Posted by: tgonzales | October 11, 2016

Sweater Class on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 1:30-3:30

cap-it-off-topper

Here’s one last chance to get into the Cap it Off Topper Sweater class on Saturday, October 15 and 29, 2016 from 1:30-3:30 in Newton at Creation Station. You can find the pattern here. It’s a free pattern and what I love about it is that it is written for sizes from Small to 5X. Of course Catherine has a couple of really good yarns that you can use to make your sweater. Please call her at (316) 772-0883 to get signed up.

Posted by: tgonzales | October 9, 2016

Kansas Barn Sale 2016 Shopper, Friendships, and Good Times

Susie and I headed out bright and early on Saturday October 1, 2016 to shop at the barn sale and to make memories. We were some of the first ones to line up and I was so thankful that Susie was lucky to get free tickets and to remember to bring her little wheelie thingy.

Susie and I headed out bright and early on Saturday October 1, 2016 to shop at the barn sale and to make memories. We were some of the first ones to line up and I was so thankful that Susie was lucky to get free tickets and to remember to bring her little wheelie thingy.

This was only one of the lines to one of the entrances into the barn sale and we had 30 more minutes to wait. I tell you what that line was a lot longer when it came time to go in. I don't if you can see her, but my friend Donna is the one right in the middle of the line jumping out as I took the picture. :) It had been a long time since we saw her and it was fun seeing her again.

This was only one of the lines to one of the entrances into the barn sale and we had 30 more minutes to wait. I tell you what that line was a lot longer when it came time to go in. I don’t know if you can see her, but my crazy friend Donna is the one right in the middle of the line jumping out as I took the picture. 🙂 It had been a long time since we saw her and it was fun seeing her again.

As we filed in, this was just one of the many beautiful arrangements of fall flowers.

As we filed in, this was just one of the many beautiful arrangements of fall flowers.

I love the way the Kansas Barn Sale is, because it's a juried sale; which means that the items that you are selling are vintage or handmade. Nothing can be mass produced from another country. Anyway, this vendor is from Wichita and has their wares at the Farmers market. I always love to see what all they are re-purposing. The sewing machine was very cool. The name of the company is Tadpole Creek Creations and I just love their stuff.

I love the way the Kansas Barn Sale is, because it’s a juried sale; which means that the items that you are selling are vintage or handmade. Nothing can be mass produced from another country. Anyway, this vendor is from Wichita and has their wares at the Farmers market. I always love to see what all they are re-purposing. The sewing machine was very cool. The name of the company is Tadpole Creek Creations and I just love their stuff.

Here's one of the booths that really caught my eye. (well, I wonder if you can guess why?) LOL Of course it's crochet and I just loved the little crocheted Christmas trees hanging on a branch.

Here’s one of the booths that really caught my eye. (well, I wonder if you can guess why?) LOL Of course it’s crochet and I just loved the little crocheted Christmas trees hanging on a branch.

This is Jessica Hipps of JH Crafter Custom Creations and she is the one who made the little Christmas trees. She also had some fun scarves and very cute character hats.

This is Jessica Hipps of JH Crafter Custom Creations and she is the one who made the little Christmas trees. She also had some fun scarves and very cute character hats.

I certainly loved this little owl made from a shovel, saw blades, and horse shoes. I sure would have loved to have him and if I would have been on the way out, I probably would have gotten him.

I certainly loved this little owl made from a shovel, saw blades, and horse shoes. I sure would have loved to have him and if I would have been on the way out, I probably would have gotten him.

This painting of the two cows, somehow reminded me of my friend Stephanie. I'm not sure why? Hi Stephie, I hope you know that I don't think of you as a cow, but as I looked at these two cows I remembered the scrappy cow that you made last year at the retreat, and thought that these would be cute too as scrappy cows.

This painting of the two cows, somehow reminded me of my friend Stephanie. I’m not sure why? Hi Stephie, I hope you know that I don’t think of you as a cow, but as I looked at these two cows I remembered the scrappy cow that you made last year at the retreat, and thought that these would be cute too as scrappy cows.

Susie and I always have a great time when we can get together and this day was no different.

Susie and I always have a great time when we can get together and this day was no different.

Our plans were to meet up with Lisa on the left and Martha on the right. Lisa and Martha are from Iowa and traveled here to take in the barn sale and meet up with me and Susie. I gave them each a crochet jelly fish and they loved them.

Our plans were to meet up with Lisa on the left and Martha on the right. Lisa and Martha are from Iowa and traveled here to take in the barn sale and meet up with me and Susie. I gave them each a crochet jelly fish and they loved them.

Susie found a booth that had woolie flower hair pins and I thought it went perfect in her hair.

Susie found a booth that had woolie flower hair pins and I thought it went perfect in her hair.

As we ate a little snack we got to sit on the hay bales and listen to this wonderful Irish band. I loved listening and I especially loved watching the little girl playing the accordion. She never looked down at her hands and was so serious as she played. But when the music stopped and everyone clapped, she smiled. It was so cute.

As we ate a little snack we got to sit on the hay bales and listen to this wonderful Irish band. I loved listening and I especially loved watching the little girl playing the accordion. She never looked down at her hands and was so serious as she played. But when the music stopped and everyone clapped, she smiled. It was so cute.

Here we are waiting on Lisa and Martha to get done shopping and we were able to catch up with texts.

Here we are waiting on Lisa and Martha to get done shopping and we were able to catch up with texts.

I was so happy that we ran into Mara and her beautiful crocheted vest. Mara is such a wonderful crocheter and to think that she has only been doing it for such a short amount of time.

