Back to our Quiet House

We had an artsy craftsy morning on the last day and the boys made early birthday cards for their mom. Then a little swimming and lunch by the pool. Played several rounds of a matching game, packed up their stuff, and handed them off to their parents and sister in the front yard. I asked Sarah if they’d be offended if we did that, since they’d been around people at the soccer tournament, stayed in a hotel, and did some shopping before coming by here. She said “no worries,” which I am never sure about…does that mean really “no worries” or is it a way of saying, “I think you’re kinda ridiculous but I will go along with it” ?? LOL She came up to the door with a mask on and said they’d been wearing masks the whole time so I guess all was fine. We chatted for a few minutes, hugged the boys,  and said our goodbyes. It was great to have the kids for a few days and to see everyone else briefly! We sure do miss having them in the neighborhood but are thankful for bits of time together.

A little summary of our time so I will remember!

Jack’s song of the summer: “Counting Stars” by One Republic (not new but he loved it and played it over and over)

Beck’s song of the summer: “Filthy” by Justin Timberlake (also not new and not sure if that is appropriate for a 9 year old but hey)

Runner up for both: “I Poop” by Auraganix Kids (Yes, that’s what it’s about)

Flashback to their older sister: “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift (good for dancing)

Movies watched: “Trolls World Tour” and “Dr. Dolittle,” both pretty enjoyable even for the grandparents

Games played: MouseTrap, Sorry, Apples to Apples, Matching, Garbage (card game), Cars Surprise Slides, screen time on Grandpa’s iPad and Beck’s Nintendo Switch, Would You Rather, and “guess the riddle” cards.

Favorite snacks: Chocolate ice cream, fresh peaches

Books: Beck likes a book we have here called Bad Guys and he brought along several of his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Jack loves all of the thrift store kids’ books in “their” bedroom and his favorite this time was Rocket Writes a Story, along with his other long time faves about puppies and kittens.

Quotes to remember:

Jack—“When I am here, I miss my parents but when I am home I miss you!”  “I wish I could stay here forever!”

Beck–“We should be in a TV show called ‘Hurry Up, Gigi!'” (I know I already mentioned this one in a previous post but it’s pretty priceless)  “I could have been sitting at hot soccer games all weekend so I guess I’d rather be here.”  LOL

Saturday Fun and Games

Breakfast burritos and MouseTrap

Watered plants and flowers while Rich went to pick up our next farm produce box

Jack and I took a walk

Played lots of board games and Grandpa was very pleased with his Apples to Apples win.

We were watching a show called “Brain Child” which shows various science experiments and the boys were excited by one that tested how long someone can leave his hand in ice cold water, AND if the length of time increases if that person smiles while his hand is submerged. Beck convinced Grandpa that we should try it. Rich thinks I am a wimp and I am in many ways but I can be pretty good at ‘mind over matter’ if I have to be. I left my hand in for 40 seconds, which was way longer than any of the rest of them. But then Beck wanted to try again and got up to 46 seconds! Good job, Beck! I let him have the win and didn’t try to beat him (though I am confident I could have. hahaha).  Oh, and we did do better when we smiled. 🙂


Thrift Store and Ham Orchards

Friday the boys really wanted to go to our favorite thrift store, so I gave in. We took our masks and all was fine inside, not too busy, and the kids dug through the toys and games and books till they found several things they wanted. I took no pictures there because I was too busy trying to make sure they didn’t touch every single toy and surface they encountered.  🙂 They had a great time and were pleased with their purchases, came home and immediately began playing.

We had lunch and then drove out to Terrell to Ham Orchards (about 45 minutes away) to buy peaches. The kids had gone with us last year and loved it, but they were less than enthusiastic this year. I told them it would give us something to do and we would play games in the car to pass the time…we had some riddle cards and some “would you rather” cards to bring along. They cheered up and we played games and laughed all the way–the grosser the better with “would you rather,” that is for sure. Ham Orchards is usually packed but since it was a weekday and they currently have restrictions in place, it wasn’t too bad. Everyone was wearing masks and there was no eating on premises (usually they have a concession stand with bbq lunches and other items, plus an ice cream counter where you can get cones). The peaches were sold under a big pavilion so it was easy to distance there. Then we went into the little store and bought some packaged fudge and ice cream to take with us. The kids were good sports, if not overly thrilled with the trip. 🙂  We played more games on the way home and then they jumped in the pool till dinner time, Grandpa’s sliders, fries, fruit and veg, followed by fudge and ice cream, of course.  And yummy peaches!

