Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Winds

31 Mar:   Hmm, what did we do two days ago.  Breakfast at Toasted Yolk?  Hike??  Good Lord, we've moved into another month while I wasn't watching.  New Post ahoy.

30 Mar, Sun:  7:28 AM - One of us did not think we would make it to church on time. The true optimist swiftly showered, dressed and chortled, "We still have ten minutes before we have to leave for church."   Glad we did make it; the sermon by  Rev. Blair Lundborg, a long-time colleague of Cynthia's from the Brenham area, was terrific.  We ate too much at the Yacht Club Brunch.  Ron accidentally ate a whole herd of scones.  The "fat gram policewoman" erred; it is NOT low fat, it is low sugar.  My BAD.  Ron wrapped up the most recent edits to Vol. 6 and whisked it off to DropBox, worked on James Lea and mopped a floor.   He must really like married life.  AMEN.  

29 Mar:  What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was hot & humid, and thunderstorms blew through before dark followed by a chill wind.  No more humidity now.   The lake is placid, bright blue sky, sunshine sparkling on the water.  No more Diet Coca Cola in the house = we must go shopping.  Ron did not make carrot, asparagus, and mushroom omelets; the brunch at Walden's Caddy Shack was fine, and we finally met chef Oscar.  More recycling, more James Lea, and more vacuuming.  Now time for Vol. 6.

28 Mar:  Montgomery, TX, 5 AM start to the day for Ron.  Now that the blog is updated, James Lea calls.  The Big Y DNA test results for Cynthia's son Jon are due today; the order, placed early November as part of a special introduction to a new breakthrough test, has had many glitches.  Sistah Carol is working diligently gathering the family's autosomal DNA; she even coaxed a cheek swab from Aunt Eleanor.  Cynthia's two maternal aunts have tested along with her son and cousins from different family lines.  If a match occurs with Cynthia and not her maternal aunts the match is to her paternal Norwegian line.  If son Jon has a match not matching Cynthia it belongs to Jon's paternal Norwegian side.  We walked 4.5 miles RT to the fitness center with a stop for dinner on the "Green" and watched a golfer killing golfs with his chipper.  By the time we walked the rest of the way home the temperature had dropped, wind increased and the sky became  dark and foreboding.  Looking across the lake from the living room,  lightning displays are visible across the sky amidst loud thunder rolls.  The first photo below doesn't capture how eerie the clouds on the horizon.  The storm passed quickly followed by an Aha!  A double rainbow appeared with luscious intense colors followed by a spectacular sunset.
Approaching Storm

Double Rainbow After the Storm
The colors in the rainbow are awesome

Light Changes After Storm

Sunset After the Storm

27 Mar:  With the drive looking so grand Ron is certain that the third house hunter to see the house will buy immediately.  Lake Conroe, the Woodlands, etc. are in a real estate boom; it is the fastest growing area of Texas.  New homes are going up all over Walden, and the inventory of houses for sale is depleted.  The luxury homes market is just beginning to be impacted.  We started the day with Ron's omelets to fuel a full day of housework.  After dishes and recycling, Ron busied himself rendering the huge wall o' windows transparently spotless, followed by vacuuming downstairs.  It is a cloudy day with thunderstorms forecast, so we opted to drive to the fitness center to work out.  The storms missed us north and south, but we did get enough rain to wash our pine pollen into streaks and puddles.  After dark but before dinner, Ron was able to locate several e-mails relative to Volume 6 proofreading.  (For us, dinner is usually 5 PM - long before dark.)  It has been a peaceful day; tonight we dine with Ruth and Casey.  Casey plans to expand his Purteq business here after doing such a spectacular job on the driveway.