I was so happy that we ran into Mara and her beautiful crocheted vest. Mara is such a wonderful crocheter and to think that she has only been doing it for such a short amount of time.

Susie and I decided that we wanted to take Lisa and Martha to Newton to stop in the Etcetera shop and then onto Creation Station. Here's Lisa oohing and aahing over the cotton yarn called Catania and Patons Grace. Catherine, the owner of Creation Station has the biggest selection of this yarn in the state.

Susie and I decided that we wanted to take Lisa and Martha to Newton to stop in the Etcetera shop and then onto Creation Station. Here’s Lisa oohing and aahing over the cotton yarn called Catania and Patons Grace. Catherine, the owner of Creation Station has the biggest selection of this yarn in the state.

Lisa finally decided on just the right colors.

Lisa finally decided on just the right colors.

So did I.

So did I.

Thank you Catherine for your hospitality and for taking this picture of the four of us.

Thank you Catherine for your hospitality and for taking this picture of the four of us.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of the front of this car with the plastic bugs on the grill. Anyway, we at lunch at a little diner in Newton and spent another couple of hours just sitting and talking. I think the next time Lisa comes to Kansas we will have to have a little retreat thingy and just spend our time at a motel; eating, crocheting, and hanging out by the pool. :)

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the front of this car with the plastic bugs on the grill. Anyway, we at lunch at a little diner in Newton and spent another couple of hours just sitting and talking. I think the next time Lisa comes to Kansas we will have to have a little retreat thingy and just spend our time at a motel; eating, crocheting, and hanging out by the pool. 🙂

I'm sure you were all wondering if I came home with anything from the barn sale; and yes I did. I found the coolest sign that's made from the top of a metal barrel, with Live, Love, Laugh, butterflies, and painted blue. (courtesy of Tadpole Creek Creations) I also found a wire basket, a turquoise basket, and a pillow case with crocheted rick rack on it.

I’m sure you were all wondering if I came home with anything from the barn sale; and yes I did. I found the coolest sign that’s made from the top of a metal barrel, with Live, Love, Laugh, butterflies, and painted blue. (courtesy of Tadpole Creek Creations) I also found a wire basket, a turquoise basket, and a pillow case with crocheted rick rack on it.

Here's a little closer picture of the crocheted rick rack. Well, I have to tell you the day couldn't have been any better, unless all of you were there to enjoy it with us. Anyway, we truly did what we set out to do; shopped, ate, talked, and made memories. I would love to hear how your weekend was.

Here’s a little closer picture of the crocheted rick rack. Well, I have to tell you the day couldn’t have been any better, unless all of you were there to enjoy it with us. Anyway, we truly did what we set out to do; shopped, ate, talked, and made memories. I would love to hear how your weekend was. Have a great week.

Posted by: tgonzales | October 1, 2016

A Little Girl and Retail Therapy

I love it when John gets just the right photo.

Hello!!!! I wanted to let you know that I’m still here just hanging around and avoiding writing anything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about sitting down and writing something, but when I do I have felt like I don’t have anything to say that anyone would want to hear.  But I’m going to try to get back into this writing thing that makes me accountable and it gives me some peace of mind that I am actually doing something with my life. This time of the year usually is filled with me hurrying to get lots of things made for the Kansas Barn Sale near Hesston, Kansas. But this year I made a decision to not be a vendor at the sale and take the year off to do some things that I have wanted to do. The things that I have been working on in the crochet world; are charity things and a few things that family has wanted me to do (and I have wanted to do). Of course that’s another story for later. Anyway, today my dear friend Susie and me are going to attend the Kansas Barn Sale and it will be my first time standing in the long line of customers waiting to check out the sale from the outside-in.

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We also will be meeting up with a dear long distance friend, Lisa who traveled to Kansas from Iowa 2 years ago to meet me and to attend the barn sale. Lisa and her friend are going to meet us today at the sale. I can’t wait to feel the excitement of seeing the barn sale from a different perspective and enjoying some girl time and retail therapy. LOL I hope all of you have a great Saturday and weekend. Love you all.

 

 

 

I have stopped by to let everyone know that I am still alive and kicking. Ha! Ha! Actually I have been down with a sciatic nerve problem since April 23rd. I couldn’t even sit at the computer at home to post to my blog. UGH! It’s been bad this time around, but with a little rest, exercise, and some good drugs I am on the road to recovery. 😉

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My dear friend Susie had a birthday last month and I made her this top. It is made from the pattern called Mooloolaba Shells Pattern designed by Jenny King. I loved how swingy the top is. Anyway, Susie asked if I could teach a group of her friends how to make this fun top and since I am feeling better, I decided to go ahead and schedule a class. When I brought the subject up to Catherine, owner of Creation Station in Newton she quickly pulled out her calendar and we set some dates. We have allowed for three sessions, only if needed.

Mooloolaba Shells Pattern

Creation Station in Newton, Kansas

605 N. Main

772-0883

Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 1:30-3:30

July 9, 2016 from 1:30-3:30

Cost for Two Sessions: $30

(cost does not include yarn or pattern)

(Third Session only if Needed) July 23, 2016 from 1:30-3:30 (additional $10)

There are three choices of yarn for the top:

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Cotton Fair-300 yards at $5/skein=3 skeins (so sorry about the quality of the photo)

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Sunseeker-250 yards at $7/skein=3-4 skeins (if you choose the Sunseeker yarn, you will need to call Catherine with your color choice before the class; as she will need to wind one of the skeins for you to begin with) I am currently making mine out of Sunseeker in turquoise and I love it.

