Thursday, December 25, 2008

More Christmas Party pictures

We start with the Osbornes and the Lyons. Carol looked great. I was with them the other day and she looks good by light of day, too. Next are Mel and Dana with me and Bob. They are coming over to cook spaghetti soon. Love when they do. They cook so much we freeze containers and Bob and I have great spaghetti once a week. Even I can't screw up boiling spaghetti. Dana's gained a little weight, thank goodness. She's been sick and lost too much weight, so we are so happy she's looking good and feeling better. Next Cissy and Juli. Met them a few days later for lunch with the Hot Flash Art Girls. Then Nick and Dawn. Dawn is one of the original RedHead Moms from Lakehill. We formed a club out of self defense. We named Dawn - the pretty Redhead. Dawn and I had a nice lunch and Stratos a few days later, too. Carol and Mike came with this delicious and beautiful fruit basket. Unfortunately, it was devoured during the party. I can't complain since I was one of the devour ees. Last Friday we took Carol and Mike to Patricios in Highland Park Village. Not only a Friday night, but a Friday before a holiday. Took an hour and a half to get a table. We ate outside in great weather with all those lighted trees, a fantasy land. Back to Patricios Tuesday night with James Randall. I always leave my card for Tim, one of the owners or managers, I don't know which. On the back of the card I beg for a Patricios in Casa Linda. Tuesday night was very busy, but the hostess told me Tim's no longer there and we will talk later. Who will I lobby now?

I hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Bob and I are waiting for the child to get up and exchange gifts. Who knows when he came home last night. But he was really good yesterday. He and I went to see Mother in the nursing home in Fort Worth. We'd bought her a flat screen tv to hang close to her bed. The swivel arm that really swivels was sold out when we bought the tv and 25' cable earlier. So James Randall and I stopped at the Best Buy on the turnpike on the way to Mom's. A ZOO. Took us 20 minutes to get to Best Buy after we exited. Got really lucky and they had the swivel. Then the car needed gas. Took 30 minutes to do that, get a Starbucks and get back on the road. Believe it or not, the maintenance man at the nursing home said he could install the tv while we were there. That took about 2 and a half hours, but worth staying to be sure all was installed. Mom's good for about 20 minutes and then tires out, but she did her best because her only grandson was with her. Course she can't get use to his shoulder lenght curly hair. We bundled her up and took her on the patio so I could cut her hair. I started telling James Randall stories of Mom when she would visit Bob and me at amusement parks Bob was running before Randall was born. No one had more fun there than Mom. Mother conficated Bob's golf cart at one park and use to go speeding down the midway swerving to barely miss people in her path. One time she zoomed through some baracades the golf cart fit through with inches to spare. As her passenger, if I hadn't taken my elbow off the arm rest in time she'd have knocked it off. I was horrified, but didn't faze her. Mom has long term memory and we laughed until we cried. We had fun on a daily basis at those parks. But no one had as much fun as Miss Lottie Mae.

Here's Christmas party pictures. Mother was sorely missed. Miss Lottie Mae was the life of our Christmas party all the years (and we never missed a year) we hosted. Lots of people there who knew her and remember her buzzing around the party. She was here in spirit, but then again, isn't she always here in spirit?

A good time was had this year. These pictures and more to come are dear people we are lucky to have in our lives.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

last of IAAPA pics

Took Chris and Carol to the airport today. They were on their way to San Francisco to be with her brother, Richard, his partner, Martin and her Mom, Doris who flew out earlier. Carol mentioned I haven't put the Christmas party pictures on the blog yet. She's right. So this is the last of IAAPA pics. Won't even get names with them - you know who you are. Will try to post later tonight and put on party pictures.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Continued IAAPA pics

Yesterday, Cynthia and I drove out to Jay's forge far far away.  Took and hour to get there and you know how I hate to travel more than 5 miles from my house, but I really wanted to see his blacksmith shop and try my hand at a piece.  Good thing he's not closer or he couldn't get rid of Cynthia and me.  She just jumped in and started making pieces for her new bamboo breeze piece.  She stuck her metal pieces in and then pounded them while I looked in every nook and cranny.  Tools, he has tools.  So many are hand made.  He says he's not into making tools, but you pick up one, ask about it and he made it.  He has a mig welder that looks like the grandfather of mine.  Close to it he has a piece he's working on.  I love looking at Jay's welds - the most perfect.  I doubt he ever grinds them, why grind perfection?

Yesterday was so cold.  Cynthia and I were bundled up and the forge going, but still my feet were numb.  Lynne stopped by.  Remember Lynne?  She and her son Evan made Big Tex's sewing kit for their totem at the Fair.  Then some other friends dropped by.  Jay fed all of us hot dogs (on a grill he made of course), beans and gumbo.  Delicious.  

