A Texan New Year’s Eve

January 8th, 2015


Shopping, Polish Canasta and chicken fried steaks as big as your head… that sounds like the perfect combination for a happy New Year’s Eve, right? Well, it was technically already New Years Eve Day when we arrived in Leander. So the first order of business was room assignments…


I scored Kam’s room. Can’t you just picture how ridiculous I look sleeping in that bed? What’s even funnier is when the Old Man gets assigned that room. I think the Heatmeister foam wig on the headboard gives the room a Christmas-y touch.

The folks started out the week residing at the Newman abode and were assigned Saylor’s room with the brand new, bright yellow double bed…


we’ve all been waiting for another double bed for years, Saylor most of all. I was with Kris years and years ago when she bought that metal bed frame at the Henderson Garage Sales. They’ve been hauling it around from house to house and finally got a mattress and box springs for it. It opens up so many more sleeping arrangements at Casa de Newman. Of course it had to have a new coat of paint which happened while we were all suffering through our 13 hour car ride the previous day. So Saylor’s room smelled a bit paint-y, better call the front desk about that.

While Marc was touring the house upon our arrival, (he’d never been to this one before) he kept remarking on all of the “trinketries” covering every surface of the girls bedrooms and then we showed him where he would be sleeping…


that would be the Craft Room, trinketry central, with your choice of surprisingly comfortable air mattress or definitely uncomfortable old white couch…


it still looks good but you kind of fall into a Great Divide when sleeping on it.



That “Studio” arrow is my Christmas gift from the Newman’s by the way. Yet another thing that won’t fit in the car for the ride home.



that would be Marc below giving me his “That picture had better not show up on Facetube (that’s what he calls it) look. “It won’t,” I assured him, “I’m just going to put it on my blog…” (which will also eventually appear on “Facetube” but he doesn’t need to know that.)


After getting in a few hours of sleep (very few in my case, that giant bed in Kam’s room is not the most comfortable) everyone started getting up for the day. Since I ended up out on the living room couch I was awakened by Marc fumbling around with Steve’s new Kuerig and the gentle fwwwppp, shuffle, shuffle, fwwwwwwpppp, shuffle, shuffle of Dad’s Solitaire cards. I don’t think my Dad has started a single day in his life without getting in a couple of rounds of Solitaire.

Once we were all up and showered, which always takes a while with so many people using one shower, especially when the shower head was installed back in the ’50s when apparently everyone only stood five feet tall (Marc must have looked like Buddy the Elf scooping water onto his back in that elfin sized shower stall) we divided up Mennonite style. Well, Mennonite style with a twist. The girls headed off to do some shopping, because after all, that’s what we really come to Texas for, and the boys, plus Saylor (hence the twist), headed downtown to Austin to check out the Bob Bullock Museum. We always try to work in some kind of museum visit for the Old Man.

We were almost to our shopping destination when we realized we hadn’t eaten at all. Our locale offered us the choice of Mighty Fine Burgers (which was my vote) or Which Wich (which was the choice of a very enthusiastic Kambel). I personally hate Subway and any fast food joint similar to it. I am not a “fixings” person. The “Sandwich Artist” always looks at me like I’m an idiot when I just ask for mayo on my sandwich. I know what they’re thinking, “Why is she even eating here if she’s just getting mayo on her sandwich?” I’ll tell you why, somebody dragged me here, that’s why. But it was Kambel’s wish so who was I to argue.

And it worked out pretty well for me since you just have to take a paper bag off the wall…



with the name of the sandwich you wish to order…



and fill out your selections hand the bag to the cashier and in my case, run for the table in order to avoid the sandwich makers withering stare. In the end you end up with a pretty decent sandwich…


and a very happy Kam…


Next stop… drumroll please…


“Ahhh a ahhhhh. Ahhhh a ahhhh.” Do you hear the angels singing? We can’t go to Texas without spending an afternoon at Ikea. There was once again lots of rainbow goodness…


funky light fixtures…


and so much more. While filling my cart full of Charlie Brown Christmas trees, a new floor lamp, a pile of pedestal frames and on and on I kept thinking, “How am I going to get all of this home?” If you remember our car was “kinda” full on the ride down. That thought didn’t stop me though, there’s always the Post Office and Ground Shipping right?

