Hurray for Summer!

School’s winding down and we are gearing up for big fun!  Granddaughter Ally is finishing 2nd grade, where she received reading and math awards and also got honors for “Best Sportsmanship,” “Most Improved” and was the “Super Catcher” for her softball team.  Her mama said Ally has found her sport and LOVES softball.

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Ally and her softball teammates

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Gardening Update

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I actually wrote the first post about gardening quite awhile ago when I was still trying to set up the blog and decide if I was even going to do a blog again.  Now, several months later, the garden is in full swing. We had some setbacks early on–had a frost when we were out of town and came home to all of our tomato plants and pepper plants either dead or close to it. We replanted and now they are finally beginning to perk up and bear fruit, thankfully.  Next we had a huge infestation of harlequin bugs on all of the kale and some of the lettuces–no fun!  It’s an organic garden so no pesticides are allowed (and we don’t want to use them anyway) so we basically ended up cutting down the kale and lettuce to the stalks and hauling off the plants with hundreds of bugs still attached.  Luckily, other than a few strays,  we seem to have eradicated them and the plants are recovering.  The grandkids were really happy we were growing strawberries but they seem to be the favorite of worms, ants, and little varmints.  Most of them have bites taken out of them or worms crawling in and out. SO I guess we need to figure out what to do about that!

As of today, we have one almost-ripe tomato, several peppers about ready to pick, a baby squash, lots of squash and cucumber blossoms, progress with zucchini, eggplant and cantaloupe, and lots of greens.  We met some fellow gardeners last week and one of them told me, “Don’t expect to fill your pantry from your garden.”  I think she’s right but we’re still pretty proud!

 

Family Fun

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My Mom with her 4 kids, 3 of their spouses, all of her grandkids (and most of their spouses) and all of her great-grandkids–5 years ago. There are quite a few more now!

Truth be told, we probably wouldn’t have retired in Texas except for the desire to be near the kids and grandkids.  We’re fortunate to have one family here in Dallas and the other two in Clyde and Amarillo–a little bit of a drive but at least it’s no longer two days of flying to get to see everyone!  It’s great to be a part of the Dallas kids’ day to day lives,  which makes me wish we had the same opportunities with the others. There really is a difference between seeing them on visits and vacations and living in the same town.  On the other hand, hopefully we will now get to see them enough that we are not just “visitors” any more.

Though I hope to have readers and interaction on the blog, the main reason I am doing this is to keep a record of our lives so we can look back on fond memories and reminisce about where we’ve been and what we’ve done.  I started my first blog in 2008 and have periodically had it printed into blog books–we have quite a stack at this point. It’s always interesting to look back and surprising to realize how much we don’t remember! For that reason, I love having this reminder and I hope one day the kids will enjoy having the books for themselves.

It’s too much to try to catch up on several months’ worth of activities so I am just going to post some family photos and a few comments here.

Oldest grandkids Aidan and Ally came for Spring Break and we had a great time! Ally had just turned 9 and Aidan was about to turn 13 so we had a little birthday celebration for them.  Aidan requested a trip to the Flight Museum and we also rode the DART downtown and wandered around (see the Giant Eye?!). Their Amarillo cousins Emery, Luke and Ada came to visit part of the time and we hung out with local cousins Elle, Beck and Jack.  Even attempted a photo of all 8, which was largely unsuccessful.  🙂

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Commune-ity Garden

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Someone else’s big cauliflower 🙂 
I’ve always had a romanticized notion about living in a commune.  I’m sure it would be much harder than I imagine and I would probably be saying “what was I thinking?” sooner than expected, but there’s a part of me that has long held the idea that sharing the workload, expenses, and rewards would be pretty great. And why do we all need our own lawnmowers and rakes and pressure cookers and ladders and other stuff we only use once in awhile?

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From Unalaska to Dallas

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Dallas Skyline

After more than 11 years for me and 22 for Rich, we packed up and left the beautiful island of Unalaska, Alaska for retirement life in the big city of Dallas, Texas.  I spent many years in Texas before moving to Alaska and swore I would never live here again–I’m a little too left-leaning to be a good Texan.  🙂 But eight grandkids (and their parents) scattered across the Lone Star State and the opportunity to buy a house in Dallas eventually sealed the deal.  People, I am SO happy to be closer to the kids, but we will see how well I do in the latest state to approve the “open carry” of guns.

Come along with me as I explore my new home city, get involved in the community, hang out with the kids, travel with my hubby, and occasionally opine about various issues I care about.

If you want to read more about our adventures in Alaska, our travels, and our family and friends, check out my previous blog here.