Belated May Updates

OK, somehow I fell way behind on Family Updates. I guess I was chatting with them a bit at Facebook, and didn’t do it here. One of the reasons I prefer here though, is that it’s recorded. Facebook just scrolls away.
So…since last we talked, a few things have happened….


… GRADUATED from Avenue Five Institute (a Vidal Sassoon School). The way cosmetology schools work is that once you have done all the tasks on the list and completed 1500 hours, you’re done. She completed the tasks in record time – she was driven! All she had to do was continue to work through her 1500 hours. Her attendance was 105% (she came in early, took short lunches, never skipped), so she was one of the first 4 to graduate that had started with her back in June ’11. We’re really proud of her! She graduated on Friday, April 27th and then took the licensure exam the following Monday. She’s got a pretty good case of test anxiety, but she pushed through it and PASSED! She has the 2nd part, the practical hands-on part to do next week.

Alyssa has a couple of job interviews set up and she’s waiting to hear back from some. So, hopefully, the next update will say where she’s working. We’re so proud of her and sure she’s going to do great!

She and I made a little website for her future clients. You can subscribe to Alyssa’s Salon and get notifications when she updates, has changes, or offers specials for clients.

OH! Alyssa and Josh had their Engagement Pictures done in the middle of the Texas Bluebonnets.
Here’s more about Engagement Photos – they’re pretty spectacular!


Katie is wrapping up her year in New York City. She’s had an incredible experience there – hanging out with her fellow actors, learning tons about the business, performing in a variety of shows, going to see shows on Broadway. She’s grown up a lot too, having to manage her way through the big city, getting her subway passes, hailing cabs, rushing through rain – all of these were totally unfamiliar when she got there. Now she’s a Pro!
She did have to figure out what to do when you have the Flu a long ways from home. That was awful for BOTH of us!! She had to walk to the nearest CVS to get some meds so she could work on a group film project. I know, encouraging a person to go be with OTHER people, when they’re sick is never a good idea. But she had no choice. And she really felt like all of them had either been exposed or had it already, so she pressed on. She dosed up on meds and they could barely tell she was sick.
Afterwards, she was a wreck though. She couldn’t really get out of bed to go get food, so I ordered some from a nearby deli for her. When she went down to get it in the lobby, she said, “I just remember not being able to see anything then suddenly, all I could see was vomit.” Great. She passed out AND puked in the lobby. They even called EMS. But she told them she was just hungry and had the flu. The housing staff walked her back to her room and EMS was turned away when they arrived in the lobby. After a couple of days, she was better. Thank heavens for DayQuil. But it’s really tough to not be able to help your baby when she’s sick and far away!!

At first, I was going to go up to NYC to help her pack out of the dorm. But since we’ll have to do a flight to L.A. to find a new place to live for next year, we need to save money. And Katie is perfectly capable of getting boxes and figuring out how to ship some stuff out of there. I DO love New York and I would absolutely LOVE to see her final work there, but I’m afraid it’s just not meant to be this time.
So, Katie’s flight is May 18th!  I’m ready to have her home for a few months so I can take care of her!


Michael’s been having a pretty exciting time in Nicaragua. Apart from his work, he’s managed to get out and go exploring. Nicaraguans get the week before Easter off from school. So he and his girlfriend Kathya took a trip to the beautiful Corn Islands. They have a bunch of photos up on Facebook.

A few weeks ago, Michael sent me a cryptic text saying he had “been robbed.” It took a little while to get more specifics. He had had a situation earlier, prior to the elections, where all of the people on the bus were told to get off on the side of the road. Then the politicos commandeered the bus. So my disaster brain went to work with all kinds of worst-case-scenarios. I was certainly being reminded that there was absolutely nothing I could do to help him. After a little bit, he texted that he had been pick-pocketed by 2 Nicaraguans who were half his height. They systematically bumped him, then exited the bus as quickly as they came on – with his wallet. Luckily, he didn’t keep his passport on him, so he just lost a little money and his ID. That was remedied the following week. His response? “Well, you just have to pay a little more attention when the rodeo is in town!”
Michael has had 2 articles published in the Peace Corps Magazine. This is his photo that actually  landed on the cover!  Some of his articles are at Nica Time on Tumblr . He’s having a little trouble uploading them, so I’ll post when they’re available.

I just love the colors in all the photos he takes there. It really is just a little bit of civilization plopped down in the middle of a rainforest.

Ron has the Boat Bug again. He’s looking at retiring from Hospice Austin in a couple of years, and I think he’s trying to visualize how he wants to spend his time.  He seems to be relegated to spectator with regards to his hockey passion. This makes him a little bummed, but the idea of owning another sailboat perks him right up! He took a sailing course in Corpus Christi a couple of weekends ago. I know! Crazy since he’s been sailing for 40 years! But he had to take the course in order to take the more advanced courses. He’d really like to charter a boat. And, he was happy to sail on open water – any chance to be on a sailboat makes him happy. He looked at some boats up at Lake Texoma. And, while that’s a great sailing lake, it’s a 4-5 hour drive from our house. I’m pushing for Lake Belton, which is only about an hour away. That allows for some last minute back and forth that couldn’t happen if he puts the boat at Texoma. We’ll see what he decides. And as far as boats go, he’s trying to decide between a Bristol 29, a Cal 27, and a Hunter 30.  I’ll keep you posted what he ends up doing.

I’m mainly focusing on my health. I’d really like to get rid of some of these medical diagnoses, and I think that could happen if I got rid of some weight. So, that’s been my big focus lately. The gardening is continuing, though I’d like it to look much better. And I’ve been having a lot of fun with a series I’m doing  with other women working on personal growth. Busy! Busy!

That about sums it up for us for now. Hopefully, I’ll do better at keeping this updated in the future!


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