Sunday, February 28, 2010


Nestled in the oak trees, on top of a small hill in Eastern Oklahoma, stands a cozy, comfy B&B that we had the privilege of staying at on Thursday night.  Oh, I guess it's not really a B&B, but it could be.  It is the home of my bloggy friend, Lisa , and her husband Scott.  On our trip home from Texas this past week, we made plans to meet Lisa and Scott for dinner on Thursday night.  We emailed and talked on the phone, and were in the midst of planning, when Lisa wrote me an email asking us to consider staying with them at their home!  What a generous offer to make to someone she'd never met!

Well, we took them up on their offer, and are so glad we did.  We found their place with no trouble at all and were met at the door by Lisa and Scott, and Callie, Rudy, and mama Zoey, the three dogs.  Boxers.  As cute as can be!  We immediately sat down and began talking.  Lisa and I had no problem finding subjects to talk about, and we barely paused to take a breath!  Ernie and Scott hit it off famously, and soon were also chatting away like old friends.  After awhile we were served dinner, nummy homemade tacos with some to die for peach sherbet for dessert, and after dinner we resumed talking, getting to know each other better.

Then we found that they had given up their bedroom for us!  Lisa didn't want to dogs to bother us, so she slept in the living room with them to keep them away from the bedroom!  We had the king sized bed with the beautiful quilted bedspread and fluffy pillows, and our own private bathroom.  And on the nightstand was a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers, just like at a 5 star B&B.  Breakfast in the morning was bacon, eggs, toast, orange juice and coffee, while the deer in the back yard were munching on the corn Scott feeds them.  By now the dogs had figured out that we were harmless, and they barely noticed when we went in and out.

All too soon we had to get on the road so we packed up the truck and carefully backed down the hill on their narrow driveway.  I was sad to say good-bye to our new friends, but I know we will get together again.  We have found ourselves some good friends there in Oklahoma, and I know we'll make sure we get to visit again.  Meantime, blogs, emails and phone calls will have to do. 

Dear Lisa and Scott:  Thank you so much for your gracious hospitality.  I may sound like I'm  recommending your B&B, but I'll not give anyone directions to it because we found you first and we're not sharing!  We enjoyed our time with you so much and hope we can get together again soon. 

So folks, keep on blogging.  You may find lifetime friends, like we did!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


At about nine this morning we had to say good bye to Glenn and Carole as they headed east through Houston and on to New Orleans and Florida before turning north to their home in Maryland and we needed to go north to Minnesota.  We have had so much fun with them, sightseeing, exploring, getting lost, eating together, and playing cards.  (Hand and foot.  You know it?)   Last night we went out for BBQ with them.  Ernie and I had the baked corn, beans, and ribs.

I think you can see that everyone cleaned up their food pretty well!  Messy on the fingers, but good food!
So this morning we took off for home.  We often take the smaller state highways rather than the freeways.  It's more interesting, and there is less traffic.  Maybe you can't drive as fast, but that's a plus for me too!  There is no need to careen down the highway at 75 miles an hour!
We pulled off to the side of the road for a potty break.  No, not in this abandoned gas station.  Remember, we are pulling our own behind us! 
Lunch time came as we drove through an historic old town, and we stopped at this unique cafe, The Wooden Spoon.  See the green shrubs along the building?  Artificial Christmas trees! 
And there was another one inside, adorned in shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day.   The walls were painted peeling brick walls, with a couple of cupboards and counters in yellow and green.  The black and white checkerboard was repeated on the seat covers on the bar stools and on the rear wall of the cafe.  The tables were homemade, with the frame and legs painted yellow and green, and the tops were painted white with animals painted on the tops.  Animals like you'd find in baby books.......cute bunnies, puppies, kitties, etc!  The floor was cement and along one wall was a long church bench, painted yellow and green.  Cute place with good food.

Along the road were several cattle ranches, and.............................................................
SNOW!  It was funny to see a four foot tall snowman standing in a green yard.  This part of Texas had snow again yesterday.  It had melted all except for the snowmen and in the shaded places.
The late afternoon sun made the plants outside the motel just glow.
Was fun to have a few touches of spring outside our window.
And it was nice to have an ice cream store right next to the motel.  We had a modest dinner of left over salad that was in the frig in the trailer, so I figured we deserved a treat!  He had strawberry.  As always.  I had chocolate.  Also as always!  

Tomorrow is Tulsa and I'll really have a story to tell you the next day!  No, I'm not telling now.  You have to wait! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This is the last straw.  Sleet, cold, and possible snow.  This is TEXAS!!!!  We are leaving tomorrow, heading home to Minnesota.  We might as well be home if it's going to be below freezing and snowing. Seriously now, we had planned to leave tomorrow before we heard about this weather.  But it sure cements our plan. Our friends are also leaving in the morning.   Shortly Texas will be a memory in the rear view mirror.

So before we leave we are going to dinner tonight with our dear friends, Glenn and Carole.  We decided a good old Texas BBQ was in order before we leave.

Tomorrow night, God willing, we will be posting from northern Texas.  Until then, keep warm, keep safe, and God bless.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Yesterday we took a boat ride down the San Antonio River along the Riverwalk.  We just sat back and relaxed and enjoyed.  So that's what I want you to do........sit back and enjoy.
Oh, I have to break the silence here.  These two people are some of the dearest folks we know.  Glenn and Carole are from Maryland.  This is the third time we have spent part of the winter with them and we enjoy spending time with them so much!  And Carole and I win at cards, too!
There!  Wasn't that fun? 


