Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pets Get Blessed at St. Andrew's in Pearland -- Sunday, October 2, 2016

It is Pet Blessing Sunday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Pearland TX.  The altar is graced with well behaved animals that don't jump, wag tails, or wonder what all this is about.  Neither do they bark incessantly, get told to "Sit-stay," or get petted.  They will be hugged later.

Since we believe that God made all creatures great and small (Cecil F. Alexander), it is a tradition to have a blessing of the animals one Sunday in October as part of the church service.  As the pets are brought forward -- on leashes, in arms, or cages -- Fr. Jim blesses them, and many cameras flash.  Cary may be the 'official' photographer for St. Andrew's, as she gets some great shots.

I get a few scenes -- here I see a lady in white just under the projection screen, who gives a dog treat to one animal after he has received the blessing.

It is such a delight to see all the animals and hear their sounds.  Some constantly announce their presence, while others sit quietly and contentedly in their owner's arms or laps.  (I recall a few years ago when our Golden, Dr. Jake, sat in the pew with us, and tried to follow our priest, Fr. Phil, down the aisle.)

In the queue we see more dogs and a small girl with a cat or puppy in a cage.  Carter is seen in the foreground of the photo petting his dog Dublin, who wonders about the strange happenings.  We look for a Golden Retriever to pet, but enjoy petting the other breeds.  

There is one rabbit.  So cute.  No leash -- well behaved.

To add to the excitement, the band plays animal-themed songs.  The voices of the choir are awesome, and I especially enjoy hearing the soprano of our granddaughter, Stephanie, in "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by Solomon Linda/The Tokens.

Reed, Michael, Wade, Stephanie and Larry

Other songs played are
"Smelly Cat" by Phoebe Buffay, 
"Gonna Buy me a Dog" by The Monkees,
"You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" by Roger Miller, and a favorite of mine:
"Jeremiah was a Bullfrog/Joy to the World" by Hoyt Axton/Three Dog Night.

Following are the photos Cary and Jesse are kind enough to share with me, but I discipline myself to use only a few of their 148 here!  I don't know who enjoyed 
the pet blessing service more, the humans or the animals.

Ed,  Roxie, Willie and Herb
What is going on up there?

My Space

Not sure who is in this cage...a gerbil?

Molly did a reading in the service

Cats like their cage.

Debbie and Dublin

Who, me?

Can we play now?

Getting  Blessed

Blessing the Rabbit

Whoever is in the cage is getting blessed!

I'm being so good!  Like my outfit?

Excitement to the Left

I'm next.

Mommie and Daddy pet the baby.




Joy to the fishes, also....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Sunday, October 2, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Packing Up is Hard to Do -- September 10-20, 2016

It is a dark and clear night.  Actually, it is 5A in the morning when Herb and I drive our cars away from our former residence at The Point at North Shore, and head to Houston and Sweet Caroline in the RV Park. Not long after we turn onto Hwy. 48 toward the toll road,  I look down at the fuel gauge and call Herb to tell him I am on a quarter tank.  

Plan ahead?  Too busy packing.

So we peer into the darkness to find the first U-turn and go back to Port Isabel where I filled the BMW, but the diesel pumps are locked at that time in the morning.  We resume our journey toward Harlingen and Herb is able to get diesel for the Jeep.  Now, relaxing and seeing some glow in the sky for a nice sunrise, he says, "Would you like to stop in Raymondville for breakfast?"  Yes, and I think of the milk I had in the -- OH NO!

"Herb, we left the ice chests!  And tons of frozen foods in the freezer." 

Planning ahead, we had set aside a few personal items that we wanted to take in our cars and had put them inside the garage of the house we no longer owned.  But we left the ice chests in front of the refrigerator for ease of loading them.  So we now leave my car in Harlingen and I ride BACK to Port Isabel and The Point at North Shore with him, hoping our gate code still works.  It does.

The flaming orange band under the clouds promises a good day (Yay) and I can't help thinking that I will miss the display of ominous black and gray looming high above the coastline of South Padre Island across the causeway bridge.  It will be daylight soon.


Back in Port Isabel now, we fill three ice chests and find room in the Jeep for them.

As we pass HEB on our way out of town again Herb says we should go to the storage locker and get the bike rack and trikes to haul today, making the hitch available later for a U-Haul trailer with all the stuff that is still in the locker here.  So we make the U-turn and fetch the trikes.  All good now, and we make it past Harlingen this time.

One Day in Late August

We get a phone call from our real estate agent telling us that the impending sale of our house is progressing and we are overjoyed and overwhelmed.  In anticipation we take Sweet Caroline to her next home at Advanced RV Resort in Houston.

On September 9 it is clear that we can begin packing.  Then through a misunderstanding of both parties, each of us thinks the other wants to close early at a date that will not realistically give us time to get out.  Herb and I think the fastest way is to get the U-Haul system and do much of the packing ourselves.

