Flooded Trails

We’ve gotten a lot of rain this past week. And for the life of me, I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me that the Nature Trails would be flooded but …

… they were.

We were able to cross smaller sections of water, Kevin took his walking sandals off, I did not and my feet are soaking wet in the picture above. But by the time we reached this section of the trail, we had to turn back.

We were supposed to be walking, not wading.

No. This doesn’t mean I’m back into walking. This does mean that I NEED to get back into walking. My poochy belly has baby poochies.

It sounds cute, I can assure you, it’s not cute.

I bought an armband for my Samsung Galaxy S5 the other day. That’s what you see on my elephant arms in the picture above. That was the first time I tried it out and so far, I like it. My phone didn’t completely fit inside it, probably because I have an Otterbox case on it to protect it. (Those cases are freaking expensive! But it would be more expensive to replace my phone … so my extravagant purchase is justified, I suppose). But I like that it doesn’t completely fit inside – I was worried it would get too hot and burn up. My last phone case (different phone) did that. It didn’t ruin the phone, but it got so hot that I didn’t feel comfortable using it anymore.

I’ve been researching hiking trails in our area. I’m sort of on a hiking trails kick. I actually saw a really cool one in Ponca AR, but I’m not sure I can talk Kevin into driving 1 1/2 hours to get there and back. We’ll see. I also saw one in Branson MO too, but again, not sure I can talk the old man into driving down to it. In fact, there are quite a few things I’d like to do at Big Cedar Lodge. Horseback riding, for instance. I’ve never been and would like to try it, at least once.

Maybe one of these years (months ..?)

Our Not-So-Epic 25th Anniversary Dinner Out

I usually make fun of people who post pictures of food …

But …

food-plate
(And may I just point out – this picture was taken with my phone. Damn!)

Tell me this doesn’t look scrumptious.

And it was. Even though Kevin ordered it, I forked several veggies for myself.

The sauce drizzled on top looks like chocolate – it’s not chocolate, it’s some sort of soy sauce-ish thing. And though it was delicious, it was too much. I think if we ever go to this place again, (it was Bambinos – Italian food place), then we’ll likely order it on the side.

Kevin and I don’t eat out very much. We have “go git” nights and that’s usually about once/twice a week. Which actually sounds like a lot when I put it like that.

We eat out more now that the boys are on their own. In fact, if the boys didn’t practically come over every night to eat dinner with us, we’d probably eat out a lot more because who wants to cook for only two people?

It was a nice dinner. Bambinos was a quaint, quiet, intimate place and the prices weren’t too bad. We enjoyed ourselves. We might go back – in another 25 years.

And that was the extent of our 25th wedding anniversary. Since our gift to each other was a Hawaiian cruise and we felt like we had already celebrated our anniversary, we didn’t feel like doing much.

What? I haven’t written about our Hawaiian cruise yet?

Patience .. I’ll get there, eventually.

Preparing the Pool

So. I can’t remember if I told you guys that our rental house has a pool.

Well. It does.

Kevin has spent countless hours on this pool. (Notice I did not say ME and Kevin have spent countless hours on this pool. I have not lifted one finger on this project. Two reasons: 1. I have no idea how to help but more importantly, 2. I’m lazy).

It did not look like this when we bought it. It was dirty filthy and had disgusting sludge in the bottom. Kevin and Roy sucked/shoveled out the sludge and used the pressure washer on it. Kevin and Roy found a pressure washer at a yard sale, (they have both been scouring yard sales lately and it’s been AMAZING the kind of stuff they have been finding! Pretty much everything that Roy has been needing for his house. I truly believe God has been providing for Roy because he wouldn’t have been able to afford these items otherwise. GOD IS SO GOOD!), and Roy used that (for days – he loves the pressure washer) on the concrete around the pool, the slide and the diving board along with the interior of the pool (removing the old paint).

Kevin and Roy then painted the interior of the pool and Kevin has been working on making sure the pool will hold water. Which, has been touch and go. His current headache – something to do with some valve, blahblahblahblah, will have to dig, blahblahblahblah. Honestly, valve and dig were the only two words I heard. lol

Kevin said he’s going to have to do his first digging since working on the pool.