26 Mar:  Being "lazy" we decided to drive to Toasted Yolk on the way to the library to request inter-library loan in person.  Immediately after breakfast pure serendipity prevailed, and Dr. Douglas's office called to say Cynthia's sublingual allergy drops were ready.  Afterwards we shopped at HEB for bread-making provisions and found a cute little pint of Dulces de Leches for Cynthia.   Ron did a marvelous job of cleaning the spoon and the inside of the container.  We have moved on to important (and needed) housecleaning so the house can now be shown again.  Ron washed windows with water and a squeegee as a first step and vacuumed upstairs.  The landscapers arrived to trim trees, plants, clean and mulch the beds for spring plantings.  Cynthia is researching lodging for next year on the East coast.  How can two retired people be so busy?

25 Mar:  We seem to have lost a day.  Fortunately we both slept well last night.  Now I am drinking coffee while Cynthia pounds away on her IPad.  The exciting news for the day (exciting to genealogists) is that the Wilson Library (UNC Chapel Hill, NC) will send microfilm reels 1 and 2 of the Herndon Haralson Diary to our local library through inter-library loan.

24 Mar:  Up "early" and out the door to the allergy tests.  Dr. Franklin Douglas is wonderfully clear and attentive, too bad Cynthia's hearing is so poor that she didn't hear him.  It woulda helped if the battery door of her hearing aid had been shut.  Fortunately her human hearing aid was providing said aid.  Cynthia is mildly allergic to EVERYTHING (and that certainly includes Ron).  (He is hilarious!) She can eating allergy drops when the concoctors deliver finished product.  We breakfasted afterwards at the Toasted Yolk, our favorite omelet nearby.  The twos of us walked to the fitness center & back.  Ron called his friend Beanie and was very upset to hear that her kidney transplant has been postponed, perhaps for two years, because her pre-op physical discovered melanoma, one of which had metastasized.   There is hope for re-consideration since the margins were clear after the dermatologist dug the melanomas out.  Poor little SmoochSmooch fell asleep ASAP in the evening, before Ron finished with pills, salt water gargle, cereal, etc.  We like to leave the sleeping girlie lie, so Ron hunted through e-mail past for two hours looking for edits to Vol. 6 and discovered that it was not "my bad" so much because the proofreader waited 6 months before sending edits, and the subject line was nonsense.

23 Mar, Sun: We awoke in Waller, TX and thought that the first service started at 8:30 AM, so we arrived at the church at 7:55, expecting to have a half hour to get ready. Imagine our surprise to find that the service started at 8 AM, so Cynthia was a bit rattled as she delivered the first sermon.   The second sermon was flawless, and I was so very proud of mee WeeFee, her High Holiness. Evelyn and Wayne were delights, Pastor Ed was very good, Samantha, Jacoby and son were a joy to behold, and it was a pleasure to enjoy breakfast at La Madeline with Roxanne and Jon. Late afternoon the Smooches went for a long walk to the fitness center that emphasized the disadvantages of walking on concrete; Cynthia's feet became "tired," and Ron's knee hurts.

22 Mar: 6 AM on Lake Conroe in Montgomery, TX, Ron is again up to his ears editing. One proofreader has already replied, insulted that his few suggested changes to a biographical sketch in the introduction haven't been incorporated. My bad, in the rush to DropBox, I forgot to search my e-mails for those. Now that the blog is updated, time to send a Smooch-mail. Recycling preparations and house "clearing" came to an end at 3 PM when Cynthia and Casey arrived. Cynthia was SOoo relieved to find that the driveway actually looks GREAT; it does not look orange.   Casey was SOoo relieved to hear that she was happy. I was amazed that one little color picture could cause such turmoil and decided to only post Black & White from now on. We drove to Perry's to pick up dinner and to Julie's. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Julie and was delighted to see Eric again. (Cynthia is still AMAZED that his biceps are bigger than her thighs; he has been working out a lot.) After a very pleasant dinner, we smooches toddled off to the most luxurious lodging in Waller, TX, the Holiday Inn.

