I took a quick trip up to Arkansas this week. I arrived on Wednesday and went to Hot Springs to stay with David and Alison for two nights at their wonderful lake house. Thursday morning, David and I drove up to Caldwell Cemetery to lay flowers on Mom’s grave. It was a year to the day from the day she died, and I wanted to honor her and see her tombstone. It’s just so beautiful and peaceful up there, and I’m so happy that she is there. It’s still so strange that she is gone.

After I dropped David back at the house, I stopped in Mom’s old neighborhood to check on the house(it’s still on the market), and said hello to Mom’s housekeeper Sandy. And I can’t be that close to Smokin’ in Style without stopping, so I had some pulled pork and baked potato salad! Yum!

Next I dropped off some clothes at the Humane Society’s resale shop, then went to Belk to do some power shopping to refill my suitcase. I also took a little bit of time to go look at a couple of lake condos with realtor Andy – while it’s a long shot that John and I will buy one, you never know! We finished the day with excellent steaks that David grilled, and watched the lights flicker on the lake until it was time to go to bed.

The next morning was a special treat – our dear friend Cathy from the Foreign Service happened to be in Hot Springs (her sister lives in North Little Rock), so we met for breakfast at the Pancake House. It was so great to see her before she heads off to Kabul in a few weeks for her next tour. I also ran into two high school friends there, too, which was fun!

After that, I drove to Little Rock and got a good Ouidad haircut and highlights at Rumors salon, then I was off to meet Mary at her house for a visit. We ended up at a favorite Mexican restaurant (hey, you can’t get Tex-Mex in Guadalajara!)

Friday and Saturday I stayed with Pamela. We ran errands on Saturday, then met Jackie, Ike, Ann and Jim at Star of India. (Even though it’s probably been two years since I’ve been there, when I walked in, Sami the owner looked at me and said, “Where’s John?”!)

Then Pam and I headed to a fantastic concert – Steve Winwood followed by Steely Dan! It was just wonderful! I’d seen Steve Winwood before, but not Steely Dan – wow! Excellent music all the way around!

This morning I went to Ike’s apartment and picked out a few pieces of his art to buy – I love his stuff. So whimsical and interesting – and it was neat to sit there with him and talk about the pieces and some of the background of them. I got so engrossed in the art that I had to hurry to get around and get to the airport on time for my flight home!

Last Sunday we hosted a nice brunch for Drew and his family, and had several of the consular managers over – nice!

We had a special guest in our office this week – Pistol! We’re helping him find a new home because some of our clients who had him can’t keep him. What a cutie!

John and Pistol

John and Pistol

Rocio and Pistol

Rocio and Pistol

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