UPDATE#18 06/01 thru 06/30   


Howdy Everybody

The adventures of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 through 04/31/09 have been published on the website.  We continue with the latest edition.

 UPDATE 2009 #18  06/01/09 thru 06/31/09

At last update, we were in San Antonio, Texas


     Judy and I are in San Antonio at the house taking care of odds and ends of chores.  These include routine maintenance for both the property and for our bodies.  We have scheduled routine doctor appointments to ensure our continued good health.  Most importantly, our time in Texas gives us the opportunity to visit with some of our dearest, long-time friends. 


     With each passing day, the feral kitties grow in size and abilities.  Their mother cat is coaxing them to jump up on the wall so that they can get out of the yard.  Today, the first one gained the courage to make the first leap.  To get out, they will have to continue to the roofline, cross atop, and leap down the other side.  They have been enjoying my feedings but remain extremely skitterish about noises and continue to avoid any contact with us.


     Early this morning, we headed south to Rockport on the Texas coast.  About 30 miles from Corpus Christi, the town sits on the shores of Aransas Bay. 

     Our first stop was at Key Allegro Marina.  This marina will always be our favorite, as this is where Judy and I met each other.  For many years, JEANNIE LIN, my Tartan 37 sailboat, was berthed here.  Judy kept MY THREE SONS, her O’Day 32 sailboat, in a slip on the same dock pier.  We shared so many wonderful times and treasured many of the same friends.  Although much has changed since those years, we have remained close friends with many of the boaters here.

     Now retired, John and Larie Nelson owned and operated the marina for many of those years.  Some of you may know him from his days as Commodore of the Lakeside Yacht Club in Houston, TX.  Judy enjoyed the nice visit at one of the covered docks. 

     John and Larie are busily planning their cruise of America’s Great Loop route aboard their lovely Nordic Tug 32.  Scheduled for 2010, we certainly hope and trust that they will enjoy the voyage as much as we did. 

     Under their management, John and Larie operated one of the best facilities anywhere.  Everyone appreciated their friendly attentiveness and constant caring.  I hope you get to meet them.

     From the marina, we headed over to the home of Stash and Teresa Taylor.  They were our best boating buddies and they will always remain the closest of our friends. 

     Dinner was excellent pork tenderloin, served with corn on the cob and fresh asparagus.  For dessert, a wonderful, home-baked cake satisfied the sweet tooth urges.

     Their property includes numerous acres.  Her dad, James, and wife, Veda, live next door.  Her uncle, Pike, and his wife, Judy, reside next door to them.  It is like a smaller version of the “Kennedy Compound”.  Out on the covered patio, we had the opportunity to share a wonderful visit with them too.

    Being honored as guests of Stash and Teresa, we stayed the night with them.  It is so relaxing here.  Of course, we stayed up very, very late chatting and reminiscing about so many great times together.


     Teresa and Judy are the best of buddies…

     It is easy to see how Stash got his name.  He is known throughout the coastal region for his expertise on all things nautical.  As service advisor for Gatewood Marine, folks from all over rely on his knowledge to resolve any and all boating problems.

     Still wearing a back brace, Stash is recovering nicely from a nasty fall from atop a sailboat mast that resulted in a broken back.  You’d think a guy could find some other way to get attention.  When we get together, there is never a shortage of laughter and joking.  I just love this guy…

     All too soon, we had to leave for the 3-hour drive back to San Antonio.  At the Puerto Vallarta Restaurant, we enjoyed our usual stop in Mathis, TX for more of the best crispy tacos anywhere.

     In just this few days, two of the little kitties have developed enough to jump up on the roof.  The third still remains a bit too timid.

06/11/09   SAN ANTONIO to LUFKIN, TX

     We have been busy with chores, medical checkups, and trip planning activities.  After one of Judy’s checkups, we set out for the drive to Lufkin, TX at 3:30pm.  It was 9:30pm when we pulled into the driveway at Mark and Dawn’s house.  Of course, we were offered all the comforts of their nice guesthouse.