21 Mar: Awake at 5:30, unable to get back to sleep, our hero is again editing the same sentences within James Lea, seeking to further improve the reading thereof. WoW, is there ever a heavy fog on the lake. Around noon Casey took me to lunch at Phil's Roadhouse. Normally Cynthia posts all the pictures to the blog, but this time I figure to surprise her with a picture of the completed driveway. Unfortunately, the driveway in the picture looked "orange" to Cynthia, and my cellphone somehow turned itself off without my permission so that she was unable to reach me. My eyes don't see any orange, and the picture looks fine to me. Vol. 6 is finally uploaded to DropBox and an e-mail sent to the proofreaders. Eureka. Before dark and bedtime, Ron straighted up the house and consolidated recycling preparing for recycling tomorrow.

20 Mar: For the first time in a week, Cynthia awoke feeling rested and somewhat energetic. Sadly Smooch and Smoochie separated at 7:30 AM so that Cynthia could take her daughter Julie to a medical appointment. Gladly they will be reunited Saturday afternoon for an exciting trip together to recycling in Magnolia. Da Rev. Cynthia is working on her sermon as a guest pastor in Waller on Sunday soon. Ron hopes that he is not the target of the sermon; he drank coffee, washed dishes, trimmed flowers, copied 1099 & W-2 tax forms, and finished drafts of the Intro, Appendix and Conclusions for James Lea. Now it is time to start consolidating recycling and straightening the house. Soon after the driveway is finished, the house needs to be presentable for houseguests and attractive to prospective buyers. The driveway stain improves the appearance immeasurably, thanks to Casey, Alan, Rooster and the fisherman. (He caught a good sized bass, and I shoulda taken a picture for the slideshow, but he released the bass, and the picture got away.) Ron's finale for the day was to walk to the school and recycle paper into the PaperRetriever. As a special treat, in the absence of his missus, Ron enjoyed a pleasant nights sleep outdoors on the patio.

19 March: The croupy cough still disturbed Cynthia's sleep, but less that previously. After the executive chose the color stain for the driveway, we were free to eat breakfast at the Toasted Yolk. Despite having errands to run, we chose to research James Lee at the Montgomery County Central Library since we were very close to it. En route, Ron divorced the IPad because it's GPS directed us to the Montgomery County Airport, ignoring our request to go to the Montgomery County Library. Da--ed thing "helped" us turn a 1/2 mile stroll into a 20 mile drive. We enjoyed a successful afternoon at the library followed by dinner of Texas Redfish at Pappadeaux. Cynthia was quite shocked to complete all of the errands after 5pm on the way home; she retrieved sunglasses at Jeff's Jewelry, deposited a check in the bank, sent a package with FedEx, and filled the car with gas. During our absence, Ron's annual box of mail arrived from Kansas filled with financial statements and a few letters. Good thing they don't need answers to questions.

18 Mar:  The Mrs. slept well this evening, Thank God.  Ron is up at 4 AM to work on James Lea and perhaps finish the Introduction.   And the Mrs. awoke feeling improved, albeit not well, yet the terrible cough has dissipated thanks to the breathing treatments and antibiotics.  The Mr. is a devoted caregiver;  this morning's question, "What constitutes for better or worse?"   Casey's crew is sealing the stone walls, patios and flagstone in the driveway.  Tomorrow Casey will seal and stain the drive itself.   The color on the cobblestones and flagstone is bright with a permanent wet look.

17 Mar:  Another night of racking coughs for poor Cynthia.  Still, we are thankful that it is not any worse.   Ron is up to work on James Lea for an hour or two while awaiting his beloved SmoochSmooch.  It is quite cold (for us: 42 degrees) this morning and windy (15 to 20 mph), so we did stay indoors.  Late morning Cynthia's diagnosis from the ENT was bronchial pneumonia; this is the fourth winter for the bugger to appear as the result of initial allergies.  Interesting that she has been on antibiotics for ten days and it worsened.   Plan is to be allergy tested and carry selfies.   RX was a shot of sulfa, oral powerhouse antibiotics, two inhalers.  Casey power-washed the stone for the last time before applying the sealer on Wed and Thursday.   May St Patrick be celebrated!!  We've finished about six paragraphs of James Lea; looks like this will take a while.  Ron finished index comparisons on Vol. 6 and set it aside until tomorrow for the final additions and index insertion.  "Final" slide show of sunrises, sunsets, and duckies on the lake occupied his evening hours, and that is here at