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Bamboo Pop-300 yards at $8/skein=3 skeins

Please purchase pattern before arriving for class. You can find the pattern here.

I almost forgot, please bring Hook sizes F, G, H, and I, plus scissors, yarn needle, stitch markers, and row counter (optional).

Hurry, call Catherine and sign up for this cute, fun, and easy swingy top class. 🙂

Posted by: tgonzales | May 10, 2016

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Joshua will be here tomorrow. He has been working very hard to be able to make the trip home for his friend Rian's college graduation.

Joshua is! This is the picture that I took of him while he was facetiming me on Mother’s Day. He has been working very hard to be able to make the trip home for his friend Rian’s college graduation. It will be so good to see him again.

I was so happy that we were all able to see and talk to our Chacho Aaron through the wonderful technology they call Facetime. :)

I was so happy that we were all able to see and talk to our Chacho Aaron through the wonderful technology they call Facetime. 🙂

I can't believe this young lady is already graduating from college. I know Joshua was very excited to be asked to join Rian in her Senior Showcase. They get to act together again just like when they were in high school together.

I can’t believe this young lady is already graduating from college. I know Joshua was very excited to be asked to join Rian in her Senior Showcase. It’s so nice that they will get to act together again, just like when they were in high school together. I will try to take pictures and share them. I plan on making the most of the time that I will have with Joshua. I hope everyone has a great week. Love you all!

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When I first thought about having a child I knew I wanted a girl. My husband at the time wanted a boy so I changed my mind and decided I wanted a boy too. This photo was taken when I was about 3 months pregnant. We had taken a little vacation with my husband’s cousin and wife to Corpus Christi, Texas and over the border to Mexico. I remember feeling sick to my stomach all the time and especially when we went over the border and smelled the food and fish cooking. Yuck, I can still remember how bad my stomach turned.

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I was so happy to be pregnant and knowing that I would have a child of my own made it even more fun. This photo was taken when I was around 8 ½ months pregnant.

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Little did I know that my Jennifer would take her own sweet time to come into this world and continued to move at her own pace as she grew up (she was 2 weeks late). I never knew I could love someone so much, until they laid Jennifer on my stomach and then in my arms that day 40 years ago. I didn’t even care that she wasn’t a boy. 🙂 Jennifer’s Dad and I looked at each other and as we took her home in the rain; he said, “she’s all ours!”

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It was funny my sister was pregnant at the same time as I was and she ended up going into labor the night that I had Jennifer. So my Jennifer and my sister’s son Jarred grew up more like brother and sister than cousins.

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Jennifer was very active and before I knew it she was pulling up to the side of her baby bed. I caught her just in time in this picture; it would have been a matter of minutes before she would have toppled right over the edge of her bed.

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I loved putting her hair in piggy tails for the first time.

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Jennifer loved to grab my craft project and run away with it whenever I wasn’t looking. Here I was trying to explain to her that the embroidery thread was mine and I needed it. 🙂 Of course she didn’t understand, she only knew that I wasn’t paying attention to her so she was going to get my attention one way or another.

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I still remember that first Christmas, I think I let her open every present that I had for her way before Christmas even arrived.

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Here she was at her first birthday party, my sister and I decided that we would celebrate both of their birthdays on the same day to alleviate family members getting together two days in a row. I can’t remember when we stopped the parties together but my memory was something similar to chaos when all 5 of the nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles would gather for these parties. 😉

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I remember my Mom had Jennifer one night and decided to take her bottle away from her. Then the next night she sent her home to me. I told Mom that if she ever tried that with any of the other kids that she should keep them until they got over it. We had a rough couple of weeks, but Mom thought it really was time for her to give it up. What? she was only a little over 2 years old and my first child.  🙂  I didn’t want to take anything away from her.

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Jennifer and I literally grew up together. I remember Jennifer loved to sit on my lap for about an hour in the morning until she woke up all the way and got hungry. Then the day would consist of me doing my chores. When it was time for me to vacuum, Jennifer would gather up a bunch of her toys and sit them all on the couch. She would stay there until I would go out of the room and then when I would come back into the room with the vacuum cleaner she would hurry and jump back up on the couch. It was funny. I only enjoyed my crafts after my household chores were done and Jennifer knew that she would have to play by herself while I created things. (mostly sewing) Now days the household chores are on the back burner and creating is always on the front burner.  🙂

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When Jennifer was in middle school I started dating John and when we found out that we were going to have a baby I worried about telling her. I remember the day we told her and her reaction was nothing like I expected. She only said, “I’ve always wanted a brother or sister!”

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Joshua and Jennifer were friends from the beginning. Jennifer stayed up with me when Joshua was little and when I needed an extra set of arms to hold him while mine rested. I don’t know what I would have done without her.

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When Jennifer found out she was pregnant she loved every minute of her pregnancy too. She knew that she always wanted to be a mother, just like I did;

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and a good mother she has become. I love you Jennifer and I hope your birthday is filled with sweet things just like you. Love, Your Mommy!

Posted by: tgonzales | April 18, 2016

My Brother Dean Would Have Been 64 Today!

9This last week was rolling right along at its usual pace and Thursday afternoon I got home from work and started feeling sick to my stomach and having the chills. I couldn’t eat my dinner and went almost straight to bed. Upon waking in the morning I still felt bad and spent the whole day in and around my bed.

