Tag Archives: Friends

Canyon Lake


What a beautiful couple of days we had at Canyon Lake. It’s just outside (north) of San Antonio and in the beautiful Hill Country area of Texas. Our good friends Jo and Roy had raved in the past about the beautiful Corp. of Engr. parks on the lake, so we thought it would be a great stopping over place before we completed our final leg of our journey to the Rio Grande Valley. And the fact that Jo and Roy were actually going to be there = well, we couldn’t not stop!
Unfortunately, due to the partial shutdown of our dear Federal government, the COE campgrounds were closed, but J&R found nearby private campground (still on the lake) and soon we were settled in nicely!
And look, nice quiet neighbors!
Canyon Lake-1
Our buddies had some in-town errands to run on Thursday, so we were left to our own devices. It seemed like a good morning to check out Canyon Lake.
The morning walk at Canyon Lake. All good!.
Canyon Lake-5
Canyon Lake-3
Canyon Lake-12
Canyon Lake-13

It’s always a treasure to find tiny pockets of color appearing in the pot marked surface along the water’s edge.

Canyon Lake-9 Canyon Lake-7
Canyon Lake-8 Canyon Lake-10

Given the heat (it was in the 90’s) and the fact that we were on our own, I confess that we spent the rest of the day in the cool (relatively) of the RV. (I had a couple of deadlines to meet, so it was really a good thing!) But Friday was a play day for sure!
With Jo and Roy as our guides we set out to Gruene, TX (pronounced Green). It’s a quaint Texas town located along the Guadalupe River, just outside of New Braunfels.
Along with interesting architecture and touristy shops and places to eat, it is also home to Gruene Hall – one of the oldest (if not THE oldest, depending on who you ask 🙂 )dance halls in Texas.
Apparently, on this very stage, George Strait got his start!
Oh, the historical significance of it all! But Country & Western legacy beside, it really was a fun little town!


It’s all about tourism these days in Gruene, but they do it pretty well and Jo and I even found a bargain or two! After a lovely late lunch in Gruene (check out the Gristmill River Restaurant for great riverside dining if you ever get to town), we took a little drive to nearby New Braunfels but found we were too late to get into some of the historic buildings there. Besides, we had one more important stop to make –
As you can see, Mrs. Bush also sells Texas sized cookies!
But that Key Lime Pie – My.Oh.My.
Mrs. Bush's Key Lime pie. Oh yeah, baby!
We showed great restraint in not eating the whole thing!
So it was a wonderful couple of days. We shared meals when we could, got in a couple of games, and just hung around and caught up with each other. We love that we have such dear SOWER friends that we can go for years between visits, and still pick up right where we left off.
But – like many good things, it came to a prayerful end on Saturday morning. We hugged and prayed and promised to keep in touch (thank-you, Facebook, for making that easier than it used to be!).
And then we hit the road!
Final leg of our fall journey. The long road to the Rio Grande Valley!
300 miles later, we were parked and getting settled in the Flame of Truth Campground in Alamo, Texas.

And here we will be for the next little while. Gary’s been asked to head up the A/C installation at the new school building for Macedonia Christian School. There is one small glitch, though. The actual building isn’t up yet. Soooo….we’ll see what the weeks ahead will bring. Right now we’re thankful for our safe arrival and are looking forward for tomorrow’s cold front. Right now, it’s 93 and the A/C is a humming away, trying to catch up from the hot drive. And I think it might just be time for a nap…….
…………….and I might just be dreaming about that pie……………..

