full brunt of the wind and chill; that cut the walk "short" in a hurry.  Ron and Don drove to Highland to shop for groceries and to print a bill of lading at the library.  Ron was quite happy with the library time and was able to print both of the needed bills of lading.  Although the library holds NO books about coaching baseball, Don discovered one librarian who had worked in naval intelligence, and the two of them talked for hours.  We tried the Family Restaurant (Ann's favorite) for lunch and were pleased that their salad bar was good enough to satisfy Ron.  Today was the day for Cynthia's epidural lumbar injections.  All went well.  Son Jon delivered her to First Surgical Woodlands, and daughter Julie took her mother home.  Children are life's blessings, and grandchildren are the best of the best, icing on the delights of life.  Now - sleep is imminent for Cynthia!  Ron, on the other hand, has finished shopping in Highland, Illinois for blueberries and bread and responded to mandatory e-mails, so his next project is to describe the sunrise and the ride from there to here.  Then his Ron Beatty web site needs attention, then he will be ready to look for the other four documents needed for volume 6 of the Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches, searching through 200,000 scanned images for handwritten materials.

14 Jan:  The night did not go as well as hoped.  Ron's feet were cold ALL night, so he did not fall asleep easily nor sleep long.  Yes, he knew the sleeping bag was old, worn out, and was not designed for freezing temperatures, but he intends to leave it in Illinois in storage, so it was his (inferior) choice.  At 5:00am, he was surprised to be unable to get back to sleep, so he arose early despite dampness, packed and was riding in the early light of morning.  WHAT a MORNING.  The sunrise was astounding, starting with a fiery red brightening the horizon, which gradually turned orange as the light brightened.  Morning rush hour in Little Rock was the only part of this trip where there was much traffic.  Most of the time the roadways were nearly empty allowing me to enjoy the scenery, my philosophical thoughts, and all the hawks.  Fortunately Ron misread the GPS and fortuitously took the circumferential Interstate 440 instead of plowing through downtown on I-30 with rush hour traffic.  As the sunrise segued past a truly golden yellow towards a faded yellow against a pale blue sky, the sparsely-trafficked roadway crossed a long bridge over the Arkansas River and presented the marvelous vision of an outbound fishing boat in the center of the river scene surrounded by streaks of reflected color.  WOW !  Throughout the entire sunrise display, the effects were heightened by the enchanting accents of skeletal trees in winter garb against the sky and by continual glimpses of water reflecting the colors from all the swamps.  The final hurrah was a faint halo of reds and purples surrounding the final white against the pale blue seconds before actual sunrise.  Deer were the wildlife of choice last night, but daytime brought out the hawks.  All day long hawks were hunting from trees, power lines, and the air.  Apparently they get very, very hungry when winter warms and dinner starts moving around on the prairie.  It was still mid-morning when the first waves of fatigue washed right through me.  It seemed peculiar that there had been no places to eat appropriate for my diet of no oil, no butter, no fat, no cheese; no IHOP, no Denny's, only Waffle Houses and McDonalds.  Chevron gas stations were also mysteriously absent throughout Arkansas, so Shell gasoline is second best, $10 at a time (for half a tank - 140 miles).  It was nearly noon before there was at a Perkins restaurant in Blytheville, AR, just south of the Missouri border, where I drank a pot of coffee and ate an egg white veggie omelet, one of the smallest such omelets ever, and at $12 for the meal, one of the most expensive.  My American Express credit card was refused by the Shell there, so Visa, second best, paid Shell, second best.  The Missouri state line is mere minutes later, so I exited to don a helmet and, since gasoline was 40 cents per gallon cheaper in Missouri, again tried to charge Shell gasoline using American Express and was told to see cashier.  I did, and she authorized me for $10 on the American Express after asking me (slightly nervously) to remove my ski mask.  All that breakfast coffee did next to nothing to awaken me.  As soon as I resumed riding (on that boringly straight slab of interstate), my eyelids again became impossibly heavy.  So it was a bit of relief to run under dark clouds from which raindrops soon fell.  Since the duffel behind me was full of papers inadequately protected from water, I was forced to exit the highway and espied a grain elevator with an unused, sheltered "carport" where I parked the bike and immediately laid down to rest.  After only a half hour Ron arose much more alert and "rested."  The rain had apparently extended only to that locale because the roadways were immediately dry when he resumed riding.  It was a puzzle that the GPS guided me off the interstate and across the little bridge over the Mississippi at Chester, IL to Illinois Highway 4 north (where a Super Walmart in Sparta provided bread & cereal) and a few tiny, rough farm roads through New Memphis, past New Baden, and into Trenton just before 5pm.  27 hours door-to-door.  Don and Ann and I enjoyed a pleasant visit for several hours before my exertions left me unable to attend to anything but sleep.  Cynthia writes:  The wet and weary traveler is proof the Boy Scout still exists.  An amorous, magnificent card arrived in Smooch Smooch's postal mail today making Cynthia a very happy girlie.