Kids’ Visit (after a very long time)

Elle had a soccer tournament in Arlington last weekend so Sarah asked how we would feel about keeping the boys if she got them tested for the virus. I said we would be willing if they would quarantine the boys while waiting for the test results. 🙂 Serendipitously, a new rapid testing site opened in Tyler a few days after our conversation. Sarah called to get them an appointment and we drove over on Thursday to meet them so we could whisk them away immediately and not have a chance of getting exposed elsewhere. 🙂 As we expected, they were both negative so we loaded them up and headed back to Dallas. I am not sure how reliable these tests are and I think it really just gave us some sense of security but who knows if it is a false sense.  I guess we will find out!  Sarah said the doctor did tell her that there’s very little evidence of kids that age passing the virus along to adults, but again, the information changes regularly and who knows if that is true.

I had to pee really badly but didn’t want to go into the clinic and ask to use their bathroom because they were only letting people in who had appointments. We took a different route home than usual because of the location in Tyler and ended up on a country road leading back to 1-20. We stopped at a convenience store/gas station and Beck decided he had to use the bathroom, too, so we both went in. We also decided to get cold drinks for everyone. WELL, even though our lame governor had finally ordered everyone to wear masks in public, NO ONE in this store was wearing one. Not the staff, not the other customers, and they looked at us like we were the insane ones. Oh well. We both used our respective bathrooms, washed hands well, grabbed some drinks and went to check out with the maskless woman behind the counter.  I kept backing up because she was talking at me. We got back in the car and sanitized some more.

About 30 minutes out of Dallas, Jack decided HE had to use the bathroom and couldn’t wait. Traffic had been bad all along I-20 so Rich pulled off on a farm road and the boys both relieved themselves behind some bushes.  I noticed two guys across the street working on a boat but I don’t think they could see anything. And besides, who hasn’t done it themselves?! LOL

We got home and Rich began making pizza for dinner while the boys and I walked to the park. It was super hot but they wanted to go anyway. As I lagged behind them, Beck quipped,”We should be in a TV show called Hurry Up, Gigi.” We were already sweating by the time we got there and then the equipment was all pretty hot, too, so that little foray did not last long. Swimming at home was a much better idea!

Every summer we have lots of grandkids in and out so it has been sad this year with the virus limiting our contact. I’m so glad these little dudes got to come and hope we can work something out with the rest of them.

July 4

Day Two!

Swimming in the pool, floating in the lake, paddle boarding, kayaking, tubing, surfing, kneeboarding, jet-skiing…you name it, the kids did it all. Corey is great with the little kids and took them out on the boat both days, plus dragged them in a tube behind a jet ski. Most of the adults took younger kids on the jet skis and had a blast.  David and Bonnie cooked brisket and we had tacos and sliders for lunch the second day. Sarah and Miles cooked dinners both days but we didn’t stay to eat…I am sure we missed out on some good food!

Ada and Jack have both learned to swim so they were having contests in the pool–who could hold their breath the longest, who could tread water the longest, who could swim from one end to the other the fastest. Ada swims and swims and swims and takes the deepest breaths when her face comes out of the water. She sounds like she is struggling but she is not. We were cracking up. She is also so light that when she did a cannonball, it barely made a splash.

Elle, Beck, Emery and Luke told us all about going to camp and we caught up on their other news. Aidan told us about his plans to do an aircraft mechanics program when he goes back to high school in the fall (if schools reopen…). Ally is looking forward to playing volleyball in 7th grade, while Elle will continue with soccer. Beck will start an acting class, which was one of his loves when he lived in Dallas. Jacky and Ada will be in Kindergarten…not our little babies any more.  Susan is going to take prerequisites so she can apply for LVN school. Bonnie and David will be going back to teaching and wondering about the circumstances; Bonnie will also be coaching volleyball, basketball and track this year (if athletics happen). Corey says once Aidan is out of high school, he and Susan and Ally are moving to Granbury. They have talked about this before, so we will see! 🙂  Miles and Sarah bought some land near Lake Tyler and are going to build a resort/wedding venue. Life seems good for all of the family and that makes me happy, despite the virus and the uncertain outlook for the future right now.