06/12/09  FRIDAY   LUFKIN, TX

     Mark agreed to help me repair the brakes on Judy’s car.  In his workshop building, the ’99 Buick Riviera was hoisted on the lift and the work began.  The rotors were turned and resurfaced at O’Reilly Auto Parts.  Lifetime warrantee, semi-metallic pads were installed on all 4 wheels at the front and rear.  From Advance Auto Parts, I had to buy a special tool to “wind in” the pistons on the rear calipers.  Thanks to Mark, we are now good for many more thousands of miles.

     Major advances in the new house construction have taken place since our last visit just a few weeks ago.  The underground plumbing was trenched in, the foundation was poured, and the framing work continues. 

     Scott is the area supervisor for Mark’s Little Caesars Restaurants.  Originally, they were Judy’s restaurants until she retired.  Scott drives the company vehicle that is decked out with some really cool advertising logos.  Hopefully, you have, or will soon, try some of those terrific, HOT-N-READY pizzas for the remarkable price of only $5 dollars for a large, pepperoni pizza.  Yum, Yum…

     Mark and Dawn’s place... I call it the “big house”.  It is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside.  Mark is such a good builder.

     Their youngest son, Alex, is very energetic and he is a bold adventurist.  His bike jump seems to work, but it doesn’t look too sturdy to me.  Oh, to be a young “daredevil” again too…

     Being more cautious by nature, Lexi just enjoyed riding around…

     Tyler has the responsibility of mowing the acreage.  It is a big job made easier by the new Dixie Chopper mower unit.  It is good to see the kids taking an active role in learning and sharing in the maintenance chores.  Later in life, they will benefit and appreciate all that they have achieved.


     At the ungodly hour of 4:30am, the alarm blasted us into our awakened state.  By 5am, we were loaded up and rolling out of the driveway under the cover of darkness.  We were on our way to visit with Fred’s son and family at their lake home in Missouri.

     Our route took us through some lovely countryside areas.  The route that we followed continued through Nacogdoches, Marshal, and Texarkana.  Crossing the Arkansas border, we passed through Hot Springs, AR into the Ouachita Nationals Forest and the mountains.

     We took a rest stop at the Iron Springs Park in the National Forest.

     The views of the mountains and valleys from another roadside vista point were spectacular on this beautiful day.

     We stopped in Osage Beach, MO, located near the big dam that creates the Lake of the Ozarks.  From the Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee Supermarkets, we picked up lots of supplies and foodstuffs for our stay.

     At 8pm, we arrived at Doug’s fabulous lake house. 

     The family couldn’t be with us tonight.  In St. Charles, tonight was the memorial service for Doug’s maternal grandmother, Marie Stanley.  She will always be fondly remembered for her loving, gentle spirit.  After her long life of 92 years here on earth, and a loving marriage of 69 years to her husband, Ralph, she will be constantly missed as she passes on to her place in heaven.   


    We awakened to a gentle rain on this early morning.  Being here is like being in paradise.  The calmness of the lake waters, the quiet of the wooded surroundings, and the tranquility of the view is an awesome way to start a day.

     The weather steadily improved to become gorgeous with temperatures in the mid to high 70’s.

     Doug, Austin, and Ashley arrived at the lake about 10:30 or 11 am.  Unfortunately, Lisa had to stay back in the city to help care for her dad who is undergoing some treatments for cancer.  Our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes go out to her and her dad during these difficult times.

     Outfitted for a dip in the hot tub, Ashley and Judy are a couple of “hot babes” in their swimsuits.

     Doug and Austin soon joined them in the swirling water…

     The afternoon activities would include a familiarization session on the new, SeaDoo jet skis.   In the evening, the big kids enjoyed a nice cocktail hour on the patio deck overlooking the perfect lake view.