It’s been a week –

and I’m sorry it’s been so quiet around here! In a way it’s been as busy as can be, and in another way there just hasn’t been too much to report!
So where was I? Oh right, the annual Board meeting.
SOWER 2013 Board of Trustees
We welcomed three new members to the Board this year, and much was accomplished during our two day meeting. Along with all the business we addressed, there was also a fair bit of fellowship going on (which seemed to largely revolve around eating!).
One of these days I’m going to remember to say ‘”Hey, everyone! Look this way!”. Oh well. But we all had a great time – it’s kind of like condensing a 3 week SOWER project into a 4 day extravaganza!
We enjoyed hanging out in the Lindale “campground” for a couple of extra days and then on Monday we headed to Waco, for a little howdy-do with Lara’s (and now our) friends!
We managed to snag our favorite spot at Midway Park –
and then enjoyed a fun potluck at the campground last night and then a quiet evening with the housemates just tonight.
We head out tomorrow, which is a really good thing. Thanks to the “government shut-down” our campground will be closed for business starting tomorrow. Sigh.
But the big news, the REALLY big news is that our sweet Ohio Family –
welcomed a new brother to the family just this evening!
Reis Tobias
Welcome to the family, Reis Tobias! We’ve all be waiting for your safe arrive (though it’s way easier for us to wait than those folks in Ohio) and we’re so thankful that you are here safe and sound and that Mommy is doing well too! Thank-you, Lord, for this precious new member of our family!

Heading off for a couple of days in the “Hill Country” tomorrow before we reach our final destination in the Rio Grande Valley. Might be a couple of pictures coming your way……

A string of pearls

Just sorting through some pretties!

We’ve returned from our weekend (+) excursion to see friends and family in Lancaster and Doylestown and I don’t think we could have had a better weekend. Each day seemed to represent a perfect slice of the different stages in our lives. Friday we were hanging out with some of our most precious SOWER friends. We did “Lancaster things” – a farmers’ market, a quilt shop, an Amish hardware store and the like, and then a traditional potluck rounded out the day. A good day with good friends – what a great start to the weekend!
weston and the train


But then – Saturday we spent with our sweet grandson, Weston (age 2) and his mom and dad (also some of our favorite people!). Abigail and I did some girl things while the guys ran some errands, we ate out and took naps and delighted in watching Weston watching the trains at the Choo-Choo Barn.
A beautiful day with our beautiful family – who could ask for anything more?
But then – Sunday we drove to Willow Grove to worship at our old church. The church we were married in and the church where we found Jesus (or rather, He found us!). We expected that many faces would be different (we left that church when we moved to Jamison in 1981, so aside from some occasional visits over the years, it HAD been awhile), and they were. But many were the same too. Oh, the sweet hugs from that morning! To worship with folks who had come to our daughter’s 1st birthday party and then to enjoy an impromptu lunch with those dear friends.
Oh, does it get any better than this?
But then – Sunday afternoon we dropped in on some other friends and before we knew it we were enjoying another unexpected gathering. Sweet corn and sweet conversation and a bottle of red wine shared among friends.
Oh, the delight of it all.
But then – on Monday I started the day with a coffee date with a dear friend, followed by lunch with my work buddies, and an afternoon hanging around with my BFF from our Doylestown days. BLTs made with thick slices of fresh from the garden tomatoes – Oh, now that was a great day.
But then – catching up with my quilting buddies Monday night. Oh, my. Our days of quilting for the kids’ school are long over, but still we start up right where we left off those many years ago. Oh, these days we might talk a bit more about our grandchildren than our children (to their great relief)and we might not spend quite so much time solving the problems of the world, but those precious friends will always be a safe place for me. Being the last ones out of Panera (almost an hour after they officially closed) and then still talking in the parking lot for another 30 minutes (honest, it wasn’t really that late! Panera  closed at 9PM – who knew?)came as no surprise. Regardless of our different places in life, we are truly kindred spirits. It was crazy wonderful!
But then – just to add a bit of icing on the wonderful weekend cake, before we headed back to Montrose on Tuesday, we managed to squeeze in a quick visit with friends we don’t usually get to see. As we sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee (and were thankful for the rain that freed up her morning schedule) it was so wonderful to hear about their lives over the last two years. Sweet times, indeed.

