Saturday, October 22, 2011


A week or so ago, my friend, Becky and I, were telling some other ladies about the blogs we read. One of the blogs we both enjoy is The Big Mama Blog. Although Big Mama is younger than us, we can still recall enough of our late thirties to relate to her experiences. Plus, she is a good writer. During this conversation, Becky revealed that Big Mama was much funnier than me. Ever since then, I have had a mild case of writer’s block. I can’t blame Becky, though, because I totally agree with her assessment. Big Mama is funnier and a better writer. But, I will not be deterred. "I am older and have more insurance." Name that movie!

Yesterday we took Ben and Scarlett to the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show. This was the pre-show, so it was not crowded and there was lots of food. Two important criteria for any of my activities.
We had a lot of fun with the kids. We watched pilots doing preposterous stunts in their planes,

viewed helicopters, 

and toured the Orbis Eye Surgery plane. Ben and Scarlett piloted it for a few minutes.

 Then we were sent to the back. Apparently, grandfathers are not supposed to tell their grandchildren it is okay to take the controls and turn them. This Orbis team mainly teaches doctors in other countries how to do cataract surgery. They have a surgery center and screening room on the plane. They instruct the doctors how to do the surgery with instruments that are available in their country. (think razor blades, if those are the only affordable and available instruments)  A surgery that we take for granted nowadays is not available to most of the world. It is hard to fathom that so many people our age and younger might be unable to see the wonders around them.

We wouldn’t be able to watch the Air Force Thunderbirds fly at 1000 mph.

We wouldn’t be able to see them do this. Amazing!

More importantly, grandparents wouldn’t be able to spend days like this with their grand kids.

We wouldn’t see a granddad and his grandson look so cute together. 

We wouldn’t see a granddaughter in her Halloween costume. 

Or this one’s adorable smile.

Nor we would see our youngest daughter and her husband creatively announce that we have another grandchild on the way!

" I guess you already know that there are angels masquerading as people walking around this planet...." (yep, same movie)

 They help us see, they keep us laughing, and they love us. Appreciate them all. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can You Help My Flamingo?

A few weeks ago, I went to Canton for the first time. I never went in the past when all my friends were going, because I was working. They always went during the week, so there was no one to go with on the weekend. Also, I am not much of a shopper. I am sure Barry just had a gripping chest pain as I typed those words and doesn't even know why.

I admit, I do shop. But, I shop online or at certain stores that I can get in and out quickly. Going into a crowded store and looking at all the merchandise is overwhelming and claustrophobic for me. Even when I was young, I used to black out at Leonard's Department Store during the holidays. As I got older, I basically saw something on a mannequin, bought it, and went home.

The trip was fun, although it was not as fun as the photo on the Canton Trade Days website implies.
Have you ever seen such a cute, happy couple shopping at a trade day? Trust me, those two are not indicative to the average Canton shopper.

Our country club took a bus load of women (which is more representative to the average Canton shopper), so there were people there to guide me. My best purchase was, flamingos. My friend, Jorj, and I got the last three solar powered ones. (and we did look as happy as that couple above when we found them).

The flamingos have been living around the pool. This is their daytime look:

This is their nighttime look:

As we know, though, life is fragile. One night, a storm came through, and I had not put the flamingos under cover. Since then, only one flamingo's solar unit is working. While I am married to a wonderful veterinarian, I am not sure he can help this flamingo. So, if anyone has advice on solar units, flamingos, or about shopping, please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Responsibilities Take Time

The lack of new posts to this blog has been bothering me. However, I did notice that some of my other favorite bloggers have not been posting as regularly lately. I will just call it seasonal responsibilities.

First, there have been a lot of baseball games to watch. WooHoo, the Rangers are going to the World Series, AGAIN!  Nolan Ryan has predicted that the Rangers will win the series in six games. Go Rangers! Secondly, there have been a lot of new television shows to watch. JOE ON THE TUBE, won't you return and help us decide what is worth watching? Thirdly, there were more grandchildren to keep. Fun!

Brett and Shannon went out of town to a wedding, and we kept Ben and Scarlett. While Ben was at school, Scarlett and I spent Friday at the house playing with Bingo and crafting. 

Scarlett made a gift for her mother. There was a lot of glitter glue involved. I couldn't touch my camera because of it. Besides, you may recall, Scarlett does not like to be photographed.

Friday evening we went to the Casa Children's Theater. Disappointing. That's all I will say.

Saturday, we went to the Mansfield Arts and Music Festival. The face painters and balloon artists were very popular with these two. 

"Scarlett, let me take a picture of you with your flower balloon."
Balloon Artist
Aha! The face painter holds Scarlett in place for a photo.
A willing model.

Ben and his Fish Hat.

Then there was still time to play. 
More Fun

The rest of the weekend included playing, swimming (kids don't seem to mind cold water), golf, and more crafting. 

Bingo was so tired by Sunday night. Maybe his owner will take time to brush him now that she has less responsibility. Please excuse the little Rag-a Muffin. (PS-my hair did not look much better by Sunday)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"What About the Fair?", You Ask

Those of you who pay any attention to this blog, might be asking yourself if there was anything about a fair in the previous post.