I made the beginning of a door handle for our front inside door.  Took a square metal 5/8 rod and twisted it after heating it.  If I ever get back outside with decent weather, I'll be welding pieces on the rod and maybe adding glass.  I looked at the big door when I got home.  Before I put the new handle on the door it needs to be sanded, painted, etc.  The door has needed sanding and painting the entire 15 years it's been our door.  Maybe this will motivate me.  Course if I sand, paint and put a great handle on it, the enclosed front porch will look shabby.  That's what I hate about a little fix up - makes surrounding areas look old and sad.

Oh, the reason we drove out there - Jay wants to do a calendar.  George isn't doing a calendar for TSA.  Jay and I were both in his last one.  I was Miss October and told Jay I had to be Miss October in this one.  This one is clothes ON.  Jay said bring cameras and we will take lots of pictures as we work.  Miss FLASH forgot hers.  I was lucky I even made it out there. We had Pat Green at Billy Bob's and Vicki's still out with her broken toe.  So we were at Billy Bob's till very late working the night  before.

So since I forgot my camera yesterday, here's more amusement park convention pictures.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's All About Larry/Randy

It's all about Larry/Randy. I've told you about the name confusion with Randy/Larry or Larry/Randy, but I haven't mentioned what a great guy he is. One of my best days was meeting Randy at the State Fair of Texas to ride the Skyway he'd just put in. We ran into Leslye and Lorie and all rode together. Then Lorie got a great picture of me in Bob's museum fountain garden. I'm standing in the garden pointing like Vanna White to my mosaic sculptures when the sprinklers come on and she caught exactly that. I love that garden. Only problem is it's so big with the museum flags flying above you can't get all of it in one picture. Course I think they should rename it "Bob's Fountain @ the State Fair of Texas". I'll start a write in.

Lorie and Leslie didn't attend our Christmas party this year and I haven't talked to her to find out why. Anyway, after the Fair, Bob and I took Randy/Larry to Patricios for Italian and had a great lunch. I know, all that food at the Fair and we go out, but hey, it's Patricios and we always take out of towners there.

Here's some pictures of Randy/Larry in our booth at the IAAPA trade show. First picture has Lars' friend Paul in it. He's an interesting guy. More about him later. This is all about Randy/Larry who was so instrumental in getting the Skyway to the State Fair of Texas. Hopefully Bob and Larry will be involved in more projects. Seems like we are around friends more when Bob's doing business with them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, continued

Here's more pictures from the IAAPA trade show. First is Ned and me. Ned came to the Christmas party and brought Susan. What a delight she is and cute as a button. Next is Lindsey and her girlfriend. I've known Lindsey since she was a twinkle in her parent's eyes. Now look, she's taller than me. Always happens. Her friend was adorable, too. Next, the Dopplemayr crew along with Carol and Mike.

Randy, the guy between Carol and me was Larry to me for years. NO ONE corrected me and I felt like a fool after I found out he's actually Randy. But I did know from day one Randay is a terrific guy. The short guy to my left is Red, who is over 6 feet tall and would have been out of the picture if he hadn't volunteered to kneel. Carol and Mike, of couse, make the convention easy for us just by being there.

Thank goodness for the people we knew and the vendors. Not exactly a beehive of member/buyers. But I'm sure the association will say it was a sell out. They also listed the November after 9-11 as our 4th highest attended show in the last 10 years. Well, we were there. Every other booth was empty and we just watched the tumbleweeds tumbling down the isles because there were no people. Why we got on the plane I don't know. But if you don't get a booth everyone will say, "They must be out of business."

I get really irritated at the people who come by the booth and let me give my little talk then pull out a brochure and say, "I'm with a company that does so and so." Oh, great, then you didn't need me to make a sales pitch to you, you didn't pay for a booth, but you'd like to save postage and get me to carry your brochure back to our office. Well, hey, Mr. Stranger, I'd love to do that. Why don't I run out and buy another suitcase that I can pay extra for at the airport so I can put your brochure along with all the other people who didn't spring for a booth and ship home. Also I'll be sure to demand everyone spec your company for all our jobs?" Why I get irritated I don't know. It's been the same for 25 years. I know the suitcase salesmen will be there. Get a grip, Lottie Kate and go with the flow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Pictures to help kitty adoptions

Saturday was Santa pictures to benefit kitty adoptions. Last year I asked Bob and James Randall to come to the pet store with BlackJack so I could have a wonderful picture of the family, except for Miss Calico, she would have had a heart attack. I'll try to find the picture in my archives. In the meantime here are a few pictures from this year. The ladies who volunteered were wonderful. The pig was the only unusual fur child on my watch.

When the little girl walked up to the kitties in the cages, this little cat stuck out his paw and petted her. They should be on an adoption brochure.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Inernational Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Another picture from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. First picture, Jerry, then my darling Pam (me between them) Ronnie and Marilyn. I hope I have more pictures of Pam and Ronnie. Pam is James Randall's Godmother and the architect of my wedding. Please, if not for her I'd never gotten Bob inside a chapel. But that's a story for another day.