     For dinner, I prepared the Italian Pasta Soup that has now become a big hit with all the family.  The fresh tomatoes that we bought from a farm stand in Arkansas were deliciously flavorful.  A cucumber from Mark’s garden in Texas was another delicious addition.

     I am so happy to be here with my loving son and grandkids.  We are having a wonderful time already. 


      Another trip back to Osage Beach found Judy at the outlet mall stores.  The boys took the opportunity to get needed building supplies from Home Depot.

      Ashley in the big, rustic hewn chair…

     Ashley and Austin at the local sporting goods shop…

     Of course, we spent much too much time in town just routing around aimlessly…


     Heavy rains pelted overnight with enough force to knock out the electric power.  The security alarm needed numerous resetting and unfortunately kept Judy from resting very well.

     On the living room sofa, Little Miss Ashley mischievously awakened a lightly napping Austin…

     Since it was still rainy and the power was out, everybody wanted to go to Bob Evans Farms Restaurant for breakfast.  In Osage Beach, it is one of the family favorites.

     Judy managed a bit more shopping and the boys managed to find more supplies at Lowe’s and Home Depot.  Doug always has a million projects going on to maintain and improve his wonderful home.

     By afternoon, the inclement weather had yielded to become a gorgeous day.  The new jet-skis are fantastic.  With 135 horsepower and seating for up to three, they are a perfect addition to the “necessities” of lakeside fun.

     With some good instruction from Doug, I was getting pretty adept at handling the peppy machines.

     Of course, Doug had his project list arranged to work on the outbuilding shed today.

     While he slaved away, we enjoyed the comforts and relaxing area of the patio deck.

     Ashley and Judy have become loving buddies…

     Doug is a dedicated, hard-working guy that is always busy with stuff…

     It is terrific to see a daughter and father so close and lovingly affectionate.  Doug is a strong and masculine type of guy that still has the sensitivity to offer lots of love and a caring demeanor toward all of us. 

     Paw-Paw Fred and Ashley…

     Perched on a hillside, the deck stairs lead down to the lake and the boathouse dock.

     Judy undertook the dinner delights by preparing her now famous, most requested menu of Chicken Breast smothered in mushroom sauce.  The delicious meal was the perfect repast for a magnificent day at the lake.


     I don’t know what it is or why the bugs love me so much.  They seem to find me and avoid the others.  I react badly to insect bites and they seem to know it.  I have several nasty welts and blisters from what I suspect may be small spiders.  Yuck, itchy, yuck…  The others have not had the same reaction, por que?

     Doug was busy with the project list again today.  He re-routed the power cable for the outside lighting and began installing new lighting fixtures for the deckside patio.  He does such beautiful work and it adds to the honor to be his Dad.

     Judy and I took a long ride on the two jet-skis around the northern end of the lake and up to several arms.  One area is called “Millionaire Cove” and, as you probably guessed, is shore lined with magnificent homes.  Of course, it is designated as a “no anchoring” and “no wake” zone.  In Florida, it would also have been signed as a “Manatee Zone” in keeping with all their expensive properties.

     Then it was time to get out the big boat for some other water sports excitement.  Doug entrusted me with the controls to tow him, Ashley, and Austin seated in the “Gladiator” saucer.

     Doug took over to satisfy Austin’s urges for more speed and action.

     Austin loves the wild ride, frequently begging Doug by yelling, “put it on me, Dad”. 

     This time, the saucer managed to leap after “catching some air”.

     Austin managed to hold on strong throughout this very wild ride.  Coming out with a huge grin, I think he got that really “wild ride” this time.

     Time on the lake is always enjoyable here…

     Austin and Doug take time for a father and son swim in the lake…

     “Look what Ashley caught!” 

     Since the fish wasn’t quite enough to feed everyone, I made Stuffed Green Peppers for dinner.  The corn-on-the-cob was a delicious side.  Unfortunately, Judy will probably be up all night from the peppers.