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On Saturday I felt so much better and got up to do some of my usual Saturday chores and as I was doing my laundry I thought about Dean. I thought about how much I still miss him and wish I could talk to him again. I remembered back to when I talked to him last and how he had told me about the party that his son and daughter-in-law had had. And how someone had drove the 4 wheeler into the creek. He also told me all about each of his children and grandchildren, all about what they were each doing. He loved to talk about his family and I loved hearing about them.

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I don’t know what it is, but when I’m sick I miss my Mom and Dean the most. My Mom was the best. I didn’t even have to call her to tell her I wasn’t feeling well. She just called and knew. There were so many times she would drop everything and run down with soup for me. Dean used to call to check up on me right at the perfect time too.

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I have had people tell me that when milestones of our dearly departed ones occur you may have more sadness or remember them more, and the last few days I have felt Mom, Daddy, and Dean close to me. I feel they are watching over me. Then Sunday I looked at the date and thought, Now I know what it is, Dean’s birthday is tomorrow. Happy 64th Birthday, I know you, Mom, and Daddy are all celebrating!

Posted by: tgonzales | April 11, 2016

Time Sure Flies When you are Having Fun

Hello everyone! I know it's been a long time and I hope that you still remember me? I wasn't quite sure where to start back up, from where I last left off. Anyway, I thought it would be good to begin with this last weekend. Our friends Korey and Susie asked us if we would like to join them at the Tulip Festival that's held at the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas. We started off our day with breakfast at the Doo Dah Diner. Our waitress Robin was so helpful, kind, and a good sport.

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a long time and I hope that you still remember me? I wasn’t quite sure where to start back up, from where I last left off. Anyway, I thought it would be good to begin with this last weekend. Our friends Korey and Susie asked us if we would like to join them at the Tulip Festival that’s held at the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas. We started off our day with breakfast at the Doo Dah Diner. Our waitress Robin was so helpful, kind, and a good sport.

This was John and my smothered breakfast burrito with a side of sausage gravy to cut some of the heat of the chorizo and jalapeno bacon. Korey had steak and eggs without the potatoes or bread and Susie had eggs, jalapeno bacon, and maple bacon. I was so happy that Susie and Korey enjoyed their first breakfast at the Doo Dah Diner.

This was John and my smothered breakfast burrito with a side of sausage gravy to cut some of the heat of the chorizo and jalapeno bacon. Korey had steak and eggs without the potatoes or bread and Susie had eggs, jalapeno bacon, and maple bacon. I was so happy that Susie and Korey enjoyed their first breakfast at the Doo Dah Diner.

Next we decided to take the scenic route to Belle Plaine and Susie fell in love with this piece of property so we had to stop and take a picture of it. I could see Susie and Korey living here some day. I know it is one of Susie's favorite colors. And isn't that the reason buy a house is for the color? HAHAHAHA

Next we decided to take the scenic route to Belle Plaine and Susie fell in love with this piece of property so we had to stop and take a picture of it. I could see Susie and Korey living here some day. I know it is one of Susie’s favorite colors. And isn’t that the reason to buy a house, is for the color? HAHAHAHA

We also decided to take the trip nice and slow, so that meant stopping along the way to get out and look at the river that runs along Highway 81.

We also decided to take the trip nice and slow, so that meant stopping along the way to get out and look at the river that runs along Highway 81.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get out my selfie stick.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get out my selfie stick.

It was a fairly chilly morning and if you couldn't tell Susie and I were both glad when we hopped back into the car after this photo.

It was a fairly chilly morning and if you couldn’t tell Susie and I were both glad when we hopped back into the car after this photo.

Next stop was in the town of Belle Plaine to look around while we waited to meet up with one of Susie and Korey's daughters and son-in-law. I loved looking at one of the vendors;

Next stop was in the town of Belle Plaine to look around while we waited to meet up with one of Susie and Korey’s daughters and son-in-law. I loved looking at one of the vendors;

that was into making metal stuff

that was into making metal stuff

out of recycled materials.

out of recycled materials.

I especially loved the large sunflower.

I especially loved the large sunflower.

Then it was off to the Arboretum and the Tulip Festival.

Then it was off to the Arboretum and the Tulip Festival.

The trees were so beautiful.

The trees were so beautiful.

I loved the color of these little trees.

I loved the color of these little trees.

Susie was explaining to me that these are Columbine flowers. I loved the delicate little flowers on the beautiful green plant.

Susie was explaining to me that these are Columbine flowers. I loved the delicate little flowers on the beautiful green plant.

Of course Susie looked adorable and I couldn't resist taking a picture of her taking a picture of the flowers.

Of course Susie looked adorable and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of her taking a picture of the flowers.

This tree looked so cool amongst all the greens of the rest of the trees. And I couldn't believe how tall and old a lot of the trees were.

This tree looked so cool amongst all the greens of the rest of the trees. And I couldn’t believe how tall and old a lot of the trees were.

This was a cute little gnome house inside a tulip bed.

This was a cute little gnome house inside a tulip bed.

Susie and Korey's daughter and son-in-law; Melody and Chris arrived to enjoy the gardens too.

Susie and Korey’s daughter and son-in-law; Melody and Chris arrived to enjoy the gardens too.

I don't think I have ever seen so many tulips before and the varieties were beautiful.

I don’t think I have ever seen so many tulips before and the varieties were beautiful.

I love the sign and the these two cuties.

I love the sign and these two cuties.

I loved seeing all of the many pathways.

I loved seeing all of the many pathways.

