Lunch with Paula

Lunch with Paula was wonderful — not Paula Deen, but another Paula who is as good a cook as PD.

Actually, it was a luncheon last week that included nine retired business teachers. We taught in various high schools in the Austin school district and became good friends during those years. As each of us retired, we took a place at the monthly luncheon meetings usually held at a favorite catfish cafe. We especially love meeting there during the first week that school starts and watching the “goings-on” at the high school across the street from the cafe. Our number who meet regularly is up to fourteen — and we missed those who could not be at Paula’s this month.

Our menu was salad based — each of us took a dish — with the dessert table provided by Paula. Her Chocolate Italian Cream Cake cannot be beat — we chocoholics were in heaven as we enjoyed big slices of it! I was hoping to take a slice or two home with me, but alas none left with me — maybe next time.

Even though we weren’t sipping out of wine glasses, too, we were laughing and carrying on just like we always have whenever we get the chance. If we’re not laughing as we reminisce, we’re laughing at each other’s stories about our aging process. Our conversation keywords these days include: medicare, grandkids, social security or pension check, or some remedy for an ache. We also seem to keep up-to-date with computer technology (we are ex-business teachers, after all). But, we’re not too hip with itunes or text messaging stuff.

I feel very special being a part of this wonderful group of ladies — yep, we’re one gender only. If we added up all of our years of teaching experience, I guess it would average 30 years times 14 — whatever that number is (I didn’t teach math, you know)! We spent a week together each summer and another few days during the school years together at conventions or conferences. Since the school district gave us a very limited travel expense budget, we usually stayed four to a room in hotels. Then, one room full would invite another room full over to play Pictionary or cards. More than once a hotel manager has called our room to ask us to QUIETEN DOWN — our hotel neighbors didn’t enjoy our loud laughing as we enjoyed each other’s company. This is a group of non-drinkers —
2008 Christmas
— but we might leave other impressions sometimes.

Some of us are having health issues that are serious — but with encouragement and support from each other, we are blessed!

Christmas at Paula's 2008 (2)

Standing L-R: Sandra, Sue Ella, Billie, Ann, and Doris
Sitting L-R: Me (Sam), Paula, Rose, Beverly

Let It Snow . . . or Rain!

I’m dreaming of a . . . White Christmas! Ho Ho Ho! Would be very happy just to have some RAIN — heard on the news we’re over 15 inches behind for the year — the 3rd driest year since the 1850’s. I remember huge cracks in our yard in the 1950’s and the lakes around Austin at very low levels. As much as I don’t agree with the practice, we are feeling sorry for the deer and have been putting corn out for them since summer. So, some rain (or snow) before the end of this year would be wonderful!

Christmas tree time is here — and I wasn’t going to put one up since our grandkids have moved away. But, thanks to my good friends and other family members, I decided that putting one up would heal my “Scrooge” feelings. So, to the shed we go . . . to get the tree and all the trimmings.

An hour later —

No tree could be found in the shed. Where was it? Terry and I put our heads together and decided that we had pitched it last year because the middle section of that pre-lit tree had burned out several years ago. Why have a pre-lit tree when you have to add lights to it?

So, off I go on a shopping spree — yeah, before Christmas is a GREAT time to find a DEAL for a tree! Did I really want to spend $300 for a new tree (pre-lit, of course, and over 4′ tall)?

Not really, but it looked like that was the “deal.” Then . . . I happened into Michael’s, thanks to a coupon deal from my friend, Betty. The coupons I had weren’t good for a Christmas tree, I learned, but the nice folks at Michael’s had just reduced a $300 tree for the second time that morning. It was 7.5′ tall (a bit bigger than I wanted), but it was beautiful, and the best part . . . it was pre-lit!

Terry almost had a cow when he saw the size on the box label. We both thought a 4-5′ would suffice our Scrooge-ness.

Four sections of tree later, we have erected our new tree and plugged it in — it works! Yea! So, now it’s time to fluff out the branches and start loading it up with ornaments. Terry brought in 4 tubs to get me started.

On the last trip in from the shed, with another load of tubs in his arms, he asks . . .

“Guess what I found at the back of the shed.”

Yep, our old tree was there all the time! Waiting patiently for us to “bring it home.” Oh well, that’s the way it is sometimes. Looks like we’ll be recycling it — ’cause I really do like our new, big, all-sections-light-up tree.

Only problem with our big new fluffy tree — I don’t have enough ornaments for it. Had to go shop for more last night and may need to look for more today! We’re close to the $300 mark that was too much originally for that tree at Michael’s. They get you going and coming!

Now, let’s talk about the car bail-out . . . . what a year!