     Now that’s what I call a beautiful view.  With a scenic backdrop like that, what could be prettier than my loving Judy,?

     In the morning, Doug worked diligently on the electric deck lighting project.  I attempted to work on the summer trip planning but, somehow, found myself easily distracted by a streak of laziness.

     In the afternoon, we all took a long boat trip southward on this huge lake.  Formed by the Osage River, the navigable waters stretch about 35 miles in length.  It was sunny and quite hot.  I think we all got a little too much sun for our tender skins.

     “Look what Austin caught”…  There can be no escape from the master of the hook and reel.

     Dinner started out with a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail appetizer using my favorite concoction of finely diced tomatoes and onion mixed with Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, course ground black pepper, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.  For the main course, I prepared Chicken, Broccoli, and seasoned Rice.


     Judy and I went on a supply run to Osage Beach while Doug worked on projects and monitored the kids’ activities.  One of our stops was to the Cigar Shop for Judy to find some unique cigar boxes that she artistically crafts into purses and jewelry boxes.

     About 4pm, Judy’s brother, Dean, arrived from Lenexa, Kansas.  Doug had invited him again this year to enjoy more of a treat for everyone.

     “That’s MY son, Doug!”  I am so pleased at the caliber of man that he has developed into.  To me, there could never be a finer son in the entire world than this guy is to me.  Another thing I like is that no matter how grown up he has become, he is still able to show his love with a loving hug for his dear, old Dad…

     Ashley loves to be in the hot tub…

     It was a wonderful surprise when my daughter, Sharyn, and my daughter-in-law, Lisa, arrived about 9pm.  We hadn’t expected them until tomorrow.

     Sharyn was up from Florida for her Granny’s memorial service and chose to stay over to visit with us here.  This is great, a wonderful chance to be with all my children and my grandchildren.  The only way it could have been better would have been if my son-in-law, Jeff, could have come too.


     Got Donuts?

     Got lotsa smiles?

     Dean took a few minutes to get the knack, but then he took off like a pro…

     Ashley was totally fascinated with the bubble blower machine that we brought to her…  Made us feel like singing, “I’m forever blowing bubbles…”

     What would lunch at the lake be without a grilled hot dog?  Us kidz of all ages luv ‘em…

     Dean was up and ready for a “wild ride”.  Austin rode along to coach him in the finer techniques of “egging on” Dad to “put it on”…  Looks to me like they’re starting to catch a little air under that Gladiator sled.

     With father and son matched up on the jet-skis, Doug tried desperately to soak down the “old man”…

     Again this year, Dean brought several packages of fantastic steaks to be seared on the grill.  The meaty slabs were an obvious tribute to the skills of the Kansas Beef Masters.

     While the others ate their perfect beefsteaks, I enjoyed a chunk of perfectly grilled swordfish.  Once again, the corn on the cob was delicious.  I must admit that the absolute best part of the meal was sharing and being with both of my wonderful kids.  Having Sharyn here was an extra special treat and super surprise. How lucky can a guy get anyway…?

     That hot tub looked mighty inviting on this warm evening…  Judy is just about to jump in with Sharyn.



     This is one of the best Father’s Days that I can remember.  To be here in this beautiful place with both of my kidz here to “make my day”.

     Paw Paw Fred and his granddaughter look out over all the fabulous view.  Quiet moments of shear joy with loved ones…  That’s my idea of the perfect way to live this great day…

     Sharyn, Dad, and Doug…  How great is this on Father’s Day…?

     Dean and Judy enjoy their close Brother/Sister times together…  Ain’t they cute?

     Is this a great family photo or what?  Doug, Austin, Ashley, and wonderful Lisa…

     My son, Doug, enjoys his special Father/Daughter time on Father’s Day (…and everyday too).


     I just can’t believe that our time here has flown by so fast.  It seems like we just got here and should be just getting started.  We’ve actually enjoyed every minute but the problem seems to be that there were just not enough minutes.  I guess love of family is like that.

