Thursday, January 21, 2010
Thomas and Herb left for CCS about 6:30 a.m., just about when Barbara and I got up. We got ready, fed the animals, and hit the road about 8:15, heading towards Dallas. We drove 500 miles of our 800 mile trip and stopped for the night about 4:30. The highlight of our trip was the welcome center at Vicksburg, Mississippi (as we left the state!). We had no idea we had made such good time, and we thought we were in central MS near Jackson. So when Barbara looked out the window and saw water, she asked the welcome center lady, "What body of water is that out there?" The woman looked at her strangely and replied, "The Mississippi River." She probably wondered what planet we were from, not knowing that the Mississippi River is the border of Mississippi! We walked to the overlook to take these pictures, and Barbara noticed the shadows of the bridges on the water. I thought of Jenny as I took the shot. Are you jealous, Jenny? :)
Friday, January 22, 2010
I realize it makes it read backwards blog-style, but I think it's easier to follow our trip chronologically from the top to the bottom. We drove the last 300 miles, ending up in the Dallas area about 3:30 p.m., but we had sneaky stuff to do! We drove by Mary Beth's house to drop off stuff for Karen's surprise party the next morning and then looked for a store where we could buy plates for the cheese I had brought and the breads Barbara had brought. We ended up at Karen's marvelous Kroger where we had our pick of all kinds of dishes! I'm so jealous of Dallas' grocery stores! Finally, after checking in to our hotel, we made it to Karen's house about 6 p.m. where Justin became my victim for my photo-a-day and where Karen regaled us with chicken fajitas and LOTS of guacamole!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
We kidnapped Karen before 10 a.m., blindfolded her, and drove her to the house of her junior high friend Mary Beth, who had kindly agreed to host a surprise brunch. Karen was petrified that I was going to put her on a horse, so we told her we were taking her to a rodeo. When we arrived, we walked her across the grass and steered her "around that big pile" into the house where 8 of her friends were waiting to surprise her! She was truly surprised! All of the ladies had contributed food, Mary Beth plied us with mimosas and coffee, and she had even put 50 candles on the cake! AND we lit them all! I'm sure you all heard us having fun no matter how far away you live! The ladies and many family members had sent cards and pictures to contribute to a scrapbook so Karen can relive the memories. I won't be so trite as to say "A good time was had by all," but I will tell you that several of us didn't leave until 4:30 that afternoon!
Here is Karen doing the Red Hat thing, since she could (almost) officially wear one--and trying in vain to make us stop taking pictures! She's still not old enough or bossy enough to boss me around! :)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Barbara and I enjoyed attending church with Karen and Victoria at Grace EFC that morning. Afterwards we met up with Justin, Don Sr., Bev, and Dari Erb at Mimi's, a French bistro, to celebrate again. It was a real squeeze to fit us all into the picture, but we managed!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Happy 50th Birthday, Karen!
We had a fun day, full of laughter, as you can imagine, knowing us! Karen made raspberry bellinis before dinner, and we ended the day with the menu of Karen's choice, prepared by Barbara and me (and served SYLISHLY late!):
Angel Hair Pasta
Fresh Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and Lemon
Black Forest Torte
We did not put 50 candles on this time, but Barbara is good in math, and she assured me that each candle could stand for 5 years!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Barbara and I didn't want to take off the morning after and leave Karen alone to mourn her advancing years :) so we stayed one day extra. Karen showed us the new shopping area near her house and treated us to Mexican food for lunch. That night we had to pack up the car for an early start Wednesday morning, so we said goodbye to everyone.
Our reunion would be sooner than we thought, as I'd forgotten stuff at Karen's house, so she and Victoria ran it over to us. I'm still thinking of things I forgot, though! I guess we'll just have to go back soon!
Here Barbara is packing, while I'm busy taking pictures. That's why my bed is messier!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Driving home . . . Poor Barbara had to be my victim again, as there isn't much to take pictures of when you're driving 500 miles in one day! We were in a hurry to get back as quickly as possible because Herb was sick at home with the flu, and Thomas (who had a cold) was doing most of the feeding--including force-feeding Precious her high-calorie supplement. I was just hoping that, having hung on this long, she would make it till I got back.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I actually forgot to take a picture! We got home to find that Herb, along with Thomas, had made it back to school for the first time that week. He was feeling better, though not good by any means. And Precious, despite having lost 7 1/2 oz. of her 1 1/2 lb. weight, was alive and starting to eat real food again. She just lay on my shoulder for a long time. Thomas is our hero!
Friday, January 29, 2010
After a lazy morning, Barbara and I drove in to Chickamauga to enjoy the shops and cute downtown area. We had about an hour before the predicted bad weather hit--early! So we headed home through giant drifting snowflakes like we'd never seen before. Ethereal!
Barbara was going to take this popcorn home to her family, but it wouldn't fit in my car. Sorry, guys, you'll just have to enjoy it here!
Once home, we enjoyed the beautiful snowfall safe and sound inside. Herb and Thomas arrived from CCS shortly after we did since school was let out early. We ended up getting over 3" and had our wish come true--seeing the farm covered in snow.