Sunday, November 19, 2017

It Looks Like Thanksgiving Around Here!


Due to a change in plans, I got to have our bridge club
in November this year.
In order to stay in the decoration competition
(which, of course, no one owns up to us having)
I had to dig out some thanksgiving stuff.
 Some of these items had not seen the light of day
 in years, and I had forgotten how pretty they are!
So...I want to show them off.
They may not come out again in my lifetime!


Starting at the front:
My darling Susan planted this urn for me!
And you've seen this!
It does come out every year!


The entry hall:
Don't remember ever seeing these before,
but aren't they darling!



The hearth:
I knew where these little fellers were hiding!



This is not really "thanksgivingy" but...
I did it with stuff I had!



Something special in the kitchen:

Susan gave this to me when Jack was so very ill.
It also comes out every year, and I always
hate to put it up. 



And on the kitchen table:
Lo and behold, this turkey was hiding with the
little pilgrim couple under a table skirt!




The dining table:
 Began with these beautiful placemats
blatantly copied from Darlene Mitchell!

I took 14 pictures, and this was the best.
You'll just have to take my word for how 
splendiferous it looks! 


I couldn't resist buying a special sofa pillow--
the one on the right that says Gather Together--
for Thanksgiving.
I love the way sofa pillows look, but always find
them somewhat irritating when trying to 
actually sit on the sofa.
I looked up and...
Apparently my bridge friends agree.


These photos are only partially posed!
Barbara Martin had actually placed the one she is
 holding on the floor beside the sofa when I noticed it.
And poor Ken Mitchell was suffering through sitting
on "Gather Together!"
But Joan Clements and Steve Lockwood
were already holding theirs, exactly as pictured!
Be sure to note that even the small one from one 
of the chairs has
been relegated to the coffee table by Dan Phillips!


We had a great evening, as usual.
I made a special cake for these tee-totalin' Baptists.
It is Shay Shull's Margarita bundt.
I told the group they would have to show their ID
in order for me to serve them!
Of course, I laughed more than anyone else because I 
just tickle myself to death, you know!
But all loved the cake!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds."
Psalm 9:1




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rescued Again!

I believe that every day I live is a miracle from God.
He enables me to wake up in the morning.
He gives me the breath and strength for each new day.
But occasionally he does something spectacular.
Something no one could deny is a miracle.


I related the most memorable of those 
Just click and read about a miracle that saved a trip
to Jordan for about 20 people!


In a real dichotomy of location, my latest miracle
happened in Las Vegas.
You may have read that I visited there recently
with two girlfriends.


One of the highlights of our visit was seeing
"O" at the Bellagio Hotel.
I was staying at a different hotel
 from Joyce and Adelene, one which required my taking an uber to the Bellagio.


That ride was amazing.
The car was the nicest uber vehicle I have ever been in.
The driver's name was Humayun.
He told me he was retired and gave all the money he
made from ubering to charity.
We discussed at length our mutual faith in God.
I remember feeling so blessed that I got him to drive me!
(I had no clue how blessed I was.)


We had a wonderful fish and chips dinner at Bellagio.
When we got ready to pay, the bottom fell out.
Not only did I have no credit card in my purse,
I also had no driver's license, which was required to
claim my ticket for "O."


In order to claim my ticket, the agent had to call my
hotel to verify my identity!
I guess you can imagine that I did not enjoy "O
as much as I could have.
(I was able to appreciate that it is about the most
spectacular show I have ever seen!)
My only hope was that I had left the two cards
in my hotel room, but I was almost sure I hadn't.


I paid cash for a taxi back to my hotel after the show.
My heart sank as I searched in vain for my cards.
How was I even going to fly home without my I.D.?


Then I received a message on my cell phone.
It was from uber asking me to call them.
I was told lost items had been found by my uber
driver in his car!!!
I almost can't believe this as I type it.
Humayan drove 25 minutes back to my hotel
to bring me my cards.
An observer would have thought we were long
lost friends when he got there.
I hugged and hugged him (and gave him a huge tip!)
He called me and told me I gave him too much money!


Some people never learn.
Here is the "cute" purse I was carrying that night.

Like the bag in Jordan, it did not close securely--
no zipper.
One little magnetic snap which sometimes did and
sometimes didn't catch!