So as I was trying to somehow quantify this weekend I was having trouble finding just the right metaphor. Was it worlds colliding? Not really. Though we saw folks from many different stages in our lives, there certainly wasn’t any colliding going on.  Was it picture perfect? Actually,yes. Though I failed to take many pictures (you know I must have been distracted, right?). A medley of friends? A potpourri of relationships?  As I thought about how those five days strung together just perfectly, I remembered the lovely string of pearls I have in my cupboard. And I thought, yes. This weekend was like a string of pearls – each one smooth and delightful, strung together to make a thing of beauty.  And that’s how our weekend was – beautiful days strung together and filled with people we love and who love us back.
Just sorting through some pretties!

A Quick One

After we got settled at PPL (where we were leaving the RV and where we have an appointment on Monday to get our cracked windshield replaced. Did I mention that we’re pretty close to downtown Houston? This is our view!),
Parking Spot
we locked ‘er up and headed to Waco!
Thank goodness, we were in the truck!
Of course, we weren’t in Houston traffic for too long, and soon we were enjoying our drive through the Texas countryside.
TX Road-1
TX Road-2
TX Road-3
Ah, so much better than city traffic!
So why another weekend in Waco? Well, in the first place, we wanted to see Lara one more time before we left Texas and this was really the only chance we had. We were able to meet a friend of hers from out of town, and as an added bonus, we were also able to attend an engagement party for a sweet couple that we have come to love! Between the party, some house time, and some general bopping about after the party, I think we got to see almost all of our Waco friends. Not bad for a 24hr. visit! (Sorry we missed you, Marcus! 🙁 ) I was really bad at taking pictures of those dear folks, but hey –
here are a couple of our hotel room (Lara’s house was all full up!) –
Pretty sure we could call this the Dallas Cowboys Room. It was like having a little mini-vacation!
On our trip back, we stopped in the small (dare I say quaint) town of Calvert
to check out Cocoamoda
a gourmet chocolate shop that Lara highly recommended.
Oh, my – these truffles were exquisite!
We struck up a conversation with the owner (and candy maker), Ken –
and as we were discussing our choices (all delicious) he not only offered to let us sample one (Key Lime Pie Truffle), but later invited us to join him for a cup of espresso (his treat!).
Espresso and  truffles at Cocoamoda in Calvert, TX. What a treat!
Needless to say we purchased a small selection (they are $3.00 EACH!!! – so you can see why I was so surprised that he offered us a sample!), and we’ll be savoring them in the days to come!
A truffle a day must keep something away, right? 🙂

So our trip was indeed a ‘quick one’ – but so very worthwhile. We’ve made some good friends there in Waco, and we were so glad we were able to get in some last minute (and some unexpected) hugs!

The 3rd Annual Cookie Extravaganza

Here’s the plan –

  • Contact a good number of your baking friends, invite them to spend a day of cookie baking at your house and ask them to kick in $15.00 to cover supplies.
  • Do all the shopping to make about 30 batches of cookies.


  • Start making the cookie dough the night before –

(Having two borrowed mixers along with friends measuring out dry ingredients really helped that process!)

  • Find as many flat surfaces as you can for work surfaces and storage surfaces.


  • Come Saturday morning – let the baking begin!

Loved that we had some little helpers join the party!
Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookies – Yum!
Rolling and dipping the (endless) gingersnaps – Oh, My!
Waiting for a turn in one of the two ovens, hanging out with the gingersnaps.


Frosting the White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss cookies and getting the very last of the cookies onto the cookie sheets.

  • Don’t forget to set up a “Real Food” station for when the urge for something without sugar kicks in!


  • Be prepared for even the best organization to eventually dissolve into cookie chaos!
  • But also be ready for some Bee-U-Ti-Ful end results!


  • At the end of the day, send everyone home with about 8 dozen assorted oh-so-yummy Christmas Cookies.
  • Load the dishwasher and get the next batch ready to load.
  • Collapse on the sofa and remember that the rest of the mess will still be there when you wake up!
Merry Christmas Cookies, Everyone!