After checking out and cramming all of our purchases into “the big purple car”, Kam’s words, not mine, Kris announced, “Well, I guess we’re done shopping, there’s no more room in the car.” But did that stop us? No. Kelli and I both wanted to check out a new store Kris had told us about. It’s actually a new version of an old store we’ve always enjoyed going to on our visits. What used to be Garden Ridge, which was a combo of a cheap Pier 1 and the Hobby Lobby decor department is now called At Home, a much cooler and cleaner version… well, if you call this aisle cool…


I call it creepy, and way to early in the year for the Easter Bunny and his Missus to make an appearance. Kam had already let us know when we pulled up in the parking lot that she was not thrilled about this stop, she was tired and ready to go home. Kris reminded her that this place had huge carts so if she wanted she could get in one and be pushed around..,


I never thought she would actually do it, she’s kind of big for a cart, but these were big carts. Maybe it’s because her feet were hurting from the new cowboy boots Kelli gave her for Christmas…


she hasn’t taken them off since she unwrapped them.

The creepy bunnies weren’t the only signs of Spring at this particular store, to say they had a floral department is and understatement…


if we had only had more cargo space, and more time. By the time we got to At Home we only had an hour available to shop so I know we didn’t take in everything they had to offer. It was time to head home so that we could head out once again for supper.

Kris and Steve wanted to take us to one of their most recent restaurant discoveries, Dahlia’s Cafe. The home of the Chicken Fried Steaks as “big as your head” according to Kris. They had already introduced us to the most “amazing chicken fried steaks in the world” at one of their other favorite spots, JJ’s BBQ, so these must be some pretty powerful steaks. The place looked a little “hole in the wall-y”, which are usually the best kind of places. It used to be a house that was continuously added on to and eventually included an enclosed porch along the back which is where we were seated.



I can only imagine how cool it is in the summer when they open up all of those garage doors along the back porch onto a huge back yard filled with what looked like every used piece of patio equipment in the state of Texas. There’s a full on playground full of old park equipment and Kris said there is usually a live band performing out there as well. And if you notice from the menu on the table they also had a huge selection of pies. Mmmmmm….. pie. Dean Winchester would approve.


Once we finished gorging ourselves we headed home to ring in the New Year with a round of Polish Canasta. The majority of us had never played it before and I missed out on the first half of the game so never really heard the rules the first time around and spent the majority of the night in utter confusion.

First off the goal is to reach 10,000 points… or is it 100,000 points? See what I mean about confusion. I’m accustomed to trying to have the least amount of points in a card game so that aspect of it was already foreign to me plus we needed this many cards to play…


that alone also seems crazy. I also had the honor of sitting next to Marc which meant I had his hand constantly hovering on top of mine whenever I tried to pick up two cards, that is unless I slapped it away. While we continued to try and reach either 10,000 or 100,000 points the clock struck Midnight and Kam was most excited of us all as seen in the following photos…


see her jumping in the background?


Jumping some more…


and now she’s over there…


and back where she started again. You’d think she had just seen Taylor Swift singing on T.V., oh wait, she did. ¬†Once we finished our game, I have no idea who actually won, and got Kam calmed down, we hit the hay, after all, tomorrow was New Year’s Day, and we had been promised New Year’s Cookies. That was, most definitely something to look forward to.

4 Responses to “A Texan New Year’s Eve”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    always entertaining Kerri! Thanks. (I’m sure we passed each other between OK City and Wichita that day)

  2. Kriso Says:

    ok, so casa de Newman is needs more room, and is a pain to dust because of the trinkets, and the showers are for five foot and under, but NO ONE has water pressure like us! Except for in the kitchen, sigh. Kam said she will work the front desk at casa de Newman and is finding all kinds of typos! Can you kerrip believe that my daughter is correcting your spelling? Ahhhh the gods have evened the score.

  3. Emily Ries Says:

    Well, did you like Dahlia’s? I really like their food.

  4. kerri Says:

    Yes I did. I partook of the chicken fried steak “as big as your head” and it was delicious. One of the best I’ve had and I’m partial to the chicken fried steak.

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