We left before dark but the kids had a big time watching fireworks and setting off some of their own from the dock.  Here’s to next year!



July 3

Last year my girls and I decided we’d get together 4th of July each year instead of trying to force the issue at Thanksgiving or Christmas. It has become harder and harder to get everyone together on those holidays and just ends up with me being whiny if they can’t come. So I finally said I was willing to forego those if we could commit to doing something once a year (any time, I don’t care!) with everyone. We had so much fun at Sarah and Miles’ for July 4 last year that we made it happen again. Of course, our plans were made long before the coronavirus hit and that changed things up a bit. The kids are not overly concerned about getting sick; I think they are mostly cautious about who they are around and what they do but they are not socially distancing the way Rich and I are.  I told them we’d come over each day on the 3rd and 4th but we would stay outside and not get in anyone’s faces (even though this is hard for me as a very huggy/kissy grandma) and we weren’t going to spend the night since there were 14 other people sharing air and space in the house. I know they think we are a little overboard but we just don’t want to take a chance on getting ill.

Anyhoooo, we drove over on the 3rd and I was SO dang happy to see all three of my girls, all three of their hubbies and all eight of the grandkids! We visit Sarah and Miles some, and we had Ally for Spring Break, but we hadn’t seen Aidan or any of Bonnie’s crew since before Christmas. That’s too long for me!

Rich and I took our own food and drinks and just kinda camped out in the yard  and on the dock watching all the fun. I did go on the boat once and sat up front away from everyone else. The grandkids had a ball swimming in the pool, playing in the lake, riding jet skis and going out in the boat, tubing, surfing, hanging out with each other and enjoying being together. I’m glad they all get along and seem to like being in each other’s company. Ally, Elle and Emery spent a lot of time together, Luke and Beck are good buddies, and Ada and Jack REALLY love each other.  Aidan is older than the rest but he is still such a kindhearted kid and played with the little ones in the pool, throwing them in the water and letting them ride on his back. He was also a big help with the bigger kids when they wanted to try to surf or kneeboard behind the boat. Of course we enjoyed just sitting and chatting with the girls and their husbands.

Here is an overload of pix from Day One. 🙂

July, Please Be Nice to Us

Coronavirus cases rising still. Unrest in the streets. Crazy man in the White House, and evil minions around him. What will July bring?

I haven’t been walking much since it’s been so hot but I  (Ms. Not Much of a Water Baby) have actually been getting in the pool a bit. I’m starting to like it! One morning I thought I would take a short walk and then jump in the pool to cool off. I set out on one of my usual routes but this time I decided to walk down an alley because I thought I saw a few things that might make interesting photos. As I reached the end of the alley, I turned left onto Buckner Blvd, which is a fairly busy street that has no sidewalk. (I walked this once before when I went all the way to the Post Office and vowed I would not do it again).  But there were only two houses to walk past before I got to the next residential street where I could turn back to the left again, so how hard could it be, right? Somehow in that short distance between two houses, I managed to stumble and fall into the street, skinning my right knee pretty badly and my left one a little bit, plus both palms. Thankfully there were no cars coming and thankfully I bought a case for my newish phone because it flew out of my hand as well. I was mostly embarrassed and hopeful that no one had observed my fall!  I made it to the next street and turned back toward home but it was about a 15-20 minute walk on my injured and bleeding leg before I made it.  I took a shower and by then the pool was out of the question, mostly because I thought the chlorine would hurt my wounds. I’m still not sure how I fell and I am reminded again that it can happen so quickly that you can’t even stop yourself from falling. One of the hazards of growing older, I suppose. I am super grateful I didn’t break my wrist again, or something worse. I really don’t want to think about breaking a hip!

Pix from the walk and a few things I’ve grabbed off the internet to put on my  Facebook page which give you an idea about my current mood. 🙂

Rich’s seared potato gnocchi with sage brown butter and lemon, his sourdough bread, our homegrown tomatoes with cucumbers from the Comeback Creek Farm produce box, corn on the cob also from the farm. Delicious dinner!