Pictures From Jan-Feb 2020 - It's All About Having Fun!!

Monday, February 29, 2016

2-28 Another Super Day

Another Super Day
I woke up this morning and made a Belgium waffle which Larry and I shared for breakfast. After breakfast I made some Betty Crocker Cookie Brownie Bars to take with us to our A class with the TIPS Club in Waco. This was our second class, our first class was two weeks ago and we had two squares. This week a few new people showed so we spent most of the class reviewing the moves we learned in the first class. We only learned one new move, very disappointing, at this rate classes will take more than a year. The first class very few folks brought snacks but this week there were a lot so I ended up bringing some of my brownies home. That was ok, we had them for our dessert.

Our breakfast
Cookie Brownie Bars
Wendell Moore teaching the class
Larry dancing with friends
Waiting for the next move
Our friends dancing
Doing a Grand Follow Your Neighbor
In the evening Larry finished reading Death In Holy Orders by P.D. James. It was a murder mystery Larry said it was a very good book. I started reading another Cork O'Connor book called Mercy Falls. We had another super day.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

2-27 What a fun day!!!!

We had a very fun day. We started out by going to a spelling bee. We had never been to a spelling bee, of course we had seen highlights of the national spelling bee on the news, we thought it might be fun and it was, went really quickly. Bell County had its 82nd Spelling Bee this morning at the Temple Civic Theatre. There were 52 contestants and the top three are awarded money and a plague. The first place winner is also awarded a trophy that travels from school to school each year. The word lists are put together by the University Interscholastic League and are  grouped by grades (Grades 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8). The biggest problem you have when your watching is not to respond when the child is wrong or correct. Once in awhile the audience does show a little amazement when the child gets a really difficult word and spells it correctly. The lady on the panel that was giving the contestants the words said this was the furthest the contestants had gotten on the difficult word list since she has been doing the spelling bee. The third place winner was Jared Yost an eighth grader from Providence Preparatory School. The second place winner was Madelyn Bradshaw a seventh grader at North Belton Middle School. The winner was Jackson Belobrajdic a sixth grader from Lake Belton Middle School.

The Bell County Spelling Bee Panel
The last three contestants (Jackson Belobrajdic, Madelyn Bradshaw and Jared Yost)
Jackson Belobrajdic the spelling bee winner
The next stop was back to the Temple Library for the last day of the book sale. Today they gave you a paper bag and you fill it up as full as you want, you can buy as many bags of books as you like, $5 a bag. The room was packed with people buying books. We ended up with one bag of 33 books. There were folks from the very young with their mothers to the very old using walkers and wheel chairs, there were lots of volunteers helping to find books and getting people more bags, they were even offering to help you load the books in your car. everyone was having a great time. At the end of the book sale whatever is left gets donated to different organizations. They have these sales twice a year.

All the books we got for $5
The last stop was for lunch. The Temple Convention and Visitor Bureau in January started Food Truck Frenzy every fourth Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00. The event takes place in the City Hall parking lot. The local food vendors setup their trailer and sell food, there is also a DJ playing really loud music. There must have been twenty or so vendors to choose from. We decided to have an Aloha Cheese Steak Sandwich from Dam Sandwiches. It was a Philly cheese steak sandwich with pepper jack cheese, pineapple and peppers. It sounded really good and while it was ok I don't think we will have it again.

Waiting for my order at Dam Sandwiches
Fire Street, where wood fried pizza was sold
People walking around trying to decide what to eat
 In the evening we decided just to hang around the house and read. I finished another Cork O'Connor book called Purgatory Ridge. It was a good book.      

Saturday, February 27, 2016

2-26 Just Another Marvelous Day

What a marvelous day
We woke up to another beautiful day. After breakfast we went to town to finish up our weekly grocery shopping at HEB. Our car was filthy so on the way we stopped by The Car Wash Barn and ran it through the wash. Afterwards Larry and I dried it off and vacuumed it out. Then we went to HEB. We like going early in the morning, the store is less busy and we simply like to get things done early. When we finished our shopping we stopped by The UPS Store and got our mail.