I’ll be honest. This stupid pool has been my biggest concern since purchasing this rental house. It’s an ongoing project that will always cost us money to upkeep and maintain. And when we bought the house from the previous owner, he told us he had a pool company come out and give him a bid on how much it would cost to fix up the pool and make it usable again. He quoted thousands of dollars. So when Kevin said he was going to get the pool up and running by this summer, dollar signs began to flash before my eyes.

Crap.

However. Once again, my husband has surprised me with his resourcefulness. He has watched countless YouTube videos, (what did we do before YouTube??) about how to fix the pool and dog gone it, he’s gotten it to the shape you see above. Roy has “helped”, though not really. He “helps” but standing by and watching – Kevin is really the one who can take credit for this feat.

The weather has been cool and rainy thus far. Kevin said the pool water is a cool 60-some odd degrees right now, too cold to go swimming, but he fully plans on using the pool as soon as it warms up and I’m quite confident he will have fixed this latest problem when that times comes, too.

Notice I said HE plans on using the pool. I will stick my feet in the pool and soak up some sunshine. My swimsuit days are OVER. Thank God.

(I can already feel my resolve weakening after watching Kevin dive in. Dang it!)

Twenty-Five Years Strong

me-and-kev2A May 26, 1990. That was the day my life changed for the better.

Kevin and I have been married for 25 years. And I could write a novel of the events that lead up to this day, but I think instead, I’m going to copy what my sister-in-law did on Facebook and just bullet-point our lives:

  • We worked together at a bank – that’s how we met.

  • Our first “date” was the company Christmas party. And we met there, in separate cars. Because I was a strong female and didn’t want him to think I was easy. *smirk*

  • We lived together for two years before we got married. *gasp*

  • I had to give him an ultimatum – either we get married, or we go our separate ways. (Remember that strong female part? I was terrified he would walk out – but I guess it was better than wasting years together).

  • I had to shop around for a church. We didn’t belong to a church and a friend I worked with recommended a pretty little church in Nixa. Done.

  • Our wedding day: Kevin thought I stood him up since I was late getting to the church. That same friend that recommended the church also did my hair. A fancy little braid number and it took longer than we thought it would. Kevin said he lost a few years waiting for me.

  • We paid for our wedding ourselves. Well. Technically, we used one of my school loans to pay for our wedding.

  • My mom’s wedding gift to me was making my wedding dress.

  • I still have the dress packed away in a garment bag. I couldn’t fit into it now to save my life.

  • We toasted each other with paper cups because I totally forgot to buy glasses for the occasion.

  • Our wedding photographer was horrified because Kevin forgot to wear dark socks with his tux. The photographer had to place my wedding bouquet over his feet to hide them.

  • Whoever was in charge of music played the wedding march (the song you exit to) when my dad escorted me down the aisle. I wasn’t even aware of that faux pas until Kevin and I watched the wedding video afterward.

  • I had to wear ballet slippers instead of gorgeous heels because I didn’t want to be taller than Kevin for our pictures. (At least I was comfortable).

  • I couldn’t wait for the ceremony to be over. And who was the idiot that picked three songs to sing, during the ceremony, so that it lasted WAY longer than it had to? (That would be me).

  • We honeymooned in Cozumel, Mexico.

  • It was the first time I had ever been out of Missouri, let alone the country, and I cried like a baby.

  • I smashed my pinky in a lounge chair on the beach. I later lost that fingernail.

  • We rented a moped to get around the island and I don’t think we wore helmets. (We were young and stupid).

  • We ate lunch at a shack on the other side of the island and wrote our names in this pole. We later went back to Cozumel years later and the shack was gone.

  • I remember Kevin and I being horrified because the little prop plane that took us from Cancun to Cozumel was literally held together by duct tape.

  • I absolutely did not pack the right type of clothing for Cozumel. All of my shirts were too heavy and all I had with me were jean shorts. I’ve since learned tank tops and breezy skirts are your friend if you ever go to a tropical island.

  • On the plane ride home from our honeymoon, the landing gear wouldn’t come out and one of the flight attendants had to open the floor and crank the gear down. That did not help my anxiety over flying one bit.

  • I did not fly again until our 10th anniversary cruise to the Caribbean.

    and lastly …

  • I can’t imagine my life without my best friend, lover, confidante and husband.