16 Mar, Sun:  Ron is up early at 5 AM, trying to leave Cynthia asleep undisturbed since she was not sleeping well at midnight because of occasional sciatica.  Her "cold" has developed a croupy cough that interferes with sleep, poor thing.  Vol. 6 calls, but duty requires that I work on James Lea until Cynthia awakens (which happened with my help at 7AM).  The vivid lightning and fearsome thunder was impressive at 6:30, so the computers and TV were unplugged before Cynthia's sleep was disturbed, as requested, at 7 AM (for church).  Despite her clogged head, church beckoned strongly, so we got up and got going quickly, especially after discovering that, after the brief power outage "yesterday," the bedroom clock had been reset 15 minutes slow.  Pastor Lorin's last Sunday sermon was weepy and compelling.  He and his wife are moving to Oregon; he will be sorely missed here.  Since the thunder storms ceased about 8 AM, we wondered if Casey and crew would work on stone repairs today.  Indeed they were industriously working away when we arrived home from a good breakfast at I-Hop.  (Seems like the new manager at IHOP has indeed improved everything, although we missed our buddy Zack.)  Now that James Lea is in Cynthia's hands for the day, Ron is back to work on Vol. 6.  It was a windy day, so we simply stayed indoors and worked most of the day.  Casey's crew finished resetting the stone wall of the patio and completed grouting the flagstone in the driveway.  The improvement is substantial with more to come.  The winds were so strong that a blue heron capsized in the wind and landed in the drink right outside our picture window.

15 Mar: (The Ides of March), Sat:  Our noontime walk was shortened drastically when the rain started coming down.  No surprise, it was forecast, but the color radar didn't look so bad.  So we are house bound for the day, working on projects.  Since Ron prefers to have a rain assist when he washes the motorcycle, it is nearly done now, waiting for dry to dry before garaging it for the night.  Another early morning for Ron, who began editing Cynthia's James Lea volume.  Bye; it is time to wrap up Vol. 6 before sending it to the delinquent proofreaders.

14 Mar:  Already?  Time does indeed fly.  Ron is up at 5:30 to get busy on Vol. 6, but first thought it best to deliver an early morning Smooch to Cynthia, hidden here on the blog for all the world to see. Today we decided to hike the Lone Star Trail in the Sam Houston Nat'l Forest close-by.  The trail was quite acceptable, especially since Ron had done his research and knew to bring clippers.  (He is now sporting a brand-new little blister on his right-hand index finger.)

13 Mar:  Ron rode the motorcycle to the BMW dealer for service opposite the spectacular sunrise;  Cynthia is enjoying a GIRL DAY to celebrate "I Been Good".  That ride was surprisingly cold at first, 39 degrees, but warmed rapidly to 52 degrees by the end of the 60-mile trip.  Ron took his computer and some of the home-made bread since the snack machines don't carry low fat snacks like carrot sticks.  My most intimate friends know that I NEVER buy new clothing, but Cynthia needs a new rain jacket for riding, and Wild West Honda carries Tourmaster riding clothing.  Around 1:30 Smooch called SmoochSmooch to inquire if she wanted to come on over to try on a new jacket.  Imagine her surprise !!  The suits suited, and Ron got his come-uppance when Cynthia bought jackets and pants for us both.  OHMYGOD, married life is full of surprises, and with us they are non-stop.  Now Cynthia is diabetic and was hungry and Hooters is right next door.  (Matter of fact, the HOOTERS sign is three times as big and three times as high as the Wild West Honda sign, so we always look for Hooters to know where to turn -- no other reason, of course.)  Ron was shocked speechless when Cynthia agreed to see if Hooters could feed us (yes, she was THAT hungry.) Unfortunately, the parts manager suggested that the Black-Eyed Pea, also close by, would probably work for us.  This big shopping trip  resulted in two matching (2 piece) TourMaster Rain Suits; one size extra long and Large and the other one small.  Small is just small, so the wearer of the small will just have to roll up her pants legs.  The time at the shop was well spent, and Ron nearly finished adding the markup for the index to Vol. 6.  That went much better than he had thought.