13 Jan:  Ron's departure is delayed a day - nothing unusual there.  He has gotten only three or four hours of sleep each of the last three or four nights trying to get everything, cleaned, organized, reviewed, and segregated into stuff destined for storage in Illinois, stuff left in Texas to deal with in April, and two absolutely full motorcycle loads of recycling to the Montgomery County recycle center hidden on Friendship Road in Magnolia.  Cynthia is still suffering with back pain for the tenth day now after doing too much for the personal trainer at Walden fitness club.  Obviously the guy is far too young to have any experience helping people with chronic injuries.  Lots more to say, but even more important is getting miles down the road while the sun shines.  Bye.  Early in the morning, Ron and Cynthia parted company without joy, one with tears, the other glumly waving good bye through the car window as Cynthia drove towards her doctor appointments.
Cynthia's day was spent at the oncologist who assured her she is  the least likely to get a recurrence of breast cancer, so she is freed from tamoxifen.   Her weight was up five pounds from the bad food we have eaten enroute home to Texas. -- SOOOO WITH THE WEDDING THREE MONTHS AWAY, Rachel is going to the same doctor tomorrow who uses the Ideal Protein Plan that Cynthia started today, hoping to shed 15 pounds by the wedding.  The best part for Cynthia was learning her body is 15 years younger than her biological age, solid, rock-hard muscle !!  Four phone calls later I (Cynthia) learn he (Ron) did not depart until 2 pm; SO NOW i know what awaits me in the house:  Flowers everywhere, the house is immaculate, carrots are peeled for my snacks, and the vitamins are bagged for morning.  (Before leaving town, Ron thought to surprise his beloved bride by dropping an "I miss you" card at the post office in Montgomery.)  After dark Ron calls from U.S.Highway 59 heading towards the Arkansas border (and Atlanta, Texas).  Ron has been surprised by the amount of water visible in the fields and ditches; it looks like Texas was flooded while he was preoccupied with packing.  He has "warm clothing," bike freshly serviced, new tires, everything is looking GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!   Oof and SmoochSmooch is ready for sleep... smooch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Today's route took Ron through the major cities of Trinity, Lovelady, Crockett, and Avon, Texas on various Texas highways and entertaining farm roads.  The GPS chose Texas Highway 30 for quite some miles, but as the evening darkened, Ron was happy to intersect a much larger road, U.S. Highway 59, because the danger from wildlife, especially deer, would be much reduced.  The relief lasted only a few miles a few deer appeared here and a couple of deer there close alongside the roadway.  Ditto alongside Interstate 55.  There must have been thirty deer on the shoulder in one 20-mile stretch along I-55.  Approaching Benton, AR, west of Little Rock, seemed like a good time to find a place to sleep close to a place for breakfast, so I exited the interstate and followed Arkansas highway 5 which parallels I-55 until I discovered a small church abutting a wetlands and woods.  My fingers were already showing signs of abuse, being painful when unclipping several fasteners on the luggage.  Maybe heated handgrips deceive me to believe my fingers are OK because my hands are warm.  (It took two days of Neosporin to alleviate the pain.)  Towards midnight Ron called Cynthia to say that he is near Little Rock ready to sleep, hidden outside behind a Pentacostal Church.