  • Thank you for putting up with me all of these years, sweetie. I love you to the moon and back.

    lipstick-mirror

    Taking Care of Our Elders

    grandpa

    One of the many things I like about Facebook? You get to learn things about your family that you otherwise probably wouldn’t have known.

    The man laying on the ground in the picture above is my grandfather – my dad’s dad. He fought in World War II.

    I’m just going to post what my Aunt posted on Facebook …

    Dan said his dad never talked about the war much (who could blame him) but he would tell us this story often.

    One day there was an order to head out, so some of his buddies got into the jeep. Right before Leroy got in, his commanding officer said “Hutton you stay”. That jeep was hit and Leroy lost good friends. He would say to us, “If I would have gotten in, you all would have never been here, that saved my life”. Glad he didn’t get in!”

    Isn’t it amazing to think that one moment in time, that one split second decision my grandfather’s commanding officer made, led us to this moment: Four children, ten grandchildren, nineteen (?) great grandchildren later.

    It sort of boggles the mind when you stop to think about it.

    My grandfather is in his early nineties now. We lost my grandmother, my dad’s mom, about … three years ago (?). She developed dementia toward the end of her life and it was a terribly sad way to say goodbye. It was very hard on my parents, I know. And now my grandfather is being moved to a nursing home today because we have reached the point where he can’t take care of himself and it’s physically too hard on my family to help. (He’s wheelchair bound and he requires physical assistance to get into bed, go to the bathroom, etc).

    This is INCREDIBLY hard on my grandfather. He’s FIERCELY independent, has been his whole life, so now that he is being forced into this situation, well, it’s been difficult, to say the least.

    My parents came over yesterday and they filled in the details. It was heartbreaking to listen to the anguish in their voices and watch tears gather in their eyes.

    My grandfather begs them to take him home. He doesn’t want to go to the home. Who can blame him?? But though my family tried to take care of him in his home for one week, the situation is simply more than any of them can handle. They’re trying to make deals with my grandfather, work hard, participate in physical therapy, work on his strength so that he can at least walk on his own again and then they can take him home and work on a schedule to have someone with him at all times. But my grandfather is being stubborn. I’m sure the whole situation is embarrassing and humiliating for him. I see this in patients every day at work. It’s SO HARD to succumb to physical restrictions and have to rely on other people to help you when you’ve been so used to being on your own, taking care of yourself, your whole life.

    This situation makes me think of my own parents a lot. They’re getting up there in age, too. Though they are still both relatively young and stay physically active (they go to a gym to walk and socialize every day), I can see early signs of dependency. It brings a lump to my throat to think me and my siblings may be in a similar boat one of these years. And though you can promise you’ll never, ever, put your loved ones in a home, you can’t TRULY promise that. I think this situation with my grandfather has taught me that. All you can do is the best you can do for the situation you find yourself in.

    I also wonder how our boys will react when Kevin and I reach that age. Getting older has never really bothered me before, but honestly, seeing my grandfather’s situation has opened up doors I never really knew existed before.

    I learned that being in a home, a DECENT home, is terribly expensive. This will likely put a huge dent in my grandfather’s money. I have no idea how much he has, it’s really none of my business how much money he has, but knowing my family, he likely has a nest egg somewhere he can rely on to help him through this stage. I feel terribly sorry for people that DON’T have that money to fall back on.

    Kevin and I have talked about making sure we have a will. But I’m not sure we have ever really discussed our plan if one of us ends up in a nursing home. I have made Kevin promise me he will never put me in a home, and vice versa, but my grandfather’s situation has taught me, it’s never quite that black and white.

    I worry that dementia runs in our family. I mentioned my grandmother had it and there are signs my grandfather might have it, too. I’ve always worried about my own memory – I have trouble remembering things NOW. What will I be like when I reach my twilight years?

    I think that’s one big reason I refuse to retire. Which, I realize is unrealistic, my body will deteriorate … I realize this. But I hereby pledge to work on keeping my mind active. I’m not saying my grandparents did not do that, dementia is not something you can likely prevent, but I will do everything in my power to keep it at arm’s length.

    In the meantime, life trudges on. All we can do is try and keep pace with it.