Saturday, December 16, 2017


The last three boxes are ready to mail, all of the sewing and packing stuff is stowed away.  The park is ready for Christmas too.




I had intended to walk around this evening taking pix of the park in lights, but it’s pouring rain.

A good time to stay in, I thought.

Louise and Duane

Friday, December 15, 2017

I Admit It

I only had one brief afternoon with my shorts and tshirt.  The very next day the clouds moved in,  the breeze turned chilly,  and the temperatures dipped again.  Today everyone bundled up.



This is not that creepy guy.  This is Grinchy Duane, who is put out because the weather is lousy for bike riding, and because I roped him into shopping instead of riding.


5-year-old granddaughter Bella thought their new tree skirt was a real skirt.  They put it on her for a joke.  She said “It’s too big!'” 





My grandkids crack me up.  The ones in CA said that they knew who sent their tree skirt because it smelled like me.  I guess I smell like new fabric.

I’m good with new fabric.

Louise and Grinchy Duane

Thursday, December 14, 2017

All Done For A While

To combat the chilly temperatures and the clouds that blew in yesterday and stayed for today, I strung lights all along the ceilings of our house—even the bathroom and bedroom!  Festive!!


Only a couple of weeks late, but I now have my Christmas countdown calendar up.


The rest of the decorations will be put up after our next move. 

Time to relax with a Christmas book.

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Some People

To try to (at least partially) correct the improper way that our site was regraveled, Duane went out and shoveled in the ruts.


The park provided this nice convenient  rack for the mini golf balls and putters.  This morning there were eighteen putters lying in a heap in the muddy puddle at the base of the rack.  When I went back with the camera later, someone had hung up all but these two. (I put them up).


Some people mess things up, some people clean up after them.

Still sewing.

Louise and Duane

Monday, December 11, 2017

Two Weeks From Today

Today was absolutely gorgeous—the type of weather we expect for the winter in Texas.  I played pickleball in long pants and long sleeves this morning then switched to shorts, t-shirt, and sandals for the afternoon.  Lovin’ it!

After lunch we took three more boxes to the post office.  When we pulled into the full parking lot, we thought we were in for a long wait.  We joined the line of people with boxes and packages, but there were three cheerful and very efficient people working to keep the line moving.  Two weeks before Christmas seems to be the busiest day for the post office. 


Not a bad road for this flat area.


When we returned Duane went fishing.  I made another project.

Only a couple more to do.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Even with time out this beautiful sunny 55 degree morning to play pickleball for three hours, I still managed to get another project done today, and Duane finished his latest bark carving.  I know that it’s boring to keep hearing the same thing without seeing any progress, but these things we are working on are Christmas presents and I can,t show them until after the recipients see them.  I promise to show all of the projects as soon as I can. (I know. I’m in a rut and sounding like a broken record.)

On the way to play pickleball I took a shot of these 8” ruts in our drive.  This is a result of the park staff not tamping down the new gravel before the latest rain.


When I arrived at the pickleball courts, Duane (far side) and Dave were warming up and trying to keep warm.  It was about 45d. at 9 am when this was taken.


The guys played at 6 this evening.  It was dark then but the courts are well lighted.  I opted not to play in order to complete my project.

I’m assuming we’ll be playing in the morning again.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Not Today!

This is what greeted us yesterday (Friday) morning. 

By the afternoon all was gone.





The sunny weather is here to stay for a while, but the chilly temps want to linger.  Today the high was about 55, plenty warm enough for a couple of hours of pickleball this morning.  This afternoon I finished another Christmas present and  another box for mailing.  We did some errands in Conroe and graced Denny’s with our presence for supper.  In the evening Duane was inspired to work on a new bark carving.  After I put away all of the groceries I baked brownies for dessert and sweet bread for breakfast.  Then I sat down.

More pickleball in the morning.