I really feel like the Lord has given me more
than my allotted share of miracles
regarding open top cute bags.
But no one could be more grateful than I am.


"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with
all my heart.
I will tell of your wonderful deeds."
Psalm 9:1






Sunday, October 22, 2017

My Wings Have Been Clipped

"Into each life some rain must fall...
(followed by large hail and damaging winds.)"
That last part is not really me, 
but it is raining pretty good!
I have severe osteoarthritis in my right knee, to the
 extent that I need a total replacement.


It was rather difficult, to put it mildly, for me to be
convinced that this was really the case.
Since the first of the year I have been to 
Las Vegas 3 times.
The first time I bussed to the west rim 
of the Grand Canyon.
And I walked 13,000 steps one day to ride the big ferris
wheel, The High Roller.
The second time I took a much longer trip in a van to
the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
This nearly killed me.
The third time I went with two girlfriends--one 
who had never been before, and one who had not been 
in about 28 years--and walked 10,000 steps one day.
(By this time what I was doing was not really walking
but rather limping or "cripping" as I called it!)
Actually, I was riding in a wheelchair through the
Las Vegas airport on my 3rd return home!
Between the second and third trips I spent a week
 on the largest cruise ship in the world,
 the Harmony of the Seas.


Trips #1, 2, 3, and 4 were completely nuts!
I call myself the eternal optimist. "Oh, I can make it!"
"I don't want to be a hypochondriac!"
Now I have to carefully plan my parking when I go
to Waco!



And...I am not getting to go to Ogunquit, Maine, to
see my Madeline in From Here to Eternity.
On second thought, THIS is the large hail and
damaging wind.
I am completely crushed.


Also heart breaking to me is the fact that I can't
handle singing in the choir any more. 
Even if I can crip in to the loft,
the range of motion in my bad knee is so limited that
I can't straighten that leg, so after minutes I
begin to feel unsteady and can't continue standing.


I mustn't go any longer without acknowledging
that I fully realize my problem is fixable.
Some of you have situations which are not.
I am blessed way beyond what I deserve, and I
do not know why.


Since I irresponsibly tortured myself through these 
trips, I wish to "share" (probably "bore") you
with some photographic proof!


 Foolhardy Trip #1


This is the location of the glass floor over the
Grand Canyon, which was on my bucket list.
This eagle formation in the canyon was beautiful.

And the man made attraction-The High Roller
and me riding
(I'm hiding my pain!)




Double Foolhardy Trip #2

South Rim--added to my bucket list after the West Rim

At Mather Point


Really Questionable Trip #3

Jay and Terri took this picture from the live web cam
 of me actually departing from Ft. Lauderdale

In Labadee, Haiti

How big was the ship?
16 decks of mile long corridors!

I got to tour the bridge, limping all the way!
(There was absolutely no one driving the ship!)




Fun Through The Pain Trip #4

Las Vegas Girls' Getaway
With Adelene Howell
and Joyce Brockenbush 

We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower!

We saw white tigers at:



We had a wonderful dinner at Bellagio before
seeing "O" 
(Someone seems to have taken a bite of my fish 
before I took this pic!)

And here I am in my room icing my poor tortured knee
between events!

Only consolation?
Adelene was in about as bad shape as I was.
This is how we looked the majority of the trip.






I've had some angels appear along the way during
this summer of painful travel.
I'm saving those stories for another day.
(I know--you're glad!)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Are You Ready to Guess?

I'm finally ready to present my bargains from
this years brown bag sale at the wonderful 
Gene Allen Gifts!
The sale was actually September 7th, so I got
excited all over again when I spread out my loot today!


I was able to make two of the Gene Allen stores
this year--Little Road and Randol Mill.
The brown bags were $20--
that's for all the final sale items you can "place" in one.
("pack," "cram," or "stuff" might be better words!)
I purchased 4 bags full!


**REMEMBER**
Click on the pictures to enlarge!


Except as noted, these items will go to the
Mission Arlington Christmas store.
The grown up things are for moms when the 
children get to shop for them.


So, here we go! All my loot in two pictures.



I'll start by giving you a few details about this chairfull!
The TCU bag is actually Vera Bradley!
(Know someone who would love to have this?)
The hanging item is a darling pair of houseshoes.
The little yellow bag says "Itty Bittys."