Last November Larry bought a ResMed CPAP machine and it has been wonderful at stopping his snoring. Larry and I both sleep a lot better. Ever since he has been looking for another CPAP machine for a backup and to use on our camping trips. There are always some available but he wanted a the same machine he already has and did not want to travel a long distance, the other day one showed up on Craigslist in Temple so he called the guy. He actually had two machines and didn't know anything about them but the price was really reasonable so we went to look at them. Larry checked both of them out and told the guy he would take the ResMed S9, it was in really good shape and had very few hours on it along with being the same as his current machine. The guy said for $50 more dollars he would throw in the other machine. This was an outstanding price and Larry was counting out the money to buy them both but he decided just to buy the one, the second machine was a different brand and he didn't know what he would do with three machines. Both machines had the original cases and paperwork and a mask, the ResMed came with the same mask as Larry has been using but in a larger size so now he can compare and decide which size works best.
S9 ResMed Machine
In the evening we watched PBS. The first show was The Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles. It took place at the White House in the East Room, renowned and up-and-coming artists sung his songs along with a big band. The other show we watched was Fats Domino: American Experience, which was about Fats Domino. Both show were very good.

Friday, February 26, 2016

2-25 Book Sale

Temple Public Library
Another gorgeous sunshine filled day, started out cold and a bit windy but by afternoon it warmed up to the mid 60's. This morning we loaded Flo into the car and went to Grande Communications  and returned our old modem so we wouldn't be charged for it. The next stop was the Temple Public Library for their Mid-Winter Used Book Sale, it started yesterday and ends Saturday. Last year we went to this event and bought a lot of books, there are thousands of books, so many books that last year we learned you should write down what authors and books you might want. The books are put in different categories such as mysteries, fiction, religious, children and many more.They also have CDs, DVDs, audio books and VHS.  Larry and I walked around the sale for over an hour and bought 16 books. The paperback books were $1 and the hardback books are $2. On the last day of the sale they give you a paper bag and you fill it up for $5. We had fun looking through boxes and boxes of books. On the way home we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch.

Rows and rows of books to choose from
Entrance to the Mid-Winter Book Sale
Flo has been wanting to go for a walk but her hips have been giving her problems so I have not been taking her. Today I finally gave in and walked her around the neighborhood. By the time we got home she was exhausted. Poor, Flo mom wore her out again.

Clarence blowing out his candles
Ed Larder

Friends having fun dancing to Ed
Patrica and Larry

More friends having fun
Judy and Larry enjoying the dance

Carol and Shirley having a good time
Dalbert and LuAnn  enjoy the dance

Betsy and Greg having fun
Line dancing to Carol cuing
Square dancing to Ed calling
Tonight was a special dance at Coryell County Square, it was Clarence Baker's birthday, he is the club's president so the club had a birthday cake for him. They also served a lot of other food. Ed Larder did the calling for the dance. Dale Smith was dancing tonight so Ed let him call the plus tip and the last tip with him. There were enough people there to have four mainstream squares and three plus squares. Carol cued a couple of lines. We had fun dancing with our local square dancing friends.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

2-24 Buckles & Bows 13th Anniversary Dance

Tony Oxendine and me
What a pretty day, the clouds are gone and the sun is out but the wind made it feel quite cold. After breakfast we loaded Flo into the car and went to Walmart. The other day when we were smoking brisket Larry charged out the propane tank and discovered the new tank leaked, luckily we had another so he was able to keep the grill going, today when went to Walmart he exchanged the defective tank for another one. While there we did some of our weekly grocery shopping and filled the car with gas. The car had half a tank but we were going to Austin this evening and Larry didn't want to have to get it on the way home. 

We hung around the house all afternoon. I finished reading a book by William Kent Krueger called Boundary Waters, which is one of books in the Cork O'Connor series. I liked the book very well.