12 Mar, Wed.  2 years and 10 months = bliss.)  Gopher: If I was you, I'd think about skedaddlin' out of here. Winnie the Pooh: Why? Gopher: 'Cause it's "Winds-day."  Winds-Day is indeed a blustery day.  Big white caps are blown hither and yon.  The pump or motor in the power washer burned out so a Crew member is off to Bubba's to have it replaced returning with welder supplies to repair the iron railing.  Crew boss Casey reported the stone wall (about 18 feet high) needs some serious repairs.  Good discovery since this  was a structural issue we have averted.  The windy Winds-day hike of 4.5 miles was followed by dinner at the Caddy Shack. 

Ron created a super slide show of our sunrise and sunset views for Jon to post on the listing website:

Cynthia's Speech 24 April:  Someone Happens to Us (I CHOOSE to live or not live  well in relationship  ie., Download Cynthia's iRelate app : ) 

Sunset Lake House

Preparing to Grout
Flagstone Grouting Removal

11 Mar, Tues:  The duckies perched picture perfect on the power lines seem to say, "Life is good" while sunlight sparkles like diamonds on the bright blue waters of Lake Conroe.  We are smiling.  The temperature is 67 degrees late morning.  Our projects are progressing at a good pace. The Vol. 6 index is closer to completion with comparisons to older versions coming soon.   The stone crew worked industriously power washing stone and flagstone to 5 PM already improving the appearance. Tomorrow they will remove grout in the flagstone.   The heavy (real) iron patio tables (made in Turkey) were challenging for them to move; the stone flower pots are equally heavy filled with dirt and cannot be moved until they bring a furniture dolly.  Cynthia made a list of the furniture for sale and the packing list for items to go into the storage unit, baked bread but she did not eat any.  ATTA GIRL!  It is rodeo time in Texas but, like movies, we don't attend.  The 4.5 mile walk on concrete is beginning to cause painful wear and tear to Ron's knee and Cynthia's feet.  Pound, pound, pound, ouch!  We can hike hours on a trail but the concrete sidewalks are problematic.  The Sam Houston Natl Park is 9.6 miles north of Montgomery with a lot of trails (flat land, not well maintained at all) but it is dirt and our plan for Friday and the weekend.

Like the duckies, we reminded ourselves again how fortunate we are; life is good.  Despite losing a son-in-law (like losing a son again) we are thankful to  have had Jim the extra fifteen years after cardiologists learned he had an inoperable blockage on the heart wall; it was a genetic condition inherited from both of his parents.  It will take time for his grieving children and Julie to reach that point but it will happen; their faith is deep.  Beautiful rose, violet and blue colors on the horizon at sunset.

10 Mar,  Monday 2 AM and exhausted the Smooch Smooches slept soundly until 7 AM.  Ron is making progress manually entering missing names into the Volume 6 index.   Today we turned into Mollie and Mort maid service to clean the mess we made.  Ron cleaned waaay early so his recycling is safe from Cynthia who dangerously multi-tasks as she cleans.  The house shines, the laundry done,  a 4.5 mile walk completed.  Ron's new pants arrived from REI but they are too lightweight for riding on a motorcycle.  The nice part about those pants was the long side zip that makes removal easy, even while wearing boots.  The fabric used for hiking pants has become increasingly inferior.