Mission Espada was the furthest south and the smallest of the missions.  It was also the mission mostly likely to be attacked.  However, when the bells were rung as a signal, the folks at Mission San Juan could hear them and would quickly come to their aid.


This small chapel is home to an active congregation, and a Padre lives on the grounds in one of the old buildings.  The statue of Christ on the left has movable joints so the arms can be posed in different ways.  The one of Mary on the right is built with removable hands, so she can be dressed in different clothes throughout the church year.  The gold one in the center was once painted a dull brown to keep it from being stolen, but during a cleaning some of the paint chipped off and they found the gold leaf under it!
 The chapel is quite small, but as I mentioned, is home to an ative congregation.
 We had a really hard time finding Mission Concepcion.  It's downtown San Antonio, just a short distance from the Alamo, in an area that you wouldn't imagine you'd find such a treasure.  Most of the homes have bars on the windows and doors, the yards are filled with junk and overgrown shrubs and graffiti is common.
 The church was being repaired so we were not permitted entrance.  It seems to be quite large.
 This view from the side boasts some huge palm trees.
We didn't learn much about the history of this mission, but it looked interesting, and I was wishing I could have seen the interior.
 Tiny leaves are bursting forth amongst the bright orange berries.  Spring is coming to Texas.  The temperature was 62 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I'm guessing it's at least that today.  Rain coming tonight, though.


Tuesday we toured the four missions south of San Antonio.  We had already done the 5th one, the Alamo, on an earlier trip downtown.  I love the missions!  It always amazes me that they were so well built that parts of them are still standing, almost 300 years later.  In fact, a couple of the churches have active congregations where Sunday and Holiday services are still held, and are attended by descendants of those who built them back in 1730.  And I always feel such a sense of peace and I know I could spend the whole day, just walking around or sitting and absorbing the history.

As I said, we visited four missions that day, and I took hundreds of pictures.  I will share a few with you, probably in at least two different groups.

Door ways around the outside walls that lead into the smal homes of the Natives.
Archways and covered walkways.
 These places are a wonder to me.  How did they do arches with no modern construction equipment?
 The side door into the church.
 The interior of the San Jose mission church was quite plain.
San Jose was the largest of the missions.
Then we went to San Juan, a much smaller place.
I'm used to seeing Easter lilies or poinsettias around the base of the cross, not cactus! 
 A rolly polly statue outside the entrance door.
 The interior of this chapel was more decorated, but was smaller that the first one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The plan was to eat dinner at Applebee's.  And knowing it was February 14th we decided to have an early dinner to avoid the normal dinner time rush.  So we piled into Glenn and Carole's car and took off at 4:00 to find the closest Applebee's, which Samantha on the Garmin told us was about 6 miles away.  We drove through the weekend San Antonio traffic, which in a word is crazy, passing by many chain restaurants all with packed parking lots, and arrived at the address that was programmed into the Garmin.  To our surprise we found an empty parking lot and a huge FOR LEASE sign posted on the former restaurant.  Oh dear.  So much for that dinner.  Glenn took Samantha down from her perch on the dash and started pushing her buttons.  Hey, what's this?  Another Applebee's only 3 miles from this spot!  Okay, off we went, back into the traffic and honking horns.  In no time at all, Samantha was telling us we were arriving at our programmed spot on the left.  Uh?  That bar and grill?  What's this?  It's occupying the Applebee's building but is definitely not what we were looking for.  Unbelievably, the two restaurants we had chosen were closed!

By this time we were getting hungry because we had skipped lunch in preparation for our "early" dinner.  We almost thought we should return home and fix a sandwich, but we were geared up for a nice dinner out.  Back to pushing Samantha's buttons and we found an Outback Steakhouse, about 3 miles in the other direction.  Should we chance it?  Yes!  We were hungry!  Off we went and within 10 minutes we had located the restaurant, the full parking lot, the cars parked along the edge of the road in front of the place, and the cars spilling over into the shopping center lot next to it.  We politely threaded our way through the line which extended out the door and down the full length of the building.  In answer to our "how long?" we were informed "oh, only about an hour and ten minutes."  Only.  So we got in line, soon finding a spot to sit on a bench along the inside wall.  We struck up a conversation with other waiting patrons, and found several had already waited an hour and a half!  Oh well, we were here now.  And we were getting hungrier. 

An hour and twenty minutes passed before we were ushered to our booth.  The steak that soon arrived at our table was very good!  Or maybe we were just hungry!  The dinner was over way too soon with the good friends and the good food, and when Carole and I waited in the entry as the men settled the bill, we again struck up a conversation with waiting folks.  The woman we spoke with said they had been told the wait was two hours!  And then we opened the door and hurried off to the car in the temperature that was at least 20 degrees colder than when we had arrived.  A front had come in and the temperature plummeted.  BRRRRRRR.......but at least we now had full stomachs!


I talked to my daughter this morning, and she reported that Claudia has gone home from the hospital, but is taking medication to dissolve the clot in her heart.  She will be undergoing tests to find out why her body is throwing off clots.  Claudia and her husband have thanked everyone for the thoughts and prayers.  I do too.


On Saturday we went to downtown San Antonio to the very colorful Mexican Market.  We stayed about an hour and a half, didn't spend a cent, and I was actually dizzy by the time we left.  WOW!  I know some of you have some kids that are bothered by too much stuff........never, NEVER, NEVER take them to this market.  Sensory overload for sure!
 The hallway right inside the door.
  Cute ceramic wall art.
 Lots of ceramic wall art!
Colorful flags hanging above us, inside and out.
 I was on a stairway, looking up......
looking down........
 looking across.
 Cute flouncy dresss for little girls.
 Are we having fun yet?