Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Dinner

Today Margaret and I had our Thanksgiving meal. I took her on a date. She is the love of my life and deserves to be spoiled much more often. We went to the DuPont Country Club outside of Wilmington, DE.

Main entrance to the club

Once inside the doors, we were met by a uniformed man who asked our names and escorted us to the dinning room.

About half of the tables were empty for our seating time. I made our reservations only a few days ago and the only seating available was an early one. That worked for us as we’re not much on being out late anyway.

The first course was a scrumptious pumpkin soup followed by salads.

Margaret's entre
Margaret’s entree was rack of lamb.

No way was I going to have turkey! I had a Filet Mignon and mashed potatoes.

Desert was two different small chocolate parfait, one white and one dark chocolate, plus a small wedge of pastry covered with fresh berries for each of us. It was a delicious meal and awesome service by the Club staff.

An ice sculpture located at the dinning room entrance.

Margaret wanted a picture of each of us while we were all dressed up. Doesn’t she look great?

And then there is this ugly guy! This jacket is actually too big for me now. I have another 90 pounds to lose.

I don’t think I was using wisdom when I scheduled my November weigh-in at the doctor’s. It is tomorrow morning! Oops. After the meal last Saturday and the one today I may only break even on weight loss this month.

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2nd Annual Thanksgiving For Trucker Friends

Three of our truck driver friends live near us.  Last year Margaret invited them to join us for our Thanksgiving meal.  We repeated the invitations this year.  The past eight years we were always at the chapel on Thanksgiving day.  Also, the drivers and our family have other commitments on Thanksgiving day, so we have our meal the weekend before the holiday.

Our daughter Sheri and her two sons, Jonathan and Patrick Sean, came up from Virginia Friday night.  Sheri fixes a deep fat fried turkey for her family and agreed to bring her fryer with her this year.  Margaret had tasted one of Sheri’s fried turkeys before and loved it.

Sheri setup the fryer in the back yard.  It uses about 4 gallons of oil and has a propane burner.

When they thought the bird should be done, Jonathan lifted it out of the fryer so Sheri could check it’s temperature

It’s done!

Our three driver friends, left to right: Jay Jones, Tony Kong, and Ron Jones.  Jay and Tony are now retired from truck driving.
Lower right, Baby Girl was also spending the day visiting with us again.

I wanted a picture of the table before it got messed up!

Ready to begin the feast! Left to right: Ron Jones, Sandy Jones (neighbor and friend from church), Tony Kong, Jay Jones, Jonathan, Sheri, Patrick Sean, Margaret, and Baby Girl.  Even though we had three Jones’ with us, they are not related.

Margaret, Jonathan, and Sheri did an awesome job preparing the meal.  The fried turkey was delicious.  Sandy provided the desert—two pumpkin pies.  We have so many blessings to be thankful for!!!

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pet Sitting

We have been pet sitting for friends the past few days.  Over the weekend we had our friend Jim Tracy’s dog, “Baby Girl”, a Red Bone Coon Hound.  She and Jim have been to our house numerous times so she was very comfortable being with us.

Baby Girl thinks she is a lap dog!

She was a good house guest.  It is a good thing we have a king size bed!  She slept between us all night.

Baby Girl went home Sunday afternoon and Sunday night we got our friend Sandy’s cat, “Odie”, pronounced Oh’-dee.  Margaret and I had both met Odie at Sandy’s house but this was to be his first visit with us.  We were not sure how he would do in a new environment.  We need not have worried.  He did just fine.  After and hour or so of cautious investigation he made himself right at home.

This is where he spent most of Monday afternoon napping.  Margaret said he is our first visitor who can do nothing for as long as I can!

Odie also slept between us on the bed.  He did not take up nearly as much room as Baby Girl.  He is also very helpful around the house.  He inspects the waste baskets for us and today got into the clothes dryer to help with laundry.  Odie goes home tonight or tomorrow.

Being “grandparents” to pets has the same advantage as with kids—you get to send them home when you’re finished. smile_regular

In His name,
Chaplain Sam Houchins

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I’m Back!

I have not been posting or doing much more than email on the net for quite a while.  The hard drive on my laptop crashed and I have had limited internet access.  Even when I can get on via someone else’s computer, I don’t have all of the software I normally use, including my favorite blogging software, Windows Live Writer, and Digsby for twitter and IM.  (Thank the Lord I had already moved to web based email!)

Right now I have temporary custody of an eMachine laptop from a truck driver friend, Ron.  He purchased it this summer with Vista already installed.  He gave it to me to upgrade to Windows 7 for him. Now he has decided to just leave it at our house as this is the only place he has [free] internet access plus he doesn’t want it to get banged around in the truck during the week.  So, I have set up an account on his machine for me and am installing some software.

With the Lord’s help I continue to do great on my weight loss.  I have now lost 74 pounds which puts me at 293 pounds.  That has reduced my waist size by 8 inches.  Margaret had kept one previous sized clothes which is what I’m wearing now.  A few more inches and I’m going to be out of clothes that fit.  Then its off to Salvation Army and Goodwill to get some temporary stuff to tied me over.  The plan is still to be down to 200 pounds by Christmas 2010.

I have already gained some health advantages from the weight loss.  My blood pressure and cholesterol are now normal. PTL!  Also, I have not had any vertigo attacks for at least three months.  I believe the cessation of the vertigo is an indication that my sleep apnea is becoming less severe.  Margaret says I appear to be sleeping much more soundly.

In addition, my doctor has agreed to let me stop all of my prescriptions.  I have blood work done again in three months to confirm that decision.  Of course I am taking vitamin and mineral supplements.

God is good!

In His Name,
Chaplain Sam