Life in Texas. October and November 2011.
Most of October and November were devoted to work at Kathy and Micheal’s house. They had a small room that had once been a back porch, and some decades ago it had been converted to a sun room with a set of bay windows at the west end. The door to this room opened onto the driveway, not into the backyard, and they felt it would be more useful and handy if the room were changed so that there was a door into the back yard, rather than the bay windows. So, after considerable thought and planning, we began the project. First we had to removed the bay windows and frames and then install the new door, replace siding, seal and paint. Second, we needed to removed some of the foundation that had supported the bay windows and build a deck foundation and deck.
Figure 1. Purchasing a French door
Step 1. Removing bay windows and frames:
Figure 2. Micheal and Finnie taking window frames off
Figure 3. There she goes!
Figure 4. Taking the frame out
Figure 5. Deb Buying Door and Materials for Framing
Step 2. Installing the new door.
Figure 6. Preparation to frame for new door
Figure 7. New door placed into frame
Figure 8. Installing Door lights
Figure 9. Door and Siding Installed
Step 3. Building New Deck
Figure 10. Putting in New Foundation for Deck
Figure 11. Putting on the decking
Figure 12. Installing the decking
Figure 13. Decking Finished and Handrails partially installed
Figure 14. Finishing the handrail. The last Spindle
Figure 15. Deck and steps finished
Visit to Murray State University and the University of Nebraska at Kearney
We drove over to Murray, Kentucky on October 27 to visit our friends at Murray State University. We arrived in Murray around 9:00 PM, and the next day, we visited VP Jim Carter, then had lunch at the Happiness Restaurant with Jamie Haynes and Tina Bernot from the Murray Development Office. After lunch we visited with Luis Canales and Tina Coffelt about Tina’s summer program she plans to offer for student stud in China. In the evening, we were joined by many faculty and staff members who have been to Weihai to renew acquaintances!
Figure 16. Friends enjoying Barbeque
On Saturday morning, we took Zhang Jiahao (Isaac) to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. It was fun introducing him to a country breakfast, which he seemed to thoroughly enjoy!
Figure 17. Isaac enjoying the Sampler breakfast plus extra pancakes from Deb
Figure 18. Isaac did not take long to get down to Business with his breakfast. He said he enjoyed the country ham best!
After breakfast, even though I was too full to walk, we took Isaac for a cultural experience — Lowe’s Home Improvement Store! It was fun to explore all the departments of the store with him and to look at the power tools — that is never dull for a second!
In the afternoon we met at the President’s box at the stadium to watch the football game. We had fun, except unfortunately, Murray lost the game.
Figure 19. With President Dunn in the President’s box. Audrey Wang — from Yantai — joined us for the game.
Figure 20. Kick off
Figure 21. Racer One after a score!
After the game, Isaac, Audrey, and another friend Lynn Jang joined us for a family-style Chinese dinner at Happiness Restaurant.
Figure 22. Dinner at the Happiness Restaurant — Jynn Jang, Isaac, Audrey Wang, Deb and Finnie
Dinner was good and we enjoyed the conversation. On Sunday morning the five of us went back to Cracker Barrel, so that we could introduce Audrey and Lynn to a delicious American country breakfast. By all accounts we all enjoyed it very much!
Figure 23. Sunday Breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
Figure 24. Isaac trying on Halloween clothes in Cracker Barrel.
Later in the day, we headed toward Kearney, Nebraska. We drove part way on Sunday and arrived in Kearney in the late afternoon on Monday. After checking into our hotel, we went to Zoe’s house for dinner. Zoe and her former student and friend, Zhang Ming greeted us and we shared a delicious meal of Chinese dumplings and noodles with them!
Figure 25. Zoe making Dinner and Ming
Figure 26. Tea after dinner!
The next day, Tuesday, we met a lot of friends for a reunion lunch at El Potero Restuarant. It was very nice to see and chat with so many good friends! I fact, we were so excited that we forgot to take any photos. It truly was wonderful to see and catch up with everyone we could at that lunch! In the evening, joined Ken and Diane Nikels for dinner at Bill Jurma and Kenya Taylor’s house! That was fun, as always! How many evening have we shared conversation and Fellowship with them! Definitely one of our fondest memories of our time in Kearney.
Figure 27. After dinner at Bill and Kenya’s. Their grandchild’s room with Ken and Diane
The following day, we had an opportunity to visit more friends and colleagues at UNK, and we had lunch with my former administrative assistants: Tami Plugge, Kristi Milks, and Fauneil Meier. We met at Alley Rose Restaurant for a wonderful lunch, catching up after two years!
Thanksgiving at home in Texas.
At the end of November, we had a Thanksgiving celebration at our home. Deb and I were joined by her mom, Velna, our daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Micheal Preble, and his father, John. We enjoyed the meal together and a day of visiting. It was nice to relax and just enjoy family.
Figure 28. Thanksgiving dinner in Euless, Texas!
After Thanksgiving, we finished the deck at Kathy and Micheal’s house and the on the 28th, we departed for a 24-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Brazil, 1000 miles up the Amazon and back to Fort Lauderdale. That was a great adventure, but fodder for the next blog!