Louise and Duane

Friday, December 08, 2017

It’s A Wonderful Life

Yay!  Hooray!  The snow all melted, the sky cleared, the sun shone and the pickleball players were out in force.  We worked in the morning.  Duane finally unloaded the bike.  I prepared another box for mailing and cut out another sewing project.  We played the afternoon away.  We wore several layers since the air temp didn’t get above 45, but the exercise was invigorating.  Now Duane has tv watching energy.  I will complete my morning’s work and pack another box with another holiday favorite—It’s A Wonderful Life, of course!

More chilly fun at 10 am.  Woo hoo!

Louise and Duane

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Not A Total Loss

Weather-wise we had a repeat of yesterday—yucky.  Nevertheless, we bravely/stupidly (see that fine line between the two?) took ourselves out shopping.  We drove in the rain and Houston metro traffic, walked in, around, and out of several stores, and spent lots of money.  To reward ourselves we ate lunch at one of our favorite places—Firehouse Subs.  We mailed two boxes and had near fatal heart attacks at the price of shipping via US Mail.  We finally made it back home, but turned around and loaded up the laundry.  While I tended the machines, Duane went to the Adult Activity Center and played pool.  Back home we shut the blinds, cranked up the heat, and pretended that we were warm.  At least we were dry! 

Meanwhile outside the rain continued and the temperature dropped.  We are expecting a low in the low 30’s!  To cheer himself Duane watched tv and put off ordering Christmas gifts on Amazon.  I myself cuddled up with real hot cocoa with whipped cream and watched White Christmas.

Looking forward warmer drier weather come tomorrow!

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Cold and wet was the only way to describe the entire day.  We hitched up in the cold rain.  We drove 3 hours from Hill Country and through and around Houston back to Lake Conroe Thousand Trails park In the rain.  We set up in the mud and the rain and the cold.  We stayed inside the rest of the day and night out of the rain and cold.


There were two bright spots in the day.


My usually messy sewing area was chaotically cheerful  with colorful Christmas paper while I wrapped Christmas gifts. 


Tomorrow we plan to finish shopping and mail a couple of boxes in the rain and cold.

That’s the plan.  Not a good one, but a plan.

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

True To My Word

Yep!  I spent all of last evening and all of today sewing my last projects.  I took a lot of time with the first part, but now that I know what I’m doing will go a lot faster.  The weather is as it was predicted:  overcast, chilly and damp with more rain predicted and continually falling temperatures.  Sounds like a good time to be tucked in the house doing something interesting—like sewing Christmas presents!

Duane has been very busy too.  He has been spending many hours on the computer planning our next trip after this winter.  We will be spending the summer mooching around Colorado seeing the tourist sites,  then heading to Utah to hike the National Parks that we missed the last time we were there.  This takes a lot of planning and a lot of reservations since we will be visiting prime tourist spots during prime tourist season.  When he’s not doing that, he is co-planning a summer of 2019 with our friends Brock and Leola, fellow bike riders with whom we last toured Canada.  Again, this takes a lot of planning and advance reservations because of the tourist season.

Other than that, nothing going on.

Louise and Duane

Monday, December 04, 2017

Short Stay

Goodbye Medina Lake TT park.


Goodbye hill country around San Antonio.



Hello flat land around Houston.


This solar array is much larger than the one outside Tonapah, AZ.


A much needed break at the Buc-ees.  While Duane fueled up in the big rig pumps on the right, I did a little Christmas shopping.  Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!


Once more past the drowned car cemetery, much cleaned out now, then on to the Colorado River (TX) Thousand Trails park again.


This time we are staying only two days.  All of the pickleball players from here have moved to the TT park at Conroe Lake and cold, damp weather is forecast.  This will give me two days to finish my sewing. 

Wish me luck!

Louise and Duane

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Where To Next?

The answer is---back to Colorado River (TX) Thousand Trails Park.  We will be there for 2 days, during which I hope to get my last sewing Christmas presents done.  After that we will finish shopping and mail boxes (I hope).