Line Dancing with John and Marie
Tony dancing with Marie
Some of our friends square dancing to Tony calling
Dan Clairmont enjoying himself during the dance
Tony calling the square dancing tips
 In the evening went to Austin to dance with the Buckles & Bows Club. The dance started at 7:00 so we left the house at 5:00. Buckles & Bows is located in Cedar Park, tonight was their 13th Anniversary Dance and they invited Tony Oxendine to call, they needed a bigger hall so they had the dance at Hyde Park Christian Church in Austin. Tony Oxendine is an International Caller and we have heard a lot about him. We were going to dance to him a couple of times but something always came up. They had mainstream tips from 7:00 until 9:00, they had six squares and then they had plus tips from 9:00 to 9:30 which had four squares. In between the mainstream tips they had one line dance. Marie Gladson did the cuing. We sat out one tip so I could take some pictures. We had a super time dancing to Tony Oxendine.     

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2-23 Winter is Back and No Internet

It's still winter
Last week it appeared winter was gone, we fertilized the lawn and got the irrigation system working and then today it was nasty, the temperature didn't get out of the 40's, the wind was blowing with gusts up to 40 mph and it drizzled on and off, looked like winter. Of course this will quickly pass and we will be back to warmer temperatures and the wonderful sunshine.

Yesterday when we were smoking the brisket Larry didn't think the middle burner of the grill was working so today he pushed the grill into his workroom to work on it. I asked him if he really wanted to work on it in his room because it was going to make a mess. He said it was too nasty outside. He put a cardboard box under the grill to catch most of the mess. Not only have we had this grill for many years we also use it a lot and it had a lot of buildup from all those years. We have cleaned it before but it has been awhile. Larry took all the grates, burners and elements out of the grill. Then he scrapped most of the buildup off the grill. He said that the elements where the gas comes through were really plugged and he was surprised that the grill even lit. He used a really small file and a pick to clean all the holes and they now works great.

Scrapping the soot out of the grill
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned our internet provider Centro Vision was bought out by Grande Communications. Grande officially took over today and we woke up to no internet. Larry had anticipated this might happen so the other day he had written Grande's phone number down so he gave them a call. A technician showed up about 9:30. Larry told him that he had called Grande last week and told them that he had purchased his own modem and he had given them the information they needed to set it up. The technician called Grande and gave them the information again. They said that their system had the modem already in it but it wasn't activated. Once the modem was activated we were back in business. Larry decided once everything was up and running he would shut everything down and bring everything back up. When he did this our router went down. He tried to get it to work but he was unsuccessful. He got one of the computers up and ordered a router from Best Buy, our local Best Buy didn't stock the one he wanted so we had to go to Killeen. In the evening Larry charged out the routers and got the new one up and running. He checked everything out and made sure everything was working. Now we're back in business, if not I would not be making this update :) .

Old Router - Larry always keeps the boxes
New Router
Installing the new router
The finished product
While Larry was doing these two projects I read and stayed out of his way.

I am so lucky to have a man around that can do a lot of stuff. If he has never done the project before he's not afraid to try.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2-22 Smoking Brisket