Of course Pam and Ronnie flew in from NYC for our annual Christmas Party. Jerry and Marilyn live here in Dallas and didn't make it. Pam did most of the work (as usual) including buying the food, cooking the food, preparing everything and then she placed it around the party area like a professional. She's "a machine" like Ronnie says. Actually, she's just an amazing person and so loved by me, Bob and James Randall. Ronnie's our love, too.

While they were here, Pam told me to start thinking about putting some of our "non-essential" stuff on ebay or sell it somehow. We were sitting in the bar and could pick out 6 items just looking around the room. We started with my piano Mother bought me when I was 4 years old. I took lessons for about 200 years and never learned to play. James Randall had NO interest (guitars and more guitars for him) and the piano has sat in every house Bob and I've owned playing it's part as the giant paperweight it is. After the first of the year I'm going to find a good charity for it, or I'm going to take it apart and use what I can for a new welding project. Got to start letting go of some of this STUFF. There's a set of dishes I inherited from an aunt who couldn't stand me and vice versa. I also inherited her silverware. Made Mother keep that. I felt sure at some point the knives would get out of the cabinets and attack me when I let my guard down. The aunt's turning over in her grave that I outsmarted her.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions pictures

Here's one of my favorite people in the world with us at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show. He deserves his own blog post. Ira's one of the wonderful men I got when I married Bob. Bob and Ira go back to Randall Duell's office way back when. Yes, our James Randall is named after Mr. Duell.

When we went to California to Dan's birthday party we stayed with Ira. His home is on the very edge of a mountain overlooking the ocean. The house is fantastic and then windows and windows of ocean view make the whole experience like a dream for a landlocked girl like me.

I'm trying to get Ira to write a book about his parents. Ira says their story has been told many times, but theirs, of course is their own. Ira's niece is doing some research. But like I told Ira, a story he heard from his parents needs to be retold by him. I'll keep harassing him. I wish I'd met both his parents, but especially his Mother. Ira lives next door to his brother and he's a darling man, too, whom we enjoyed during our stay.

On a different but related note. When Bob lived in California as a young man and worked for Mr. and Mrs. Duell, he rarely wrote home. Mrs. Duell started writing to Bob's Mom to keep her updated on her boy. They wrote to each other the rest of their lives, though they never met. I met Mrs. Duell and nearly fell over. She was the spitting image of Bob's Mother. These two women who never met, were penpals forever because of their Bob and, they looked alike. The odd part of this is everyone, Bob included, didn't really notice until I went on about how much they looked alike. Both were really great women and are missed by those who loved them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I have no idea why this picture didn't show up on the blog about the IAAPA. It's right there in preview. But anyway, here we are, Lars, me and his Dad, Mr. Iverson.

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

I'm so far behind but here's an attempt to catch up. Took a lot of pictures at the IAAPA convention and trade show we attended in November. We had great booth mates across from us who didn't mind taking lots of pictures. By the end of the show I was calling them professional photographers and they were.

This was my 36th show. Kinda scary. Lots of people who started out with us no longer attend and some of those people are just not with us anymore. Here's a few from the firsts day.

First picture, me and Craig. Craig was with us at Kingdom's 3 in Georgia. Many many years ago with Ronnie, Pam, John and a cast of characters. Kingdom's 3 was a Lion Country Safari Bob's angel bought and we all went down to run. The first weekend two lions escaped. They were under a year old but the size of adult lions. Bob and a bunch of guys from the humane society went after them before they could make a meal of small children or large adults. The humane guys shot them with the dart guns, but they died. Next day there's a picture of Bob and two baby lion cubs that couldn't be 2 weeks old on the cover of the Atlanta Journal with this caption - New Park Owner Kills Babies. All above the fold. One of the only times Bob's been in the paper I didn't send a clipping to his Mom and mine. When I find the picture of Ronnie I'll tell you about the time Ronnie came face to face with our cougar who'd escaped. But did a week go by someone didn't escape the animal section of the park?

Next picture is Lars, me and Mr. Iverson. Lars is one of my favorite people in the world and we have shared a few ups and downs together. He picked us up at the airport Sunday and had lunch with us. I was very worried he was missing time with his family, espcially since he has a senior in high school. I know next year he won't be seeing her since she'll be away at college. And his wife Gail is so busy. However, Gail and Lindsey were doing other things. That night, Lars, Gail and Lindsey took us to a wonderful Italian restaurant in a wonderful Disney community. Perfect night, great friends and delicious meal.

Last picture - Lee and me. Lee was with me at Six Flags in 1973. He'd been a canoe ride supervisor and transferred to games. He was my supervisor. Now he's a park general manager in Duin