So Here’s What’s Been Happening the Last Year and Half…

Hello Strangers!

Yes, this is an update. I know I have gone dark the last 18 months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of you.

At the present time I blame EVERY delay, screwup, mishap, short-term memory loss, flighty thought and stupid fricking weight gain on MENOPAUSE.

I finally got tired of coming up with lame excuses for not getting anything accomplished (ergo no e-mails, pictures, or BLOG POSTS) and finally went to the doctor DEMANDING hormone replacements.

And guess what? I didn’t even have to threaten to poke her eyes out if she refused, which was awesome because I do not look good in orange jump suits.

With prescription in hand, I gleefully made a beeline to the Target Pharmacy. I practically thrust the prescription in the pharmacist’s face, and barked out “How long before I feel 22 again?”

Oh yes I did.

I know that deserved at least an eye roll or a snort, but my Target pharmacist is a professional, and she calmly told me I’d have to wait at least 30 before I experienced any (ahem) changes to my system.

Say what???

It’s been almost three weeks, and I am still waiting for my magic beans to take full affect. I think they are because – HELLO – I now have wrinkles and pimples at the same flipping time.

In the meantime, I am forcing all shiny things (I’m looking at you Facebook) from my peripheral vision and taking the time to update you. I’ll try and be brief but I have to cover 12+ months people:

We sold a house. We bought a house. We waited for the house to be built. Then we finally moved into said house!
 

Casa de Young

I’m not sure if any of you knew this, but when we first moved to Texas (has it really been four years?) we bought a house over the Internet without actually “seeing” it.

Um, yeah… I strongly recommend you never do this. The first time we saw the house was at 9 pm, after 3 mind-numbing, T-E-D-I-O-U-S days of driving from Northern California to the Austin area. I think I might have cried a little, but what was done was done.  You just have to walk INTO a house to appreciate it’s true flaws.

 We made some superficial changes, painted rooms, changed light fixtures, and even installed hardwood floors, but as the saying goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

 

It was time this little piggy went to the market.

 

I guess it’s pretty obvious what happened next. We sold the house (thankfully in 3 short weeks) and bought a semi-custom home 5 miles down the road. The quick sale and the long-ish build time required us to live in an apartment for 5 months, but that is of course another story.

 

Our new home (and let’s hope we die with our boots on in this one) is as close to a dream house as I’ll ever get. (The stupid HOA doesn’t allow chickens) but hey, I finally got a 3-car garage that I’ve been pining for since 1997. Ironically, we still only park one car in the garage, but the Halloween and Christmas decorations are living in high cotton, so there’s that at least.

 

The other thing on my “dream house wish list” was a covered back patio. Would you believe in the 10 months we have lived here, we’ve only used it a handful of time, because it is was either too cold or too hot to use.  Make up your mind Texas!

 

Kinsey of course has another PINK room, and BONUS – a second room for her SEVEN AMERICAN GIRLS!

 

Yes, we are the Duggar Family of American Girl Dolls, because apparently we don’t believe in birth control saying no (to Kinsey) either.

 

I’d like to say I don’t know how this happened, but I’d be kidding myself. Kinsey uses sneaky Jedi Knight mind tricks to get her way.  Sassy was our “gateway” doll (Thanks Grandma!) that set us on this path.  Then came Angie, and Amy (that Kinsey paid for herself) and I swore that we were only going to have three dolls.

 

Cue the laughter.

 

If it hadn’t been for a Church Bazar this might have been a reality, but Kinsey saw a well loved “Samantha” doll for $40 and all resolve went out the window.  Kinsey’s birthday rolled around and Saige – the 2012 “Doll of the Year” made her appearance. When our friends Alex and Dawn came for a visit, Kinsey cast a magic spell, and before Dawn knew it, she was ordering a Julie doll for Kinsey.  We actually went 6 months before Cecile (a historic doll from New Orleans) was adopted. Light a candle for us that we stop at “lucky 7!”

 

Would you believe we had to get a red wagon so Kinsey could haul them around! Oy!

 

Image
Four Dogs. Then Three Dogs.

 

Let this be a warning to you. Never go to Petsmart on the weekends. Without fail they will be hosting an animal adoption event and chances are you will come home with a dog.  On a bright sunny day in late January, I noticed a lone dog sitting in a cage as we sailed past the Petsmart. “Stop the car!” I shouted at Kent, “Let’s just pat her on the head, she looks so lonely.” Forty-five minutes later I was signing adoption papers and Daisy was on her “freedom ride” and about to meet her new siblings.

 

Did we really “need” a fourth dog? No, but she was a rescue with a sad history and a questionable future, so we decided to add her to our family.  Shiloh was thrilled – she now had someone her own size with which to play. Toby was non-comital, but probably thrilled he was no longer Shiloh’s chew toy, and Chloe (still the Alpha at age 15+) made sure she kept Daisy in her place.

 

Sadly, a few months later Chloe was just too old and too ill, so we said our goodbyes and gave her the peaceful death she deserved.

 

Chloe, Toby, Shiloh, Daisy

 Kinsey is doing remarkable things at BiG (Brookwood in Georgetown) a day program for adults with cognitive delays.

 

At BiG every person is valued and respected for their contributions to society. The citizens work four days of week and make one-of-a-kind, handcrafted ceramics, jewelry, and cards. They also grow spectacular sunflowers, and make and sell cookies and granola. BiG has a small retail shop, and will soon have an online store for their pottery, cards and jewelry. All the money raised is reinvested into the program so it can continue to grown and serve even more citizens in the community.

 

Hand-to-God I’m not saying this because I am her mother, but the job coaches all tell me KInsey is one of their most precise, productive and talented artisans.

 

True story: The woman who designs all the jewelry was explaining to Kinsey the pattern she had to follow. She laid down a blue bead, then a yellow one, and next a red. As she started to reiterate the pattern, Kinsey locked eyes with her, thrust her arm forward and palm up in the universal STOP-I’M-NOT-AN-IDIOT gesture and shut her down cold. She of course was laughing when she told me this and was not offended in the least. High fives to Kinsey for being so damn amazing!

 

BiG Citizens, ceramics, and sunflowers!

And finally, the world lost an amazing human being when my father, Richard “Dick” Thomas passed away at age 87 on June 30, 2014.

Richard L. Thomas April 12, 1927 - June 30, 2014

Richard L. Thomas
April 12, 1927 – June 30, 2014

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you already know the story, so I will be brief in my  explanation. My dad deserves more than a passing mention, and I don’t want to share his story with that of a new house, dogs, and even Kinsey updates. I will write more about him in the coming weeks.

 

Suffice it to say, after four long years he lost the battle with assorted illness’s and aging in general. In the end, pneumonia is what claimed his life. Despite his frail body, his mind was still sharp till the end. He was the medical staff’s favorite patient, but when you thank the doctor for visiting and even shake their hand, what do you expect?  My dad often joked that at his age there wouldn’t be many people at his funeral as he had outlived most of them. He could not have been more wrong.

Scan 21

My father was a World War II (Navy) Veteran, and received a sobering, yet beautiful military funeral at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. Despite the early hour, it was standing room only. There were people in attendance my mother had not seen in 30 years, and yet they came to pay their respects. I am happy to report that there was more laughter than tears when people stood and told one funny story after the other about my dad. It was awesome. The only thing missing were the gin martini’s my father enjoyed religiously every day at 5 pm. Even he would have to agree that 9 am was a little too early to tipple!

 

Finally, after 2+ years, I am happy to report that Kinsey’s Texas Tales has been revamped. It’s still “live” but will be shuttered as soon as I get all my links working at Funny For Her Age (which is now on WordPress). Because I went from one platform to another, there are tons of formatting issues. I have to go through each post (about 150) and fix them. I’ve only revised about 10 posts, and some of those are questionable, but I plan to slog through them all – eventually.

 

My goal is to continue to write about the amazing Kinsey, but no longer in “her” voice. I still want to include travel and food posts, plus complaints about middle age and other things like my amazing father and mother. As they say, it’s a work in progress, but hey it’s finally LIVE after two years of empty promises.

 

Suzanne

 

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