What a task faces us!  First we drag out all our stuff, sort through and gift many items, some of which are shown below.

                                                               Seats Eight

Now to identify what is and should have been 'trash' a long time ago.


Stopping to rest now and then, my eyes always go to the windows toward the Laguna Madre and the many fishing boats that parade at all hours of the day -- some at night.  Today we are treated to a perfect Chamber of Commerce scene of clear, crisp turquoise water that is flat calm and like glass.  A nice welcome to the new residents at The Point.

I find a few treasures that I will keep.

                                                                                       Gift to Mamaw

                                                        One of the First Oils on Canvas I did

We get little sleep during this time with the planning and executing and hard labor.  Euphoria contributes to this state.   One day we work until 11P and marvel at the work we have done.  Then up at 2:30 to begin again.  And so it goes. When our beds are no longer available, Bob and Myrna invite us to one of their guest rooms.  Bob prepares wonderful breakfasts!

We learn that our room reservation is still good and ask Bob if dinner with Sam and Inez would be included in our Bed & Breakfast accommodations.  Yes. He serves a delicious green salad to compliment the chicken and spaghetti. Inez brings peach cobbler, but forgets the vanilla ice cream, so we have strawberry with chocolate chip. 

Try it.

All the while loading of the U-Boxes continues.  Herb supervises Jose and Fred, and neighbor Tusker comes to visit and get petted.  Also, we get our Golden Retriever fix.

Jose and Fred

Neighbor 'Tusker'

It is amazing to me how much can be packed into a U-Box.  I am anxious to see how they wrap and protect this silk floral arrangement.

Weary, but glad to have the packing done, I take photos of the empty rooms, ready for the new owners to arrive.  Peering down the stairs, I can see the library table made by my maternal grandfather has left the foyer.

Seven hours later we arrive to the RV Park and happily accept a dinner invitation from Roxie and Ed.  When we arrive, we are so surprised to see that it is a celebration to welcome us as new residents to the Houston area.

Ed, Herb and Roxie

Welcome to Houston and Pearland

Usually when I write a blog post, the title is the last thing, but I can't get out of my head the melody and a few of the lyrics of a video Tama sent recently, "Waking up is Hard to Do."

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   September 10-20, 2016

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Day Five, I Can't Believe We Did That! -- Sunday, August 28, 2016

I wake.  Where am I?  I open my eyes and see familiar surroundings.  It's a boat -- but it's not Willie's Tug.  Oh, yeah, I am aboard On Your Mark moored at Sanctuary Marina.  It's all coming back now; we were very tired after getting in late last evening, so did not go ashore to walk.  We began preparing dinner.  Oh, and cocktails.

So, although we are a day's journey from Port Isabel, On Your Mark is not far from her home port, Port Aransas.  Well, this will be a short day of cruising.  Herb cooks eggs and I almost finish off Shelly's awesome granola that she makes for her Daddy.  (Sorry AJ; there's not much left.)

And with Port A in our sights, we cast off the lines at 7:23A under sunny skies and drift away from the dock.  As we motor down the fairway, I have a horrible, horrible thought!  We forgot to pay!  I know the drill.  There is no harbormaster on site, but a sign directs you to put your check in a mail slot.  Oh, how terrible!  I can't believe we forgot.  I'll blame it on being traumatized by an alligator.  Just kidding.

We really don't want to go back, tie up again, and wait until 8A when the office opens.

I grab my phone and search for the harbormaster's phone number, as we continue sailing.  I dial and amazingly a voice answers.  I identify myself and the boat, which he may remember as having been here before.  As I explain the situation, he says not to worry.  Mailing a check later will be just fine.  Whew!

Cruising out of the harbor, I take a photo of some of the houses seaside and notice one of them reminds me of my house in Port Isabel.

The sun stays with us and seas are calm, except for San Antonio Bay, which is a little bouncy.  Two feet or less chop.

Look!  A lighthouse.  I always try to take a photo of them for daughter Roxie.  This one is called Aransas Pass Light Station, a Texas Historical Marker.  The tower was started in 1855 and lighted in 1856 to mark the natural Gulf pass to Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays by way of Lydia Ann Channel.  Google tells me it is owned by Charles Clarence Butt of H-E-B grocery fame, and its rich history can be read at this link.  The light still shines, but the U. S. Coast Guard has taken over its professional duties.

Lengthy history here.

Mr. Butt himself has an interesting history which can be read here.

A sailboat is a rare sighting in the ICW, especially with the sails.  Of course, she is motoring.  I hope she finds the wind she needs.

All too soon we arrive at Island Moorings Marina in Port A, and are greeted by neighbor, Luther.  He helps us unload and welcomes us back.  Herb calls Joe to let him know On Your Mark is home and safe.

The sun is still high in the sky and Herb and I think we can make it to Port Isabel by a reasonable hour, so off we go.

Find Willie's cocktail at the end of the cruise....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Sunday, August 28, 2016