Smoking Brisket on the Gas Grill

We live in Texas where there are lots of barbecue places and Larry and I have tried many of them. Each of the places are known for different meats such as beef ribs, sausages, pork, turkey, chicken and brisket. Even the grocery stores got into the barbecue business. On holidays our HEB stores have a meal deal where you buy one of their fully cooked briskets and you get five items free to go with it. The brisket is seasoned and smoked with hickory, mesquite or pecan. It's sold by the pound and you can get it sliced or not. We also used to travel to surrounding towns for barbecue at places like Southside Market in Elgin, Black's in Lockhart and Cooper's in Llano and we also like Rudy's Country Stores, they have locations through out Texas. We use to buy brisket fairly regularly but when the price of beef went up the price of brisket got quite expensive and we switched to other meats. The other day Larry went on the internet and researched how to smoke a brisket using a gas grill. There was a ton of information but he decided to try a process put out by Franklin's barbecue in Austin. A raw brisket can be bought very reasonably in our local grocery so we bought a brisket and today we decided to try smoking it on our gas grill. The items you need are wood chips of whatever flavor you want, grill, chip holding tray, water, salt and pepper, and thermometer. The directions told us to keep the grill temperature between 225 to 250 and cook the brisket for 10 -12 hours, our brisket was smaller than most and we cut it in half so we initially cooked it for seven hours. We removed the brisket from the grill and sliced off a couple of pieces, we found it to be a bit tough so back on the grill it went for another three hours. This time the  brisket was very tender. I went to the internet and did a little research on how long to smoke brisket. The people that do it a lot said that it varies from brisket to brisket. They said you can have two identical brisket and one will be done in 8 hours and the other one may take 16 hours. They said that usually when the brisket is tough it is under cooked. The meat should register 195 - 205 degrees. It was fun smoking brisket on the grill. We now have to work on improving the flavor, while the brisket was tender and moist it had very little smoke flavor. It appears our wood chips were not getting hot enough to produce the required amount of smoke.

Tray for the wood chips
The wood chips soaking in water
Brisket smoking on the grill
The finished product waiting to get carved

In the evening we started watching a serious on Amazon called The Americans. It stars Kari Russell and Matthew Rhys who are two undercover Soviet spies in the US near the end of the cod war. We enjoyed it.    

Monday, February 22, 2016

2-20 and 2-21 A Fabulous Weekend of Dancing

Dancing with Brad Caldwell in Tool Texas
Don't forget you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Wow, we're tired. We just finished a fabulous weekend of dancing. On Saturday we took the Minnie to Tool, Texas to dance with the Log Cabin Square and Round Club. We have been to Tool a couple of times before for Plus Weekends with Jerry Story and we have danced with some of their club members both in the Valley and a Fun Valley last fall. Brad Caldwell was calling their club dance on Saturday so we decided to go. We left the house early so we could attend their Plus dance in the afternoon. We arrived with plenty of time to have lunch and relax before the dance. The club members were very happy to see us and Brad was surprised because we didn't tell him we were going to be there. We danced seven tips of DBD Plus and had a great time. After the dance we went back to the Minnie and Flo. I took her for a walk and then we relaxed for a few hours. I had made a chicken and noodle casserole at home and took it with us so we had it for lunch and finished it for dinner. In the evening we dressed up in southwestern outfits and Larry wore bright orange suspenders and tie and we both wore a bright orange hat. In between the square dancing tips Chris Farabaugh cued round dancing. Brad ended the dance with a mainstream tip but after the dance we did a half hour plus tip. We had a fabulous time dancing to Brad and getting to know the Log Cabin Club members a little better.

Dancing to Brad Caldwell
Larry enjoying the plus dance
Our friends at the Log Cabin Square and Round Club
You know when your in the big times when your name is on a marque
Chris Farabaugh cuing the rounds
Deb and Clint round dancing
Carol Ann and her friend round dancing
Brad round dancing with Ronnie Himes and his wife
We had been thinking about staying the night in Tool and on Sunday going to Waco for the TIP's dance but they were predicting rain so Larry decided to drive home after the dance. Tool is about 130 miles from the house and so we didn't get home until about 1:30 Sunday morning. I unloaded the refrigerator and then we called it a night. 

On Sunday we woke up around 8:00. I took care of Flo and made breakfast. After breakfast I made a Heath Bar Dessert to take with us to the TIPS dance. The dance wasn't until 2:30 so we hung around the house until it was time to go. The dance was called the Sadie Hawkins Dance and the women asked the men to dance. The Heath Bars were a success, there weren't any left to bring home. The dance was two hours long and in between the tips Wendell played a couple of songs so we could relax. When the dance was over Dale had a half hour review of the Advanced moves we learned last week. This was a very nice surprise. We had a fun time dancing with our friends.

In the evening we watched the PBS shows, Downton Abbey, the final episode of Mercy Street and an episode of Father Brown. We had a busy weekend of dancing.