The pathways all looked like they could take you to some secret place far, far away. This little iron gate for some reason reminded me of my Grandma Hanks. I think I remember that she had a metal gate leading into her yard. I'm sure that my cousin will tell me different if I'm not remembering right. (Hi Sue)

The pathways all looked like they could take you to some secret place far, far away. This little iron gate for some reason reminded me of my Grandma Hanks. I think I remember that she had a metal gate leading into her yard. I’m sure that my cousin will tell me different if I’m not remembering right. (Hi Sue)

This tulip bed reminded me of my Momma. One of her favorite colors to dress Jackie and me in, was pink.

This tulip bed reminded me of my Momma. One of her favorite colors to dress Jackie and me in, was pink.

I loved seizing the moment and I didn't even notice that Susie's character had cowgirl boots on, until I uploaded the pictures onto my computer. This couldn't have been more perfect if we would have tried. :)

I loved seizing the moment and I didn’t even notice that Susie’s character had cowgirl boots on, until I uploaded the pictures onto my computer. This couldn’t have been more perfect if we would have tried. 🙂

We had lunch from one of the food trucks located inside the Arboretum and I loved that people picked a place to have their own little picnic right in the middle of these trees.

We had lunch from one of the food trucks located inside the Arboretum and I loved that people picked a place to have their own little picnic right in the middle of these trees.

After we ate, we went for a walk along a newly laid path. I loved the gate all made out of branches.

After we ate, we went for a walk along a newly laid path. I loved the gate all made out of branches.

Susie and Mel were the perfect models.

Susie and Mel were the perfect models.

There were so many good places to take pictures and it was kind of overcast all day.

There were so many good places to take pictures and it was kind of overcast all day.

I was feeling a little bad that I didn't wait for John to come with us on our little adventure. But, when we got back to him he was sitting with a group of lovely ladies and a bowl of Freddie's ice cream. He looked so pitifully content.

I was feeling a little bad that I didn’t wait for John to come with us on our little adventure. But, when we got back to him he was sitting with a group of lovely ladies and a bowl of Freddie’s ice cream. He looked so pitifully content.

I can't even begin to tell you how many cool trees there are on this property. John is the perfect model too and so dramatic.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many cool trees there are on this property. John is the perfect model too and so dramatic.

I loved all the signs too.

I loved all the signs too.

Funny though, we all ignored them.

Funny though, we all ignored them.

When we got to the other side and it said the same thing, we figured out that we weren't supposed to go that way because of the embankment was washed away. Thank goodness John was right there to help me through or I probably would have kept going into the little lake.

When we got to the other side and it said the same thing, we figured out that we weren’t supposed to go that way because of the embankment was washed away. Thank goodness John was right there to help me through or I probably would have kept going into the little lake.

These little flocks reminded me of my Momma too. As she had flocks that would bloom every spring. She always loved flowers that you didn't have to replant every year. I get more like her every day in that way.

These little flocks reminded me of my Momma too. As she had flocks that would bloom every spring. She always loved flowers that you didn’t have to replant every year. I get more like her every day in that way.

This Japanese maple was so beautiful.

This Japanese maple was so beautiful.

I love it when John gets just the right photo.

I love it when John gets just the right photo.

These were some cute little flowers that were along the way out of the Arboretum.

These were some cute little flowers that were along the way out of the Arboretum.

This was a cool vendor that had some really great planters.

This was a cool vendor that had some really great planters.

I loved this sign and the day spent with beautiful friends.

I loved this sign and the day spent with beautiful friends.

As we continued our journey home, we stopped at Sonic and took advantage of 1/2 price drinks, then we stopped for pie at Spears. Then we went to Atwoods to buy chickens for Susie and Korey. As we walked in I noticed that there was still a pay phone in the entrance. I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. I guess there are some people out there that still don't have a cell phone?

As we continued our journey home, we stopped at Sonic and took advantage of 1/2 price drinks, then we stopped for pie at Spears. Then we went to Atwoods to buy chickens for Susie and Korey. As we walked in I noticed that there was still a pay phone in the entrance. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it. I guess there are some people out there that still don’t have a cell phone?

Anyway, Susie picked out 5 chicks from these and 2 little Bantum chicks. I loved listening to them chirp all the way home. It reminded me of my childhood when Mom would buy baby chicks and my brothers would make a box for them with a little light and we would feed them Quaker Oats.

Anyway, Susie picked out 5 chicks from these and 2 little Bantum chicks. I loved listening to them chirp all the way home. It reminded me of my childhood when Mom would buy baby chicks and my brothers would make a box for them with a little light and we would feed them Quaker Oats.

John and I ended the day with dinner at Le Monde. Can I say that I was pooped? I guess I just did. LOL I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and I hope you all have a great week.

John and I ended the day with dinner at Le Monde. Can I say that I was pooped? I guess I just did. LOL I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and I hope you all have a great week.

Posted by: tgonzales | February 29, 2016

I’m Back! John and I went on a Caribbean Cruise

Here we are on our way on the Village Tour bus taking us to the Woodlands and then on to Galveston where we would board our Liberty of the Seas ship.

Here we are on our way on the Village Tour bus taking us to the Woodlands north of Houston.

John, Me, Korey, and Susie met up with my friend Lisa  the night we arrived north of Houston in the Woodlands. Lisa and her husband met us at the Guadalajara restaurant that was walking distance from our hotel. We are still talking about how good the food and company were.

John, Me, Korey, and Susie met up with my friend Lisa and her husband the night we arrived north of Houston in the Woodlands. Our bus tour and Village Tours Cruises included an overnight stay at a hotel in the Woodlands. Lisa and her husband just happened to be near there, so they were able to meet us at the Guadalajara restaurant that was walking distance from our hotel. We are still talking about how good the food and company were.

