Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘party time’ Category

Today was a day of hilarity for  us and those that were at Pizza Finca!

Victoria is about 20 days from having her baby and Karen decided we should have lunch together before the big day.  (It’s the 7/31 Club because we were all born on that day.)  What could we do to make it funny? Decided we should go as pregnant women too! Enjoy the pictures and please note the real pregnant person, is the smallest! You just can’t take the fun out of the “older ladies”. Poor Victoria!!!!  She assured us that Ema was going to call everyone when the baby arrives!

Here’s the conversation according to Karen…

Lunch conversation goes something like this….

Table for 3? No table for 6 (please).
Ah, waiting for 3 more ladies? No, why do you ask?
Well, there are 3 of you yes? No, there are 6 of us.
ME: Better make it a table for 7. I’m having twins!
VIC: Hurry I think I’m going to Earl!
NANCY: Earl who? I think I’m having a basketball!
ME: For lunch? And who is this Earl, Victoria?
VIC: I’m gonna be sick, like Earl right now!
NANCY: Suddenly I’m not so hungry, let’s go to the bar!
ME: Works for me, how ’bout you Victoria, you in?
VIC: I’m gonna go take a nap before I go back to work.
NANCY: There’s always one party-pooper in the crowd!
ME: Okay, I’ve got errands to run before I deliver these guys. See ya, same place, same time, next week for lunch gals?
Should we invite our husbands maybe……
THEM: Nah, then we’d need a bigger table…..

Last year on Halloween, one of my bff’s lost her husband unexpectedly.  She was a Halloween nut!!!  I know this has been a tough year for her, and I’m hoping that next year will be a little better.

raymond-ofenbeckLast week, Todd (married to daughter, Amy) lost his father.  He was 94 years old – a Cubbies fan from the beginning.  He had told the family that he hoped to see them win the World Series this year.  Alas, he passed away before the beginning of the first game in Cleveland.  He had mesothelioma – his body was shutting down but his mind was there.  Had to be sad for the family to see that.

As a father-in-law to Amy, there couldn’t have been a better one!  He was at the hospital every day, all day when she was in the Critical Care Unit.  After 8-10 weeks of that, she went to a rehab hospital and he was there every day too.  Not many father-in-laws would do that!  We can never convey what that meant to us.  Of course, we went to FL as often as we could and we were there for every surgery.

When Todd and Amy first moved to Fort Myers, she was an anchor for the ABC station. Todd worked for the NBC station.  Ray would always call her and tell her if hair didn’t look right, or if he didn’t like what she had on that day!  That cracked us up!

Ray was quite the entertainer all the hours we spent in the hospital!  Especially with the nurses!  Always had a smile and joke for them.

Hugs to all the Ofenbeck family and we are so so sorry for your loss.

One disadvantage to living in Costa Rica is we can’t get to events like this.  RIP Ray….you and Todd’s mother have a lot of catching up to do…..please let her talk too! LOL

bikerbabeHaving had 2 friends husband’s die on Halloween, and now Ray will be buried on Halloween, I have come to a decision.  When my time on earth is done, if it’s 5 days before or after Halloween, I want my funeral to be a costume party.  And believe me, I’ll know if you’re not in costume!

 

 

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Yesterday, a friend, Jean Marie and I decided to go shopping and take a break from knitting.  I have finally found someone down here that loves Christmas and all the decor like I do.  So we decided this would be a “check out Christmas stuff shopping trip.”

Universal, which is a large department store in Alajuela, moved into the new City Mall, the largest mall in Costa Rica.  We decided to check out the old Universal because everything Navidad was discounted!  We had a ball.  Most things were 50% off and some were 30% off.  She shops like I do, check everything out and then make a decision!  By the time we were finished shopping there, it was noonish.

So we headed to  City Mall, with plans to hit every store with lots of Christmas decor.  Checked out the Universal store there, prices at the old store were much better.