Besides cleaning the house,  Cynthia recommends two books,  "Killing Jesus" and a political commentary by Robert Gates.   A niece suggested we see the movie Philomena with actress Judi Densch; it is a tempting topic but we rarely have time to attend movies.  A sermon must be written for 23 March at St. John's Lutheran Church in Waller, TX (and let Mary and Bill S. know we will be there both services).  And she has a speech to write.

We are approaching the middle of March with much to do  on our manuscripts.

9 Mar, Sun: Ron awoke at 4 AM Cynthia awoke at 6:30 AM.   Ron looked outdoors thinking it must be late because it was so light, yet, the kitchen clock said 6:30!   Cynthia awoke, showered, dressed and shrieked: WHAAAT?????  We forgot the time change.   We missed church.  Ron (begrudgingly) stayed Dressed to the Nines to Dine at the Yacht Club breakfast buffet with grandson Steven to celebrate his 22nd birthday.   Last year Ron surprised Steven by arranging a Happy Birthday phone call from the Band Boston's leader Tom Scholz; Steven was rendered appropriately speechless.  This year we e-mailed Tom a happy birthday and invited him to come visit us; they are unable to come because of this year's tour, so they sent tickets for Steven's birthday present.  The Band Boston is Steven's favorite group as it was his dad's.  Steven was small when his dad died from Leukemia, yet he lives his life thankful for what is without begrudging what isn't.  Steven graduates from TX A and M in six weeks with a job hunting agenda; he plans to attend U of H law school for a career in public policy.  Steven ( an Eagle Scout) tested in the top 2% academically.  We are Steven PROUD!

Ron is working on the index for Volume 6 of the Gloria Dei record project by manually entering names that did not get into the first creation of the index.  Ron's creation of the sunrise slideshow is a success.  With the foggy, gray mornings it is a good choice to view the sunrise on the lake.  Lots of duckies are on the lake today, a large great blue heron flew overhead past the patio.  The number of deer sightings are increasing along with their bravery in not running away when they see us approach.  One young, small deer seemed to have an injured leg lagging behind the others leaping over bushes.

Driveway dilemma resolved:  Casey with Surface Solutions will clean the drive, sandblast the flagstone in the driveway, plus all of the stone walls and patios in the rear of the house,  re-grout all of the flagstone and put a sealer on everything.  The product is chemical free.  This is a ten day job for a whole crew of men with machines and big tools.   We had a good day.  Good 4.5 mile walk.  Good Night!

8 Mar, Sat: We hardly worked on our projects.  Cynthia has two Lea men signed up for DNA testing; one from JLCL and one from JLCC. One more DNA Bankston participant joined the project.  We need hundreds more!!  A good 4.5 mile walk to the fitness center with food at the Caddy Shack ended the day. By 7 PM we were ready for sleep.

7 Mar: Ron continues gargling salt water to rid himself of chronic sinus symptoms.  Cynthia is feeling better living through chemistry.  Both are hard at work on current projects; Ron assembled a slideshow of sunrises and sunsets and birds on the lake to run while realtors are showing the house.  Soon he may find himself committed to resurfacing the driveway - does anyone have pointers to offer?  Cynthia's bread machine pumped out another delicious loaf, and she has been making progress on the Jame Lea volume.  When she finishes, Ron gets to do final editing.

6 Mar:  Amazing that an entire day can be spent in one doctor's appointment, one breakfast (at the Toasted Yolk), a suit fitting (for Rachel's wedding), a little shopping at Dollar Tree & Walmart, a visit to the bank to extract external hard drives from the safety deposit box, a stop at the Post Office to mail a key back to cousin Don C., and dinner.  We were nearly asleep by 7 PM but didn't get to bed until after midnight, WAYY late for us.