Our Liberty of the Seas ship, waiting for us in the harbor at Galveston.

Our Liberty of the Seas ship, waiting for us in the harbor at Galveston.

Susie and me playing a little miniature golf waiting for our luggage to be delivered to our rooms.

Susie and me playing a little miniature golf waiting for our luggage to be delivered to our rooms.

I don't even remember the last time I played miniature golf, but Susie and I had lots of fun playing and I do believe it's the best I have ever played.

I don’t even remember the last time I played miniature golf, but Susie and I had lots of fun playing and I do believe it’s the best I have ever played.

Our first moments on the ship. I kind of look like the Statue of Liberty with that palm tree sticking out of the top of my head. LOL

Our first moments on the ship. I kind of look like the Statue of Liberty with that palm tree sticking out of the top of my head. LOL

Here is a picture looking towards the door of our cabin, just behind the mirror was the tiny bathroom. The cabins reminded me of a camper.

Here is a picture looking towards the door of our cabin, just behind the mirror was the tiny bathroom. The cabins reminded me of a camper.

Some of the people that I talked to about going on the cruise, said that they never see pictures of the cabins. So, I decided to take a few. Here was our bed, and I can say that I slept like a baby each night.

Some of the people that I talked to about going on the cruise, said that they never see pictures of the cabins. So, I decided to take a few. Here was our bed, and I can say that I slept like a baby each night.

This was my first dinner in the formal dining room and I chose the salmon. I enjoyed it very much.

This was my first dinner in the formal dining room and I chose the salmon. I enjoyed it very much.

Here's one of John's meals of fish. He liked everything on this plate except the mussels.

Here’s one of John’s meals of fish. He liked everything on this plate except the mussels.

This was my first breakfast on the ship. I loved that I got to watch the ocean while I dined.

This was my first breakfast on the ship. I loved that I got to watch the ocean while I dined.

John's first breakfast in the formal dining room, consisted of fresh figs. I was very surprised that I kind of liked them.

John’s first breakfast in the formal dining room, consisted of fresh figs. I was very surprised that I kind of liked them. Of course when I think of figs, I think of those fig newton cookies that I don’t care for.

This was the beautiful Promenade, where they had all the shops. I loved the see through bridge and the beautiful winding staircases.

This was the beautiful Promenade, where they had all the shops. I loved the see through bridge and the beautiful winding staircases.

Our view from our first time on the 12th deck in the adult swimming area.

Our view from our first time on the 12th deck in the adult swimming area.

This is our first time to sit out on the sundeck of the adult swimming area. It was great. I even did a little crocheting while I sat there.

This is our first time to sit out on the sundeck of the adult swimming area. It was great. I even did a little crocheting while I sat there.

This was our view of the back of the boat while we ate our very first lunch on the ship.

This was our view of the back of the boat while we ate our very first lunch on the ship.

I loved this picture that Susie took of me. I love how she captured me relaxing, since I don't seem to do that as much as I should. :)

I loved this picture that Susie took of me. I love how she captured me relaxing, since I don’t seem to do that as much as I should. 🙂

Our first time in the hot tub and remember I am scared of heights and this thing was sticking out over the side of the ship on the 12th deck.

Our first time in the hot tub and remember I am scared of heights and this thing was sticking out over the side of the ship on the 12th deck.

One of my co-workers said that they wanted to see me sitting back enjoying one of those drinks with one of those little umbrellas in it. So I had to oblige. He said that I so-o-o-o deserved a break. :)

One of my co-workers said that they wanted to see me sitting back enjoying one of those drinks with one of those little umbrellas in it. So I had to oblige. He said that I so-o-o-o deserved a break. 🙂

John enjoying one of the many dinners we had in the beautiful formal dining room.

John enjoying one of the many dinners we had in the beautiful formal dining room.

This was one of my many dinners of fish. I was very impressed with the presentation of my meals.

This was one of my many dinners of fish. I was very impressed with the presentation of my meals.

This was one of John's chooses for dinner.

This was one of John’s chooses for dinner.

This was an amazing chocolate dessert that Susie loved.

This was an amazing chocolate dessert that Susie loved.

Strawberry cheesecake; it doesn't get much better than this.

Strawberry cheesecake; it doesn’t get much better than this.

A scene of the theater where we watched 3 shows.

A scene of the theater where we watched 3 shows.

Darius our cabin master entertained us with his craftiness with towels and washcloths.

Darius our cabin master entertained us with his craftiness with towels and washcloths.

Here was one of the many areas on board the ship that were perfect photo opportunities. So John took advantage of it. :)

Here was one of the many areas on board the ship that were perfect photo opportunities. So John took advantage of it. 🙂

Side view of the ship looking up at those water slides.

Side view of the ship looking up at those water slides.

This is our group that we strolled through the marketplace with in Jamaica.

This is our group that we strolled through the marketplace with in Jamaica. We met some of the nicest people on the tour and ship. Bob and Marie were one of the couples that we enjoyed hanging out with. I loved that we also got to dine with them every night.

Here is one of the ladies that I met in Jamaica who crochets hats, bags, and makes dresses. Oh by the way I purchased that dress that was hanging over her shoulder.

Here is one of the ladies from the marketplace named Pam. I loved her passion for her craft and I loved that it showed in her face. Pam crochets hats, bags, and sews dresses. Oh by the way I purchased that dress that was hanging over her shoulder. I know you can’t believe it, right? NOT! HAHAHAHAHA

Here's a fun view of the ship looking up at those fun looking water slides.

