Archive for May, 2012

Road tripping

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

At La Fonda with Wayne

There’s just nothing better than a good margarita on the La Fonda patio in San Antonio! I spent a great Memorial Day weekend with some of my very favorite people!

I flew in Saturday and had a good visit with James and MaryBeth, and Maverick (the biggest and friendliest Golden I’ve ever seen!) Later I caught up with Mike and Wayne, and we spent a lazy afternoon on the patio at La Fonda with margaritas in hand. They indulged me and took me to Los Barrios for lunch on Sunday (love their chimichurri), then we went back to La Fonda for dinner on Sunday evening (you can tell what I like to do in San Antonio: eat!).

I spent Monday with Jim and Joan before I returned to Hot Springs. They are doing great and it was so fun to visit with them! Joan made us a delicious lunch, complete with stuffed grape leaves made from a neighbor’s garden.

Jim and Joan










James, MaryBeth and Maverick












Mike and Wayne
















Earlier in the week, Mom and I had a nice road trip to Mountain Home to have lunch with Pete and Ginger – it’s such a pretty drive up to northern Arkansas. We had a good visit and were delighted to see Ginger’s photos of the two owls they had in their yard recently.

Ginger and Pete










Last Monday I went to Mr. Peters’ funeral. It was a lovely ceremony, and the graveside service with military honors was beautiful. One thing that really struck me was in the procession from the church to the graveside – everyone still pulls over to the side of the road to let the processional pass, even on the highway. One of the big tourist “ducks” (the amphibious trucks) pulled over, too. It’s just nice to see that even today, people still take the time to show such respect.

Here are a few more photos from home leave. Click to see all of my home leave photos.

Tiger, Mom's cat on the back porch

Ginger's Yard

Mookie, Mike and Wayne's dog

Vacation is a good thing

Monday, May 21st, 2012

I’m having a great time on vacation and am being very lazy – it’s nice!

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I celebrated with lunch with Mom and Aunt Bonnie on her back porch. We had a nice lunch and enjoyed the weather – not too hot yet.

During the week, I went to the hospital several times to visit with Cindy while her dad was there. Unfortunately, Mr. Peters passed away on Wednesday evening at age 90 – he was such a sweet man and always put up with us girls running around their house and talking constantly on the telephone. (Click here to see his obituary and tributes.)  Mom and I had dinner with Cindy at KJ’s Thursday night – Mom always enjoys Cindy’s company.

Mom and Cindy














Wednesday I went with Mom to her monthly lunch with ladies she used to work with at the telephone company – they were a hoot.

Saturday morning I drove up to Hendrix for Odyssey Weekend. We had a great time – my good friend Pamela  was in charge, so we got to spend  a lot of time together. We heard alumni speakers, got updates on the college development and had a great dinner together. We slept in the dorm, and did a yoga class the next morning, led by our friend Karen. It was a fun weekend! Before dinner, we ran over to the Conway hospital to visit our friend Ann who is recovering from hip surgery.

Running around campus with Pamela










After a yummy brunch at Hendrix, I drove to Little Rock to spend the afternoon with Mary – she is doing great and has a gorgeous new kitty named Cruella. I had a great time sitting on Mary’s front porch and getting caught up.

Mary and Cruella










I topped off the weekend with a visit with Dail and Nancy, two of my very favorite people. We had a nice dinner at Bravo – they are doing fantastic! And I always enjoy seeing their cat, Gabby, who lives up to her name. I just wish John had been able to join us!

Dail and Nancy










Flavie is doing really well at Mom’s house. I was afraid she would just hide under the bed, but she has been out and about, being curious and pretty friendly, since we arrived. She has her bluff in on Mom’s cat and growls when she sees him – but he is outdoors most of the time so it hasn’t been a problem (yet).

Here’s a close-up of Mary’s pretty kitty. Click here to see more photos from vacation.












Leheetriote, Israel (see you later)

Saturday, May 12th, 2012


So, it was a great tour, but all good things must come to an end (not sure I really believe that in general, but it was true in this case).

Flavia and I left Israel on Wednesday evening, after saying a tearful goodbye to my co-workers and friends at the Embassy. I will especially miss the Consular staff – they were an excellent crew.

I’m happy to report that Flavie and I both survived the 24 hour trip home. We flew Tel Aviv – New York – Atlanta – Little Rock and then drove to Hot Springs. Little Flavie did great! I was able to bring her in the cabin with me the whole way. I’m even happier that when we got to Mom’s house, she did not hide under the bed, but made herself right at home and explored the house. What a world traveler she is becoming!

I took some parting shots of Israel in the neighborhood around the apartment at sunset one evening. Click here to see the album.

Geula Street Cat














The last couple of weeks have been hectic. I had several meals with my friends and neighbors, Bill and Diane. Indian food for Sunday brunch, breakfast beachside on a Saturday, and a last trip to Benedict’s for a yummy breakfast the Sunday before I left town. We also had dinner together with neighbors Katie and Charlie last Monday to celebrate Katie’s pregnancy.

I had a nice going-away dinner with Petit, Howie and Mike at the Thai House one night – it wasn’t really goodbye since they will all be in Islamabad with us!















The Consular section had a nice farewell party for me on Friday before I left and gave me a pretty commemorative plaque of Jerusalem – awfully sweet of them!

I celebrated my birthday the day before I left Tel Aviv. We had cake at work, and I had a glass of wine with Petit and Howie.

Flag and motorcycle

Then before I knew it, my last day of work rolled around, and I headed to the airport that night. 24 hours later, I was sitting in Mom’s house in Hot Springs. I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to get over jet lag, so I’m moving pretty slowly!

John is doing great in Pakistan – he really seems to like it and is going to lots of social functions after work. I’m also happy to report that father-in-law Pete is doing well after surgery to remove a kidney. He’s tough!





It’s good to be back in Arkansas. The weather is not hot yet, so it’s very pleasant. I spent yesterday afternoon sitting on Aunt Bonnie’s back porch with her and Mom – there is probably a lot of that in my future the next few weeks!

Mom and the resident mallards










Aunt Bonnie and Koli