Now moving to items in the top picture.
There are 12 of these fabulous books.
They pop up and light up!
Honestly, to me these books were easily worth 
the total amount I spent.



These are some baby items which will go to the
Metroplex Pregnancy Center.



Here is the jewelry I got.
There are 29 "lokai" bracelets, (which "help you find
your balance," so you may find me wearing a couple,)
8 necklaces, and the other things you can see.




Here are some miscellaneous items.
Those are leather coasters wrapped in cellophane
sitting inside one of the three candle holders.
 There are 4 leather coasters wrapped in cellophane
sitting on top of one of the three candle holders.





I only got 3 shirts this year.


My menagerie.



You will also see in the very first picture 4 stacks
 of personalized styrofoam cups which are going to be
 very popular with a member of my family!


Okay!!!
Are you getting your guessing britches on?
How much in total value did I get for my $80?
The one who guesses closest to the original retail
prices of all these items, including tax,
will win a $50 gift certificate to
Gene Allen Gifts!


I will announce the winner on Monday evening,
October 2nd, so that everyone will have 
time to enter.
Just give me your best guess on Facebook!





Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lest I Forget My Best Birthday Ever



My 80th birthday was an event I want to remember
and relive forever.
It was by far the best of my Exclamation Point Life!!!
So...I am memorializing it here mostly for me.


On July 13th, my actual birthday, I got up to find this
in my front yard!!!
It was soooo exciting!
A first for me for sure!
I was also delivered a big Starbucks and a
selection of my fav donuts by Susan.



I then picked cousin Sarah up at the airport
(who also brought me donuts!) 
 and had a fabulous lunch at the Sanford House
attired like this:



Please look closely 
(or click on the picture to make it bigger!)
so you can see my glittery crown,
compliments of my glittery actress daughter!
It actually has an "80" dangling in the center!


Really my celebration began the day before
when I wore my tiara to the nail shop!


You really gotta zoom in on this one!
I'll bet I was the only 80 year old in this world of 
millions and billions of people getting a pedi 
in a rhinestone tiara.


The next event in my celebration was seeing
Always, Patsy Cline
with the whole extended family (or most of us.)
In the program Susan had beautifully dedicated
her performance to me and my 80th birthday.
A first for me and touching beyond words.
But then...she introduced me from the stage after
the show and presented me with a dozen pink roses!
This event was taking place on Rob's mother's,
Shirley Metzger Branham's, actual birthday,
so she was presented with a dozen roses also!
It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of evening!

Here I am, still in my special attire, with my girl.



"Oh, what a night!!!"


And then...The Main Event!
A birthday party extraordinaire!!!
The location: Metzger Party Central
The hosts and hostesses: Susan and Rob
Terri and Jay
For some reason, they chose a travel theme for my
celebration! 






My fabulous cake!







My precious family.



How do I tell you about
 THE MOST SPECIAL OF ALL SPECIAL THINGS?
Playing in a loop on two televisions was a video
of my life compiled by my beyond amazing
daughter-in-love, Terri!
Set to the most amazing music ever!
(She was also responsible for those darling
water bottles and the personalized! M & M's!)

You can see my video by clicking here:

Linda's Exclamation Point Life!!!
(be sure to have your speakers on!)


We had a sing-a-long 
(with lovely word booklets thanks to John Deaso)
and then were entertained by the Von Metzgers.
At my request Susan sang 
Before the Parade Passes By.
Terri also included that favorite on the music
for my video!
Then Madeline and Susannah sang a very appropriate
rendition of Sisters.
And Susan and Rob, also appropriately, sang
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better!
However, I think this may be the last time Rob does
 this one with Susan if the verses
"any note you can sing I can sing higher" and
"any note you can hold I can hold longer"
are included!
We were blessed to have Debbie Jasper playing
the piano for all of this.
Then Susan did a little Patsy Cline a capella.


When one overuses superlatives daily and
openly owns up to the overuse of !!!!!s,
one has a difficult time describing the best
celebration of one's life.
But this was it.
Plain and simple.


****************

Credit for the phabulous photos:
Tammy Ferguson
(Who doesn't usually work on Sunday
but did so for me)