12 Jan, Sunday:  Ron and Cynthia ate brunch with Jon and two grandkids, Steven and Samantha. (Cynthia's deceased son left behind his two darling babies who are now college grads and in grad school.)  After brunch, Ron changed his mind about leaving today since the forecast high of 29 degrees for Edwardsville on Thursday was unappealing.  In addition, he prefers to complete several projects first.  One of those projects was to download our wedding pictures onto the SD card for the photo slide show picture frame that Walt and Pam gave us for a wedding present.  The current slide show has memorable moments over the centuries with friend Ron wearing never-to-forget clothing and shoes (gold-digger repellant).  Now Cynthia can watch Ron while he is absent - departing tomorrow instead.
11 Jan: more prognostication, better forecast, but not in Memphis or Joplin. Sunny warm day.  Recycling completed, nice breakfast with a Cynthia's daughter.  More packing to complete tonight. Ron rolls to Illinois tomorrow morning after church and brunch.  He and Cynthia will joyfully re-connect in Atlanta the first week in February.

10 Jan: rainy day brought the lake almost to normal for the first time since the big drought.  Busy day packing stuff from the storage closet to recycle.  Cynthia's back is not better, awaiting epidural lumbar steroid injections next Wednesday.  Sleep deprived.  Lesson learned : go slow in re-starting fitness training.

9 Jan: rain forecast.  But look at this cutie:
Abigayle with Julie (clone of mother Cynthia)

8 Jan, Wed:  Ron Brrrrrrrrraved the Arctic blast by riding to Wild West Honda in the SW corner of Houston at 7:30 AM.  (Cynthia exaggerates, it was a balmy 45 or 48 degrees for the two-hour ride, with a stop in Magnolia to drop off another load of recycling.)  The plan was to arrive at Wild West Honda before 8am for the 30,000 mile service.  In actuality Ron was just leaving the house at 8am that foggy morning.  The roadways were thoroughly wet as if it had recently rained, and perhaps it had.  Wet roadways always make me nervous, so I rode cautiously on my chosen route of lessor roads.  The scenic, foggy-morning bonus was the "smoke" arising from a sun-lit field which looked exactly as if a fire had burned there leaving a field full of smoking embers causing wraiths to rise into the morning sun.  In the last mile in Katy, a light rain developed so that the bike was sloppy wet when the shop got it.  The big surprise was that another low beam bulb had burned out, needing replacement, the third time in nine months ownership.  As often happens, Ron left his cell phone at home, dangling on the wall charger.  Ron stayed busy reading junk and working on Volume 6 of the Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches with satisfying results.  Cynthia was delighted that a property, which we sold on contract two years ago that was now three months in arrears and in foreclosure, will be purchased by a new buyer.  Oh joyous news that the new buyer will close next week and will assume the old contract, which pays us good interest.   Our Las Vegas guests departed at noon.  The house is quiet.  In Katy, the rain continued all day, and the prospects for a pleasant ride home seemed gloomy.  With Hooters next door, one would expect Ron to brave the rain, but he was too much absorbed in his computer project - obviously over the hill.  Maintenance was completed about 3 PM, and everything was still wet when Ron started homewards.  A mile later, the rain abated, but another motorcyclist took a spill while turning at an intersection; the rider picked himself and the bike up and resumed riding, leaving Ron aware that the roads are slick.  The roadways were drier and drier through Cypress, Tomball, and Magnolia until 3 miles from home when the drizzle resumed until Ron parked the bike in the garage, at which time it ceased.  After sending e-mails and updating this blog, I should go to sleep.  G'night.  Cynthia has tossed and turned in pain all night for five nights now.  She is looking frazzled and behaving like a zombie in training.  I'd dearly love to see her sleep soundly.