Today was a little different.  We had total overcast instead of sunshine.  Duane spent the day cleaning up his room and getting everything ready to travel.  I sewed a Christmas present then cleaned my area for travel.  We practiced pickleball for an hour or so before our 13 year old buddy Brandon showed up.  Duane was having fun instructing him and I had some work left to do.  I went home and let the boys play.  This evening I am addressing Christmas cards.  Yes, I still send out holiday greetings via the good ole postal service.

Gradually getting everything done.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Same As Before

Yup! I am officially in my pre-Christmas rut.  I work, take time for some relaxing, work some more.  Today we found these welfare recipients milling around our front door.  They were looking for anyone who will throw them deer corn.    We didn’t, they left.


Today’s projects were these two little books.  I cut them out of fabric ironed on a stiffener, and sewed them together.  I haven’t decided to whom they will go yet.


Today Duane informed me that we were due at the pickleball court at 1 pm since the activity director put us on the schedule for teaching or play.  No one showed up, which left us to practice a bit before I came home to sew and Duane to watch football.

Tomorrow is our last day here.

Louise and Duane

Friday, December 01, 2017


Another beautiful sunny day, chilly in the morning , but quickly warming to short sleeves and shorts by early afternoon.  I finished cutting out the front and back of the Christmas tree skirt that I’ve been working on, and sewed them together.  In the afternoon we hit the pickleball around for an hour, greatly enjoying the weather.  The rest of the day I worked on the details of the tree skirt.  I found a couple of seams that the machine missed and hand sewed them.  I tacked the front and back at several different places so that they won’t pull apart in the wash, then I sewed on patches of Velcro to hold the edges together.  I ironed the whole thing, thin folded it loosely until I’m ready to box it up.  Phew!

We had our usual visitors.  This little bird is either trying to fly into the trees or a rival reflected by our windows—maybe both.  He tries every day.


These deer pass by our house every day also, usually around all four sides at some time or other.



Tomorrow is more sewing for me, more goofing off for Duane.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, November 30, 2017

At Last

Wednesday I finally finished sewing my blocks together for   the patchwork Christmas tree skirt that I am making.  Today laid out pattern and moved around some of the blocks.  Now it is finally ready to cut.  Funny about that process.  I had fabric that I cut apart, cut the scraps into blocks, sewed them together, and am ready to cut them apart again.  I used 280 4-inch blocks which made a whole cloth big enough to cover my queen-sized bed. That’s a lot of work, but I consider it art and, as such, worth the effort.  I promise pictures but the recipients have to see them first.

Tomorrow I plan to finish it so that I can get my other sewing done.

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Twisting Backwards

When we visited  the Texas Hill Country last February, we rode FM 335,336, and 337, otherwise known as the Twisted Sisters.  From our Medina Lake campground we took cr 16 to 337 at Medina, west to 335 north, used cr41 east to access 336 south.  This time we took 337 west as far as Leakey.










Here we ate lunch and


laughed again at the Leakey Eagles (of course the town calls itself Lakey).


This time we turned north on 336.



To reach 335, had to use cr41 which runs almost straight and flat across a ridge,


but offered a view of these pronghorns.


335 is the curviest and wiggliest of the Sisters and has the best views of water,


and limestone hills.

We will be going up that road as soon as we round the corner.


336 hooked us up with 337 again for the return trip east for home.



Although we passed this field this morning, these buffalo were absent then.




After about 170 miles and 6 hours on the road, we were glad to be headed home.


Two things that were different this trip.  1. This time we were treated to some fall colors, and 2. there was a lot less water in the rivers and the stream beds were all dry.

After 2 days of spending money and one day of fresh air and sunshine, I am ready to go back to getting ready for Christmas.   Duane can relax since we mailed out all the grandkids Christmas ornaments today.

A woman’s work…..

Louise and Duane