No, there was not. Yes, there was going to be something. However, I was tired and my brain gave out before I could proofread.

All I was going to say was, while I was in Houston at the zoo, Barry and the Arlington Briers were at the State Fair. I hear a good time was had by all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Zoos and Fairs

There are a few photo heavy blogs coming up, you have been forewarned.

I am beginning with today and then will go back to a few days past, just to keep you on your toes.

Today, Joanie, Ava, Lucy, and I went to the zoo.

There were lions, tigers, and chimpanzees, oh my!

There were some messages sent by drums.

Baby elephants resting.

Baby humans enjoying the day.

Have you ever fed a giraffe?

That was fun, but not as much fun as riding the carousel,

with a big sister hug to end the ride.

/>- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Jacob just censored my blog. He felt the photograph I posted yesterday could come back to haunt Ava in her future endeavors. I was touched he thought Travels With Barry would be around for so long.

Here's to your future, Ava.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 3, 2011

The CURSE Landed Us At the Rowdy Chicken

It is true. Barry and I are cursed. I don’t know who cursed us or why, but we have a restaurant curse. It began shortly after we were married. Someday, I will chronicle the cursed restaurant events.
Right now, I am just going back to last week. We were on a three day golf trip at the Winstar Golf Course in Oklahoma with the Retired Couples. I don’t know why the curse didn’t pop into our mind the first morning when some things went awry at breakfast. I think we were too enthralled with the sunrise to think about it.

The last evening of the trip, several couples decided to go to McGee’s for catfish. In that area of Thackerville/Marietta, McGee’s is famous for their catfish. One of our fearless leaders called the restaurant for directions before we left. Now, if you called a restaurant, asked for directions, and those said directions were given, wouldn’t you assume that the restaurant was open? 
When we pulled up to McGee’s, it was dark and locked. There were two cars in the parking lot. Then, some employees came out of the restaurant, got in their cars, and drove away. This is where Barry and I had to confess to our companions that we are cursed. 
W all decided to go to the Los Rocos Mexican Restaurant in Marietta. Between McGee’s and Los Rocos, we did notice a flashing sign that said “All You Can Eat Catfish and Shrimp” pointing to a structure off the road. As luck or curse would have it, when we pulled into Los Rocos the parking lot was packed. Even though a full parking lot can mean that the food is good, it looked too crowded. We opted to head back to the “All You Can Eat” place. 
The Rowdy Chicken had at least two cars in their parking lot. We went in and were greeted by a young, pregnant woman. She and her husband (the cook) were the owners. She was thrilled to have fourteen people walk into her new restaurant. In that second, her clientele more than tripled. She said they would have no problem handling our party of fourteen and seated us immediately. 
Next she came to take our drink orders. They did not have their license for beer yet, and she informed us that she was not ever going to serve hard liquor “because she was afraid of large parties like ours.” Senior citizens = party time in Marietta, I assume. 
Most of us ordered the catfish basket, but Barry and one of the other men ordered the all you can eat catfish and hush puppies. Of course, fourteen orders does kind of slam a kitchen with one cook, so we had a little wait. 
During this time, Barry and I shared my favorite restaurant curse story. 
Barry, the kids, and I had been in Galveston for several days. Barry was very tan after several days on the beach. It was Father’s Day, and we met Barry’s family at Pappisitos in Houston for lunch. It was really crowded and the wait was long. We finally were seated. My seat was facing a very large family of Asians waiting for their meal.  All of a sudden, I saw their faces light up. They were pointing as a waitress came by with a huge tray of sizzling fajitas. Apparently they had spotted their order coming toward them. Then, I saw a look of concern come over their faces and then horror. Their lunch was slipping off the tray in slow motion onto Barry. The next thing I knew, Barry was jumping up and yelling. The waitress asked, “Are you okay?”
Barry yelled, “No, I am not okay! It burned me.”  The waitress began to cry. 
The Asian family looked like they were going to cry too. However, the Brier family was in hysterics. Barry kept telling us it was not funny and that it hurt, but we couldn’t stop. 
Next, they took Barry to the kitchen. After a few minutes, he came out dressed in the busboy uniform. Another round of hysteria ensued.  With his tan and his uniform, we couldn’t help but ask him for more water and tea, when he got to our table. 
The restaurant washed Barry’s clothes and gave him his meal free. I don’t know what happened with the waitress or the Asian family. 

About this time, our waitress at the Rowdy Chicken brought us several ketchup bottles for the table. Each one of them was empty. We pointed this out to her, she said, “Yeah, We are low on ketchup.”
When the food came, Barry had no hush puppies. When he asked about them, he was told, that normally with his order you received all you could eat hush puppies, but they had run out this evening. Those other four customers must have eaten a lot of hush puppies.
The catfish was excellent, and we all enjoyed the owner. She was precious. For our dessert, she served us each a piece of miniature Halloween candy.

That, my friends, is how the Restaurant Curse led us to the Rowdy Chicken.