     At 6am, we locked up the lake house and headed out for Texas.  Doug and the rest of the family had left last night to return to the city.  With his week of vacation over too quickly, he was probably already on his way to work by now.

     Our route took us through Osage Beach, Camdenton, and Lebanon to reach I-44.  At Vinta, Oklahoma, we turned off toward Dallas.  We really should have gone one more exit to Big Cabin but we followed the GPS instructions rather than using our own brains.  Highway 69 goes through Muskogee, Durant, and Sherman in Oklahoma before crossing the Red River into The Republic of Texas.  At Dallas, we picked up I-35 through Waco, Austin, and Garden Ridge into San Antonio.  We only stopped for gas and pee breaks until reaching Garden Ridge.  We made a quick detour at Wal-Mart for 45 minutes to pick up grocery supplies before the short remainder of miles to the house.  We unlocked the doors at 8:15pm.  We had been on the road for 14 hours and 15 minutes.  Fortunately, we had no traffic holdups in any of the cities on this trip.  The new toll road around Austin cost $1.50 at each of the 4 tollbooths and added up to $6 total.  To me, it seems a bit steep for such a short number of miles.  Oh, well…


     Now back at the house, we continued to whittle away at our list of chores and worked on our upcoming trip planning.

     At 6pm, we met with Joe, Rox, Scott, and Mary for drinks and dinner.  The margaritas were potent and it was probably best that Judy drove home.

     Scott Kee and Mary (MOLLY BROWN)…

     Joe and Roxanne Fugate (MY OBSESSION)…

     Fred and Judy (AMARSE)…



     We’ve been constantly working to plan our South America trip.  It is an incredible challenge to organize an effective and efficient plan to see such a large area.

     The Texas weather has been oppressively hot with the mercury climbing up over the 100-degree mark.

     For dinner, I made some Stuffed Peppers.  They were very good, however, they came out a little bit on the salty side.  Next time, I won’t pre-salt the inside of the peppers.  I had seen that on a cooking show but it just doesn’t work for me.

     At 9:30pm, we went to Billy D’s Club in University City.  A great band, Ernie Garibay & Cats Don’t Sleep, was playing their repertoire of great music.  They play a bit of soul and a bit of the blues.  The sax player may just be the very best that I’ve ever heard.  He is nothing less than fabulous.  We enjoyed the music so much that it was 1:30am before we left the club.


     Judy bought a tiny MP3 player for our international trip.  It took me many hours to load it with some of her favorite tunes.  I’d be willing to bet that some of these young kids would have had it done in no time at all.  Oh, well, I did it…


     Judy and I have a date tonight.  We’re going out to dinner and listen to some great live music.  My date tonight looks great… I think we might just hit it off together…

     For dinner, we chose Rosario’s Restaurant that is located in the King William District of south San Antonio.  The food was delicious but it took a bit longer to dine than we had originally planned.  This had us arriving a little late for the music session.  Every seat was full so we had to stand in the back for a while and then, we only found a couple of loose chairs to sit on in the back.

     On Tuesday evenings, the Blue Star Brewery hosts a different Big Band Jazz group every week.  Since this is the fifth Tuesday of the month, we were in for a special treat with a performance by the Lamplighters Big Band.  They were fabulous. 

     As we close out this month of June, our plans are progressing for the rapidly approaching trip to South America.  In just 4 days, we will be winging our way south to Peru.  You can expect a lot of pictures from that adventure.  Of course, you will have to be patient as we won’t have time to post any updates until after our return and I have time to organize the material.





       We sincerely hope that you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the current editions.  Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.

     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can also review any of the previous logs from the years 2006, 2007, or 2008 and learn more about the crew and their many adventures.  Enjoy.


   You may contact us via email anytime.

Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.

Lotsa Luv,

Fred Reed and Judy Law




"AMARSEis pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".

        Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .