Shame on me...no new posts in over 2 weeks! Guess I've got some catching up to do. Truth is, we haven't done anything worth writing about in that two weeks. We left Louisiana behind, stopping in Beaumont for 2 nights. Nothing much going on there.
Then we stopped at Belton Lake for 4 nights, at the Cedar Ridge Corps of Engineers Campground. Cowboy was happy, because he got some good fishing in. But honestly, the highlight of my time there was going to Dollar Tree. Love that little store!
Then we came home. End of story.
Well, not quite the end, although I don't see why anyone would be interested in our humdrum home life. Except us.
First off, we were so excited about being home, we gave ourselves a welcome home party. I fixed a huge pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup (the recipe's at the bottom of this post, if you're interested) and we fed ourselves, our son, our daughter, son-in-law and grandgirls, and our loaner son & daughter, with their little one. Then our best friends (of 35 years!) stopped by, and we had a house full! What a welcome home!
The rest of the week was spent visiting Tim's brother, doing laundry, buying groceries, voting, attending a couple of funerals (not fun), getting haircuts, doing more laundry, buying more groceries, delivering a car to Dallas for the local Chevrolet dealership (Cowboy's very part-time job - I just rode along to keep him company), and attending worship services. Oh, and the Cowboy and his middle brother hauled a bunch of hay out of the field. Horses gotta eat this winter!
Saturday was a fun day. Cowboy wanted to geocache, and, since he couldn't find anyone fun to go with him, he bullied, I mean, sweet-talked, me into going with. But, saved by the bell (at least I thought so), my brother called just as we were about to leave and said he and his lovely wife were in town and would like to meet us somewhere for lunch. Yay! We went to a brand new Mexican restaurant in town, Rio Mambo, and had a wonderful, relaxing and fun lunch. Brother only lives about two hours away from us, but it seems we hardly ever see each other, so this was a real blessing.
But, my reprieve was over as soon as lunch ended. Brother had to get on with his business, so off we went to find those caches. I went, armed with a cold drink, my i-phone, and my Kindle. Oh, and Charlie Chihuahua couldn't be left behind. Hunting for geocaches is not my favorite thing, but I do get a kick out of the Cowboy's excitement, and we had nice weather for it, and I like getting out and seeing the country, going down roads I wouldn't normally travel. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, after all.
Now comes the most exciting part of my week. Have I mentioned that my beautiful, talented grandgirls have been in music classes since they could crawl? And the 10 year old has been taking piano classes for 4 years, and the 8 year old, for 2 years? I'm sure I have.
Saturday, they played in the local Piano Festival, along with I-don't-know-how-many-but-it-was-a-lot of other kids. They were all judged, (or graded may be a better word) and received certificates according to how well they did. The ones who got the highest commendations were asked to play in the Honors Recital at the end of the day's activities. And our oldest was asked to play, along with about 20 other kids.
Parents and grandparents are not allowed to watch them play for the judges (makes them too nervous), but we are invited to watch the Recital, so our daughter called to let us know about it, and we rushed to the church where it was being held.
These kids are all impressive, but, I must say, our grandgirl was awesome. Not one mistake. I was so impressed. She has always shown a lot of talent for the piano, but she's gotten even better while we've been gone on this trip. It was just awesome to watch those little fingers fly across the keyboard, and hear the beautiful music she produced. Just. Awesome.
After the Recital, we all went out for hamburgers (yay, did you catch that? We ate out twice in one day! No cooking - or dishwashing - for me all day long!)
Then we all went to see Cowboy's brother, Richard. He fell, back a couple of months ago and damaged his spinal cord. After surgery to stabilize his neck, and intensive rehab in a Dallas hospital, he was moved to a local rehab center just before we came home. I want to thank all of you who have been praying for his full recovery. He is determined to walk again, and is making great progress. Keep praying, okay?
So, anyhow, all 7 of us (us, our son, our daughter's family) stopped to see Richard on the way home. Which was just the perfect end to the perfect day.
And that's what we've been doing. Back to wonderful, boring, blessed, real life. It's good to be home.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Cooked chicken - baked, broiled, grilled, rotisserie...whatever and however much you've got - I used about 2 chicken breasts. Shredded or chopped
1 can of beans, black or pinto
1 can of corn or hominy
1 can of tomatoes and green chiles, like Rotel
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper, whatever color you like
1 envelope taco mix
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon oil
Whatever else you think would be good
Saute the onion and bell pepper until softened. Add all the other ingredients, and simmer for about half an hour.
Serve lots of toppings. We like crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, picante sauce, sour cream, olives, chopped green onions, sliced avocado, and lime wedges. And jalapenos.
Serves 4 - 6.