Here’s a fun view of the ship looking up at those fun looking water slides again. Susie and I had been talking about going on those slides ever since we knew that they were on the Liberty of the Seas ship.

John really loved this shirt but it was just a little too small through the chest for him. Sadly they did not have any that were bigger.

John really loved this shirt but I’m sad to say that it didn’t fit him properly, so he didn’t get one of these colorful shirts like he wanted.

Of course, I never knew what John was going to do or say. I think this says it all.

Of course, I never knew what John was going to do or say. I think this says it all.

This lady had the most unusual hair. It almost looked like she had yarn woven into the twists in her hair. And oh my gosh her cutting abilities with that machete were amazing too.

This lady had the most unusual hair. It almost looked like she had yarn woven into the twists in her hair. And oh my gosh her cutting abilities with cutting the sugar cane with that machete were amazing too.

It was finally time to go down the water slides. After watching the Captain of the ship and one of the engineers who helped build the slides go down.

It was finally time to go down the water slides. After watching the Captain of the ship and one of the engineers who helped build the slides go down.

Susie and I were ready to climb the stairs and come down these slides.

Susie and I were ready to climb the stairs and come down these slides.

Here was Susie and me as we were climbing the stairs to get onto the water slides.

Here was Susie and me as we were climbing the stairs to get onto the water slides. If you zoom in you will see us smashing our faces against the windows.

Another photo of us in the window of the staircase.

Another photo of us in the window of the staircase.

Here's a picture of the slides as John and Korey awaited mine and Susie's arrival out of the tubes.

Here’s a picture of the slides as John and Korey awaited mine and Susie’s arrival out of the tubes.

The orange slide is sticking way out over the edge of the ship.

As we were at the top of the stairs I chose to go down the orange slide. You might take notice that the orange slide is sticking way out over the edge of the ship. (you may remember that I am afraid of heights?)

Here's Susie as she came out of her green water slide.

Here’s Susie as she came out of her green water slide.

Oh my gosh I finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.

I left the chute at the same time as Susie did, but on my descent I laid down with my arms folded over my chest as the young lady told me to do. As I was laying there I closed my eyes and thought that I should be almost to the bottom by now. But…when I looked up I was lying perfectly still. Closest to the top of the tube and not the bottom. I tried pushing myself a little and laid back down. Only to realize that the water pressure was not strong enough to push me out. I started to hyperventilate and I felt panic setting in. All kinds of thoughts went through my head; like what will my children and my husband do without me? I wondered if the slide attendants would have to send someone down behind me to shove me out or if someone would come up from below to pull me out, or maybe they would have to disassemble the slide and what if I were over the ocean. Would I fall in. Oh my gosh I knew I had to push myself out of that tube. After an eternity or 15 minutes whichever one you want to believe, I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. I heard a young man say, you can do it.

Finally John sees me after 15 minutes of not knowing whether I am ok or not.

I remember telling the young man that I don’t think I can push anymore. With his encouraging words I picked up the strength to push a little more.

My thoughts right here were; I think I can, I think I can.

My thoughts right here were; I think I can, I think I can.

I am almost there, my arms and my legs are so weak.

I remembered thinking; I am almost there.

I told the guys here that I didn't think I could make it one more inch.

I told the guys here that I didn’t think I could make it one more inch.

I don't remember what I was thinking here. Except I knew my arms and my legs were shaking.

I don’t remember what I was thinking here. Except I knew my arms and my legs were shaking.

These men were great coaches telling me that I could make it. I wasn't real sure that I could.

These men were great coaches telling me that I could make it. I wasn’t real sure that I could.

I kept telling them that I couldn't stand up and they kept encouraging me.

I kept telling them that I couldn’t stand up and they kept encouraging me.

Finally I was able to stand up and walk out of that pool.

Finally I was able to stand up and walk out of that pool. As soon as I calmed down; I looked at John and said, “I hope to hell you got some good pictures of this, because I want to share this on my blog.”

This was after dinner on the same night as I got stuck in the slide. I remember thinking how tired I was and just wanted to go back to the cabin to lie down. When we got to the cabin and as I was taking off my shoes. I just started crying and told John how scared I actually was as I pushed myself out of that slide. Although it scared me I wouldn't change a thing about it. At least I have a story and I will never have to say that I wished I would have tried to go down that slide. LOL

This was after dinner on the same night as I got stuck in the slide. I remember thinking how tired I was and just wanted to go back to the cabin to lie down. When we got to the cabin and as I was taking off my shoes. I just started crying and told John how scared I actually was as I pushed myself out of that slide. Although it scared me I wouldn’t change a thing about it. At least I have a story and I will never have to say that I wished I would have tried to go down that slide. LOL

This was one of the views of the Grand Cayman Islands.

This was one of the views of the Grand Cayman Islands we saw on Thursday morning.

Another view of Grand Cayman Islands as we sailed right by.

Another view of Grand Cayman Islands as we sailed right by.

This was the storm that would keep us from going onto the Grand Cayman Islands.

This was the storm that would keep us from going onto the Grand Cayman Islands.

Poor John caught a cold on Wednesday and had such a hard time sleeping. Then when we would sit down he would doze.

Poor John caught a cold on Wednesday and had such a hard time sleeping. Then when we would sit down he would doze.

Here are the guys coming out of a shop in Cozumel, where we ended up purchasing my hat and John 3 of his favorite types of shirts from Mexico.

Here are the guys coming out of a shop in Cozumel, where we ended up purchasing my hat and John 3 of his favorite types of shirts from Mexico.