Then we headed to Aliss; beautiful things there and we oohed and aahed!  By then we decided it was time to eat.  So we headed to Subway.  Finished eating and then we headed to Oxygen, we love their clothes and prices.  Tried on a few dresses but nothing hit me just right!  Then we headed to Cemaco, a department type store that doesn’t carry clothing.

O.M.G.  They have 4 different villages set up under glass in the front of the store!  I loved everyone of them.  One was like an amusement park with rides that we both used to ride at county fairs.  One was a village and I fell in love with the Pet Store and Shoe Cobbler store that was actually shaped like a shoe. The whole set up was beautiful!  Then there was a snow scene, and another scene with Santa flying around with the reindeer; ice skaters skating; let’s just say, we were both in “Christmas Heaven”.

Left there and decided to sit down and get our purchases arranged to head to the car.

I think my heart skipped a beat!  My phone was missing.  So Jean Marie stayed there trying to call it, and I tried to retrace my steps.  Maybe it fell out of my pocket in the rest room.  As I was headed down that hall I saw a female security person.  So in my best Spanglish, I tried to explain what happened.  She patted me on the back and said she would call her Jefe (boss).  So we stood there waiting for the Jefe of Security to show up.  They arrived shortly.  Kept asking me to describe it.  Kept saying is was “pink, cover was like a book with a giraffe on the front and a giraffe on the back.  Every time I said giraffe in Spanish, they smirked….I’m guessing they figured an old lady shouldn’t have a phone with a giraffe cover!  Then a guy came by and said do you need help?  So I said yes, that if I went home having lost my phone, I would probably be beheaded!  So he asked me the same questions that the security officers asked me.  The whole time the female security person was patting me on the back.

All of a sudden, one of the security guards pulled my phone out of his shirt pocket.  I got really excited and gave him a big hug (am sure he thought another loca gringa); so then he wanted some ID.  So I said we had to go where my amiga was sitting.  I pulled out my Cedula (national ID card) and he turned on my phone, laid it on the settee and took a picture.  Then gave it to me with a big grin.  I again hugged him and the female security person.  Keep in mine we’ve walked a five story mall and this was probably a 2 hour deal!

Took Jean Marie home; and since the story had a happy ending, I did end up telling Mark.  Who just stood there shaking his head! I found out he had turned on “Find My iPhone” since I had my iPad with me, I could have located it via the GPS.

Then off to Don YaYo’s for Huesos (Bones) Night with Mike and Karen Elder.  They kept us up way past bedtime! Huesos are the pork bones with hunks of meat still attached. Mike and Mark enjoy them from time to time. I had chifrio and Karen had fish and chips!

Early this morning, I’m guess it was early, Jean Marie called and woke me up and said I left my knitting in your car.  I said “no, you stuck it in one of your bags”.  She said OK, I’ll check.  Then I pleasantly went back to sleep and didn’t wake up till 11 a.m.

But I keep thinking about all the gorgeous Christmas things we saw, and the phone story ended up OK, so it was a great day!

Started out in Ft. Myers, FL because Todd, (SIL) had shoulder surgery at the VA hospital. I was impressed! Fairly new hospital. I was the runner to get stuff (ie: paperwork, medications, the sling for his arm). So I spent a lot of time in the lobby listening to the Vets talk about their experiences, etc.

One funny story. As I was sitting there waiting to get the sling to take up to Todd in the recovery room, a woman named Mary came out to give a man his c-pap mask. He kept saying over and over, thank you Jesus, I can sleep tonight. Then he said “I guess I should be thanking you Mary, for giving me the mask.” Her reply was “You know he’s not my son, right?” It appeared to be a “nice, fun, happy place to work.”

After 7 days there, I was off to Bowling Green. Gayla’s daughter, Megan, was planning a surprise birthday for her on Saturday. So, Pat, Velma and I headed to Nashville that morning to do a “little” shopping before hand. We arrived at Megan’s house and Gayla’s friend Patty, from Memphis, was shocked when I walked in! She said Gayla is going to be so surprised to see you! I never did count but I think there were 15-20 people there. It was a nice party and Megan and Rusy, Gayla’s son, did a great job!
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Stayed with Julie and Norman this time. They sure have a beautiful house!!! And I thank them immensely for their hospitality. Was able to spend some time with Joanne, who is another “bestie”. Pat, Velma and I had a ball. Went to see the movie Jason Bourne….throughout the movie I kept thinking this is right up Mark’s alley. All the car chases, motorcycle chases, crashes, etc. So I imagine when it comes here, I’ll be seeing it again!

I flew Delta, and love they have screens on the back of the seats. Watched three movies in my travels….of course the only name I can imagine is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Cute!

Most of the shopping was already done and sent to Velma’s. So it was like Christmas!!! Even brought a new sewing small sewing machine home. Plus various other things that are too darn difficult to find in CR.

Was really surprised at the prices in the grocery stores. Cheap! Compared to here. Eggs, 49 cents a dozen; milk 99 cents a gallon.

My trip to the states was eventful because of storms and we had to fly over and over Ft. Myers before we could land. Then the pilot informs us we can go around one more time but then we need to make a decision on what airport to land at because we were running out of fuel! It would have been much less nerve-wracking if he had said “we may have to land at another airport because of weather”! Trust me, no one wants to hear “we may run out of fuel!”

Then the flight to Nashville, we circled Nashville for a little over an hour because of storms before we were able to land.

The weather was so darned hot! Miserable…..I don’t know how people that work outside can stand it. The humdity was absolultely draining!

I was happy to return home and see Mark and the dogs! Julie has 4 dogs and boy did I get sniffed over by our three dogs.

It was a great time, but I am exhausted! Perhaps age has a little to do with that!

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In Costa Rica, most Ticos (at least in Guacimo, where we live) celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.  This year we expanded it a little and invited Maricela’s Mother, boyfriend, and sister, Lola. We’ve always invited Lola’s boys, Gabriel and Moises.  Maricela, Dimas, Dylana and Nazareth were here too.  It was a rancho full of people.

They arrived Christmas Eve morning and everyone was in a happy, jolly mood.  Especially the boys when they saw the gifts under the tree.  I asked them if they wanted to eat first or open presents….to my surprise, they wanted to eat first!

And did they ever eat!!!! LOL  Nana, Maricela’s mother thought the coffee was so delicious!

After lots of laughing and talking, some in Spanish, some in English and some in Spanglish, it was time to move into the house to open presents.

Nazareth wanted to be Santa!  And a dramatic Santa she was!!!!  I told them this year they were going to open one gift at a time so we could see what everyone gets!  I tried to get pictures of them with their gifts and I’ll be darned if “Santa” didn’t photo bomb almost every picture!

Nazareth, would go “do, do, do do……Gabriel” – and then Gabriel would come up and get his gift and we’re all clapping and yelling Gabriel.  It did get loud but isn’t that what Christmas is about.  It was so fun to watch the boys open their gifts!  Moises will start kindergarten this year, so he even got a new backpack for school; (I’ve always gotten them new backpacks.)

Nana was so pleased with scarf and immediately tried it on!  I thought Lola was going to cry when she opened up her necklace and ear rings!  It really tugs at your heart so see how excited they are.

I’ve gotten so I take the girls to the mall and let them pick out some clothes; better they get what they like, then something I would pick out!  They look forward to this every year!  But, they have to act excited when they open what they pick out….that’s the rule, as if they’ve never seen it before!

The girls both wanted calendar books this year.  I told them every day they had to write “I love Nancy” and that I was going to check on them once in awhile.

After the gifts were opened, it’s quite funny to watch the kids pack up their things to go home.  They cram as much as they can in their new backpacks; and head home wearing them.

I was exhausted when they left!  But it was a good, happy exhaustion!!!

They truly are our Tico family; Nana, always refers to me as the kids’ abuelita (grandmother), but she really is!  The girls are old enough to know that I’m their Gringo Abuelita!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have a happy 2016; I would hope their would be Peace on Earth, but I don’t think that’s going to happen!  But there’s always hope!

