Sunday, July 22, 2012

Where To Begin Today???

Clearly I have been a miserable blogger lately. I worked dead out for so long, then the retirement stuff and then more travel and then I was just totally zonkoed and unmotivated to do ANYTHING at all!! Now I am in a quandary as to where to go now. I guess I'll just do the chronological thing and go back to the retirement stuff since that was next after our move. Yes....I've made a decision! Whew!

On June 14th we had practice for the next day's ceremony and then that night we had our retirement dinner which was held at Randolph Air Force Base Officer's Club. Pretty appropriate since we have been in a joint assignment so we involved all the services around.

Hmmm....what's he thinking?!

 Bob was clearly pensive about the coming ceremony and then I looked over at Karyn. She had burst into tears as soon as she looked around at the whole proceeding and this was just the practice. Oh my! That's Ellen giving me the stink eye for taking photos of  Karyn's tears.

Jennifer and Bob

Lots of folks had a hand in making this all happen. Here is Bob with his Aide, ENS Jennifer Nestor. Now when does an Ensign ever get to tell an Admiral what to do? Well, it turns out she gets to do that a lot when she is the Admiral's Aide. It's a tricky position to be in but is really essential for the Admiral in getting their job done. Thank you Jennifer!!

Jennifer standing in for Bob

Participation in these ceremonies is voluntary and look at the mix of uniforms involved. How nice to have so many METC folks step up to make it a great day. With the ceremony worked out pretty well we moved on to welcome more folks from out of town and get ready for the dinner. We had to go in two cars and one had to swing by the airport to pick up our SIL, David, who arrived just in the nick of time to get to the dinner! So, who came to join us?

Patti, Jaime, Ken, Don

Erika, Lori, Robin

Patti and Jaime (friends from church) are from San Antonio, Ken (Our minister in FL) is from Jacksonville, FL  and Don (A colleague at A&M College of Medicine) from College Station, TX. Erika (A nurse with us in Guam) lives in Dallas, Lori (A nurse with the Navy component at METC) in San Antonio and Robin (A psychologist we met in Guam) in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Genaro, Bob

Geraldine, Gail, Bob
Genaro (A civilian at COMPACFLT in Hawaii) came all the way from Hawaii and Gail just moved from Hawaii to San Antonio. She's now living in 'our' house on Fort Sam Houston! Genaro brought the leis from Hawaii at Gail's request.

Gino, Geraldine

Karen (Bob's boss at BUMED) came from Philly (I think!) and Gino (Bob's deputy at METC) lives in San Antonio.

Kelly, Lori

Clifford, Judy

Kelly (Bob's first Aide after he became an Admiral in Portsmouth, VA) came from North Carolina, Lori (works at METC) lives in San Antonio. Clifford and Judy (My brother and SIL) live in Bullard, TX near Tyler.

Keith, Fran
 Keith and Fran (Bob's BIL and sister) just moved to Colorado Springs with the Air Force. There were lots more folks but these were some of the best pics. We were certainly overwhelmed at the efforts of so many to come so far just for Bob's retirement. It was also lots of fun to see people we have known from so many different places and times to all come together and meet each other as well. Wow!

Grand entrance

Jennifer (Remember, the Aide gets to order us all around!) arranged for us to make a grand entrance by walking in on a red carpet. It was a fun way to start things off. During the night folks got a chance to tell stories, offer good wishes, extend gifts and generally have a good time. Mitch Seal, a good Navy friend we first met on Guam, brought his local band along to provide live music. A big highlight for us was having Katie Skype from Lahore, Pakistan! Katie, Ellen, and Karyn each chose one of the Navy core values (Honor, Courage, Commitment) and told how their dad exemplified that core value. Here's Katie giving her thoughts on her dad and Honor....

Katie on Skype

Steve was Emcee

Steve worked with Bob at COMPACFLT in Hawaii and has since been promoted to Captain. Way to go Steve! One of his gifts was a letter from Popeye's corporate office to Bob in honor of Bob's years of service. He also managed to wrangle a Popeye's box with a real Popeye's employee uniform! Certainly Bob has eaten enough Popeye's to earn those things!!

Bob, Karyn, Ellen

Bob, Geraldine

The girls got certificates and so did I. And flowers! Woo hoo!

Chief Berry and Gino

One really special gift was this METC logo in stained glass. It was made by one of the METC people as well as the frame which is a piece of an old banister from the Army hospital. More wow!!

More fun photos of folks at our celebration:

 And no military-related event is complete without a cake!

KODB's cake (Kindly Old Doctor Bob)

And flowers sent by someone who could not make it to the dinner.....

Cyndi asked for something tropical!
Many, many thanks to everyone who came, sent cards and letters, worked tirelessly to get this all arranged and who have remained wonderful friends over the years. We love you all. Please stay in touch!!

Many blessings,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

An American 4th

Happy 4th of July

Okay....I confess I started celebrating a couple of days ago. Karyn took one look at our bathroom and the huge tub and wanted a bubble bath. We went shopping and got some handy dandy bubble stuff and just for fun grabbed several little packets of face mask. Mine was hot clay. It got hot for about 10 seconds and then slid around on my face like honey. I grabbed the only headband I could find which was the one Karyn found to wear when greeting Katie at the airport after her year in Pakistan. Voila!! A blog photo for the 4th!

Karyn is back home now and Bob is about to head to Wales for another silent retreat. He likes that stuff a lot. I get to enjoy a few more days with Katie before she heads off to DC and her new assignment, which is much less worrisome than her year in Pakistan. Hallelujah! There are always worries but some places are just inherently MORE worrisome.

Just for the record I highly recommend bubble baths. It was great fun and we should all relax this way much more often. The world might be much more peaceful!


Monday, July 2, 2012

BUSY Time For Me!

I know that I have been a really terrible blogger lately. All I can say is that I was so into getting stuff arranged in the house, retirement stuff, friends and family coming and going, more travels, worries about my sick sister, etc. that my energy for ANY thing was totally sapped. Now it's really hard to get back into the swing of things! goes....

Karyn came!

First of all, right after we moved it was Bob's birthday. Karyn surprised him by arriving in San Antonio and spending a few days with us. It was so nice to have her here in the new place! She got to suffer through the finishing of the floors.....

Dining room and entry before

New wood floors

Almost all of the carpet and tile were removed on the first floor and replaced with new wood floors or tile. Here's what the wood looks like now.

Kitchen with tile removed

Dining area

New kitchen tile

The kitchen had the pink tile seen in the above entry photo. We chose a larger 16" tile with black grout. The sales lady did all she could to talk me out of the black grout. I'm so glad I didn't listen because I think it is just the right color for the space. 8^) Later we plan to redo the whole kitchen with new appliances, counter tops, and back splash but that's a project for another day!

New master bath tile

  The bathroom had the same beige carpet as the dining room above. Carpet in a bathroom just does not make sense to me. It also does not go well with kitties' litter boxes so out it came. Yes, it's a giant bath and we love it. The huge closet is through the barely visible door in the center rear of the room. We have managed to have ALL our clothes in that closet so no more dresser in the bedroom! It has really worked out great and we love getting dressed all in the bath and closet area, and we can both get dressed at the same time unlike our former 1880s house. Yea!!!

While the wood floors were being finished and the tile was being installed I was working dead out the get EVERY thing into place and all the art work hung on the walls. We moved in May 11th and retirement was on June 15 with a party the night before on June 14th. I had one month to reach my goal before people started arriving from out of town. That is why the blog has been silent! Meanwhile, in the midst of all this madness Mother's Day came along and this arrived from my daughter, Ellen.

Lilies and Roses for Mother's Day

Many blessings till the next post,