I enjoyed all the many colors of Cozumel, and the little suns sure did catch my eye.

I enjoyed all the many colors of Cozumel, and the little suns sure did catch my eye.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of these colorful candy wrapper handbags from Cozumel.

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of these colorful candy wrapper handbags from Cozumel.

I couldn't resist a photo of John sitting in front of the Cozumel sign.

I couldn’t resist a photo of John sitting in front of the Cozumel sign.

This was the perfect setting for John. He fit right in.

This was the perfect setting for John. He fit right in.

You can take the girl out of Kansas but you can't take the cowgirl out of Cozumel. I can't believe how silly I look in that hat, but oh my gosh look at the color of that water! I will never forget it.

You can take the girl out of Kansas but you can’t take the cowgirl out of Cozumel. I can’t believe how silly I look in that hat, but oh my gosh look at the color of that water! I will never forget it.

I couldn't believe how many ships were docked in the port of Cozumel all at once.

I couldn’t believe how many ships were docked in the port of Cozumel all at once.

Our lunch in Cozumel. It was wonderful.

Our lunch in Cozumel. It was wonderful.

Susie and Korey really enjoyed the Mexican food in Cozumel.

Susie and Korey really enjoyed the Mexican food in Cozumel.

Lovely view of the palm trees and the beach.

Lovely view of the palm trees and the beach.

Here's our view from our table in the restaurant in Cozumel.

Here’s our view from our table in the restaurant in Cozumel.

Poor John taking his cold medication that he finally bought in Cozumel.

Poor John taking his cold medication that he finally bought in Cozumel.

The sealion show was one of the things that was included in our shore excursion on Cozumel. At the end of the show you could go down and have the seal kiss your cheek.

The sealion show was one of the things that was included in our shore excursion on Cozumel. At the end of the show you could go down and have the seal kiss your cheek.

This was such a great photo opportunity. We couldn't resist the young man who owned the parrots.

This was such a great photo opportunity. We couldn’t resist the young man who owned the parrots.

That one parrot wanted to take John's hat off of him.

That one parrot wanted to take John’s hat off of him.

John and the parrot. The colors of that bird were amazing and I couldn't believe that their feet were blue.

John and the parrot. The colors of that bird were amazing and I couldn’t believe that their feet were blue.

Here's one of the buildings in the area where John was tasting tequila. (Yuck! Not the building but I don't like tequila)

Here’s one of the buildings in the area where John was tasting tequila. (Yuck! Not the building but I don’t like tequila)

Beautiful colorful flags hung in the area where our onshore excursion took us to learn how to make guacamole and tequila tasting.

Beautiful colorful flags hung in the area where our onshore excursion took us to learn how to make guacamole and tequila tasting.

Another building in the area of guacamole making and tequila tasting.

Another building in the area of guacamole making and tequila tasting.

Here is Girlie our head waitress from the formal dining room. Girlie was very professional and really cared about her job. I was humbled by all the people who took such pride in their jobs and took such good care of me.

Here is Girlie our head waitress from the formal dining room. Girlie was very professional and really cared about her job. I was humbled by all the people who took such pride in their jobs and took such good care of me, they spoiled me rotten.

This was our wonderful assistant waiter in the formal dining room, Leowsing.

This was our wonderful assistant waiter in the formal dining room, Leowsing. He reminded us of our Joshua.

My last dinner in the formal dining room.

My last dinner in the formal dining room.

This is Darius who was our cabin master. He made up our room two times a day and did a wonderful job of taking great care of us.

This is Darius who was our stateroom attendant. He made up our room two times a day and did a wonderful job of taking great care of us.

On the way home I taught a lovely lady named Esther to crochet. She told me that nobody was able to teach her since she was left handed and she said that she had always wanted to learn. Within 15 minutes I had her crocheting rows and rows of single crochets and doubles. She continued to practice all the way home until it got too dark of course.

On the way home I taught a lovely lady named Esther to crochet. She told me that nobody was able to teach her since she was left handed and she said that she had always wanted to learn. Within 15 minutes I had her crocheting rows and rows of single crochets and doubles. She continued to practice all the way home until it got too dark of course.

My consolation prize was three private photos taken by the ships photographer. This was the one we chose of both of us. There were 27 others that were just as good. I can't wait to make copies of these to give out.

My consolation prize was three private photos taken by the ships photographer. This was the one we chose of both of us. There were 27 others that were just as good. I can’t wait to make copies of these to give out. I know this was a long post, but I just had to get this all out there before I forget what happened. I want everyone to know how grateful I am to have been able to go on this wonderful trip with John and old and new friends. If you ever have a chance to go somewhere you have always wanted to go, grasp the opportunity by the horns so to speak and go for it, like I did. For as long as I live I will always remember this trip. I love each and every one of you and hope that your week is full of all good things.

 

Posted by: tgonzales | January 17, 2016

Remembering Mama!

As I look back on this day one year ago, I remember how much I love and miss my dear Mama. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not reminded of her love for me and oh so many others. My Mama cared deeply for all of her family and friends. She was such a good example of what a Mama and friend should be. I am so grateful that I had such a great teacher of love and kindness. I just wish she could have taught me how to live without her.

Although days will go by and I will be fine; then I will think of her as I’m cooking one of my favorite meals (for example stuffed peppers today), or hear a song (Rock of Ages), or simply hear a thread being pulled through a piece of fabric and as that familiar sound of the thread sliding and the needle popping through the fabric, it brings back the tears. But mostly I smile when I remember my dear Mama.

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