Pura Vida!

 

PS:  Mark is known for wearing his shirts inside out – well, he did Christmas Eve too!

 

One of my best friends in Bowling Green, KY lost her husband early Halloween morning.  Halloween is her favorite holiday and her house is decked out in a “million witches” besides other Halloween decor.

Velma’s husband, Jim, was my age…..and I am not ready in my life for friends to start dying.  I don’t handle death well.  And being in Costa Rica is tough on me because I feel like I need to be there for Velma.  However, I was just there 6 weeks ago.

I would stay at Velma’s and Jim would pick on me relentlessly!  However, me being the Mouth from the South, just dished it right back to him.  We had such good times together!

I’m sad for Velma, Jason, their son, Denise, their daughter, but most of all Eli and Farrah, his young grandkids.  Jim loved going to watch Eli play baseball; I went to one of his games when I was there in Sept. and it was hysterical.  (He’s in kindergarten).  Farrah is 4 and a young Diva in the making; an absolutely adorable little girl.

It should be a rule that God does not take people from mid-October till after the first of the year.  For some reason, losing loved ones around the holidays seems to be the worst – probably because of the previous memories and excitement for the new holidays coming.

I know this has been devastating for Velma and I feel so sorry for her – we all know we’re going to lose our husbands or wives eventually, but this was just too damn early!  Yes, God, I am angry with you – he had lots of things to teach those little grandkids.

This is going to be so tough on Velma but I know she can handle it.  She keeps telling me she feels lost.  I keep telling her it’s baby steps and she’ll get through it.  She has many friends and I know they will help her.

It’s times like this that it’s tough living so far away….I do call her frequently and we cry and laugh, which is good for her.  She started laughing about something we were talking about and then she said, “I’m sorry, I guess I shouldn’t be laughing.”  I told her to laugh all she wants…..because we’re laughing about memories and what good are they, if you can’t enjoy them.

Today is probably the worst day of her life so far because it’s the funeral.  And it will be a military funeral, which is always so touching.

Velma we love you and our hearts are broken for you…..you know we’re here if you need us!

Love to you and peace to Jim!

 

Aunt Fran's 100th

Aunt Frances turned 100 years old!!!  Not sure if anyone else in the family has reached that distinction!

So happy that the pictures of the celebration were posted on Facebook!  See Facebook can be for good things too.

It was so great to see my 3 cousins too.  Can’t imagine how long it’s been since we’ve been together.

I can’t begin to count all the family  get-togethers that we had.  There was a picture taken with my cousins in front of their Christmas tree when they lived in Indiana. I remember that so well; The tree was on a platform above the floor with the most fabulous train set going around it; not just around the tree, because the platform was so big; included a village, etc.

Aunt Frances and Uncle Ward, John, Pete and Jane left Indiana and moved to Colorado.  They came back to Indiana and we were having a family reunion at a park in Fort Wayne, IN.  The main entree was Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Finger lickin’ good, yep!  However, some of us got food poisoning from it sitting out in the heat.  My Mom and I were the only ones that got sick in our house; Mark and I were dating and he went to the reunion with me.  He got sick too!  At that time our house only had one bathroom and all I could think of is one more person gets sick, where are they  going to throw up?  Mom and I took turns throwing up in the bathtub or the toilet. Kelly was pretty young and pretty upset that we were sick.  Every time we went in the bathtub, she would say to Dad, “they will get better” only it was asked more like a question.  We always refer to that time as the time we got Kentucky Fried Fever!!

Others from the reunion got sick too.  Dad waited a days to call Aunt Fran’s house to see if they had gotten sick.  My Uncle Ward told him “Yep, it was the cheapest trip back to Colorado because all they had to buy was Pepto Bismol.”

Such great fond family  memories!

Sue, thanks so much for posting this….and…..

A Happy 100th Birthday to Aunt Frances!


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