7 Jan:  Jayden's riding lesson, niece Kelly prepared a fabulous dinner for us with Lauren, Rachel and Jon as guests.  Cynthia went to bed early with ugly back pain.
6 Jan: Ron hardly worked preparing recycling while Cynthia and gang hit Houston hot spots during the day until getting together again for dinner at Phil's Roadhouse.  She was excited to see her daughter-in-laws expanding waistline.  Baby is very high risk, will be delivered C-Section about a month early.  Too soon for the sex report.

5 Jan, Sunday:  While our guests slept "late", we went to 8:30 worship at Grace Lutheran.  Ron is happy that XYWrite now works within 32-bit Windows 7 on both the Toshiba and in a VirtualBox on the MacBook Air.  Brunch with family at the Yacht Club.  Cynthia took Jayden for another excellent horseback riding lesson.  Too bad that the horse dust gives Cynthia a big head-full of allergies ... as if the back pain weren't debilitating enough.

4 Jan:  we are still alive.  That is the news of the day.  Jayden did an outstanding workout with grooming and caring for her horse, learning the movements for guiding her horse by herself.  Family party is planned tonight at the Yacht Club.

3 Jan:  Dr. K. Lance Gould provided his professional opinion that "We are still alive" and gave us good reports.  He is a research scientist who was the pioneer in using the PET scan for cardiology.   He is one the leading cardiologists in Texas and was Walter Cronkite's physician.  He is always delighted to see us among the living.  Ron's weight was 170..., but Cynthia does not tell hers.  Ron has made great strides to become heart stable.   The prevailing issues remain, but he can tell that he is stronger and has more stamina, and Cynthia thinks he grows more handsome daily.  Ron took Cynthia to the fitness center; she is a purpose-driven woman.  The back hurt but she stayed the course.  Ron removed the old Windows Vista system files from the Toshiba and regained 27 GB in order to install 32-bit Windows 7 for the purpose of using XY Write.  His concern about registration was for nought; apparently the former 64-bit system used the same upgrade disk.
Our guests arrived about ten PM after ridiculously long security - FOUR HOURS -  caused them to miss their flight from Las Vegas.  As their headlight swung into our drive, they were thrilled to see 5 or 6 deer in the yard.  Jayden did not see a deer with a red nose, so it was not Rudolph; Santa was not running late.  We chatted until the witching hour when Cynthia falls asleep. The adorable five year old has boundless energy no matter the hour.  Aunt Cynthia gave the five year old the note Santa left under our Christmas tree, the gift of horseback riding lessons; she can be a REAL Texas Cowgirl.

2 Jan:  We are off to the Clayton Library today to research, followed by an over night at the Rotary House in the Medical Center for our 8:00 AM appointments with the cardiologist.  Wonderful that the Clayton Library had three of Ben Rose's books about the Lea families of Caswell County, NC.  Now we know that the family Bible record we wish to have examined is likely to be laminated at the State Library in Raleigh, NC.  Road Trip !!

1 January, 2014:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Can you believe it?  Wasn't it just yesterday we were worried about Y2K and entering a NEW CENTURY!!!!!!!   Now, 14 years later!  Much has changed, much is still the same ol' same ol' and we are no longer the same but we are NOT OLD!  Cynthia had an excellent workout yesterday with her fitness trainer who called the set of ten body lifts, "Awesome."  It must have worked muscles that had been idle awhile, since she woke up this morning at 2:30 with back pain.  We went shopping today for groceries to feed a five year old for five days.  On friday, Cynthia's niece and spouse with their five-year-old, the great niece, arrive for a visit.  Santa left a note for the little girl under our tree with the gift of lessons to become a Texas cowgirl.  The horseback riding lessons begin Saturday at one PM.

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