5 Mar:  The computer tells me that this is today.  Using the Toshiba Portege is proving a challenge since the installation of 32-bit Windows.  The touchpad has returned to overly sensitive with no apparent place to adjust it.  The first Synaptics Touchpad driver downloaded (eventually) but refused to work with 32-bit Windows; second driver asked for touchpad to be connected.  Now the Alps driver installed from a TOSAPINS directory requires a computer restart.  Wish me luck. EUREKA, now at 5 PM I can get to work on Volume 6 of the Colonial Records, providing I can figure out what was needed a year ago.

The computer tells Cynthia that today is Ash Wednesday.  She found a deeply meaningful reflection on why we need the Lenten Season:

4 Mar:  Again cold and rainy with cute little bitty icicles on the deck railing - that lasted all day.  Cynthia has contracted something that has her all congested and makes her head hurt.  I'm resuming gargling with salt water.  After walking to the Caddy Shack to discover that they closed because of the ice, we again drove to Phil's Roadhouse for dinner and to Walmart for bread.  Projects seemed to be a repeat of yesterday.  Cynthia and her bread machine produced a wonderfully crusty loaf, and of course she indulged while it was toasty hot.

3 Mar:  Cold and dreary day.  We drove to Phil's Roadhouse for dinner and to Walmart for bread, but they were out of 0-fat bread. Ron spent the day working on the James Lea book, on his tax information, and on his asset allocation.

2 Mar, Sunday:  While things will never be "normal" again following Jim's passing, the Smooch-SmoochSmooch relationship is successfully re-established, and the breakfast buffet at the Yacht Club is indeed a treat.  The plan was to digest first and walk later, but the color radar showed advancing rain, so we walked out until the sprinkles started.

1 Mar:  Sad day in TX.  The funeral will be at Messiah Lutheran Church, Cypress, TX.  A reception will follow at the church; the burial will be at 4 PM at Scott's Grove (family cemetery).  So many people attended the visitation last night with huge floral displays filling every corner and wall space.  Jim was well-loved.

Ron's epic ride from Atlanta came to a successful conclusion with his arrival at the lake house at 2 PM.  First order of business was to eat some cereal, blueberries and protein powder; second necessity was to shower off all the road grime before Cynthia sees it; then he resumed updating the blog.  Today's ride was uneventful although it is quite remarkable to cross all the bridges on I-10 across the swamplands that fill southern Louisiana; a couple of those bridges are unnervingly high on a windy, blustery day.  At times the bike was leaned 10 degrees into the wind for miles in order to go straight.  The only alternative was to take slower roads, but speeding back to Cynthia seemed preferable.  Fortunately no cops noticed my speed.  Usually when I ride at 55 mph on old U.S. Highways, everyone exceeds the speed limits and passes me; on this trip riding 70+ mph on the Interstates, most drivers were much slower and I passed them quickly.  The volume of traffic heading towards New Orleans was extremely heavy for a Saturday morning and was a puzzle until I realized that it is Mardi Gras.  It was 60 degrees at Diamondhead, MS at 7 AM and 85 degrees in Montgomery, TX at 2 PM.  It was such a relief to remove the helmet when I entered Texas. (Many of you will say tsk, tsk - but I am convinced that helmets CAUSE accidents from fatigue, heat, and obstruction of vision and hearing.  If you want to argue, first try wearing one for an entire day, especially on a hot summer day.)  Mileage today was 409 miles in 7 hours.  So the Smooch and SmoochSmooch are again reunited and celebrated by walking to an Ahi Tuna dinner at the restaurant formerly known as Caddy Shack.  With our dietary restrictions, of course the waiter and the cook remembered us.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.   Our unscheduled month of March on the East Coast changed beyond recognition.  But we still find lotsa reasons to enjoy life and Thank God.
scheduled - 5 Apr 2014: Rachel and Ryan's wedding.
scheduled - 23-24 Apr: Cynthia honored as the distinguished alumna of 2014  by her seminary in Austin, Texas

OhMyGod, Little SmoochSmooch declared herself bored or lonely and posted the entire summer itinerary with minute-by-minute details.  Ron will remain clueless.