Elle bakes a cake (with a little help from Chef Grandpa)
The garden is about to play out as it is getting way too hot but these pics are from a couple of weeks ago when everything was at full peak. Unfortunately we only produced three eggplants but they were so pretty and tasty! Rich made eggplant parmesan, of course, plus baba ganoush (one of my favorites), moussaka, and pasta a la Norma. All were super delicioso! We’ve had lots of salads and tomato based recipes, plus he canned 6 jars of tomatoes for later. It was very exciting that our cantaloupe survived the critters this year and we actually got to harvest some. I think we had a total of 8, with 3 of those still growing. The boys helped us pick the cantaloupe and they taste pretty good, though we agree they could be sweeter. At least they are not mealy or hard and we have certainly been enjoying our “fruitful” bounty.
My mom was only here for a few days and we packed in a lot of visiting, chatting, laughing and telling stories. Rich fixed a fabulous salmon dinner at Sarah and Miles’ one night and we kept the kids part of another day so we had a lively session of “Hot Potato” and “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding (a version of “would you rather…”). We took Mom with us to water the garden so she could see everything there. She taught us to play “Chicken Foot,” another domino game that we could play with our tiles from “Mexican Train.” Rich made some yummy meals and we watched the new HBO version of “Fahrenheit 451.” I thought she might want to see some sights in Dallas but it was really hot and she was happy to stay at home. My sister Kathi came from San Antonio and spent one night with us, then took Mom back with her so she could visit Kathi and her family (lots more grandkids and great grandkids there!). Mom was planning to fly home from San Antonio but I discovered she did not have a nonstop flight on the way back and it’s hard for her to have to get off and on planes and walk through the airport. So we changed her flight to nonstop from Love Field and met my sister halfway on Sunday to bring Mom back here for one more overnight. Before we knew it, it was time to see her off again! Thankfully Sarah and I will be in NJ in October so it won’t be too long till we are reunited. 🙂
My three daughters took dance classes most of their growing up years, finally letting it go when high school got in the way. We have lots of fond (and some not so fond) memories of their dance studio, teachers, friends, recitals, performances, competitions, and awards, along with tears and frustration at times. Although Elle and Ally had brief stints at dance class when they were younger, they weren’t that crazy about it and have moved on to more sporty activities (though they still love to sing and dance on their own). Emery, Beck and Luke are the latest dance students, taking hip-hop classes and they love showing us their “cool” moves, which are quite hilarious at times. In fact, as I write this today, Emery is performing in her recital in Amarillo and I’m sad to be missing it. 😦
Anyway, awhile back I noticed that the Dallas Ballet Theater would be performing “Swan Lake,” so I asked Sarah if she wanted to go. As it turned out, the show would take place when the older grandkids were here so we decided to take Ally and Elle and make it a girls’ night out. First, out to dinner at Elle’s favorite Italian place Olivella’s, and then on to the ballet. Honestly I had forgotten how long this story is and, although the girls loved it, they were a little fidgety by intermission. Sarah took them to the bathroom and then bought them a soda which seemed to do the trick for the second half. 🙂 The performance was beautiful and the girls ended up having a wonderful time. It was cute afterwards when they were trying their ballet moves in the hallway of the theater and talking excitedly about the parts they liked best. I asked Sarah if her muscle memory kicked in, if she could feel herself dancing some of the dances. “Definitely!” It was a nice night for all of us and more memories made.
The next day Susan drove in by herself (a first through the mean streets of Dallas without Corey 🙂 ) and spent the night with us before taking the kids home. Meanwhile, my mom was supposed to arrive at 6:40 that same night. Susan and the kids planned to hang out at Sarah’s while Rich and I went to the airport, but all that went out the window when we were notified that Mom was delayed in Philly due to bad weather throughout the corridor down to Dallas. It was warm and sunny here but apparently that was not the case along the way. Additionally, planes were being diverted to Philly because they couldn’t land in NYC so there was a bigger and bigger backlog as time went on.
Eventually we realized she would not be here any time soon so we all went out for burgers with Sarah’s family and awaited further word. We came back home and Mom texted periodically–at one point, I told her just to go to the desk and request a refund or a voucher and go home. It was not worth her wearing herself out sitting around at the airport for hours and hours. They’d been on the plane and then off the plane, on the tarmac and then back in the terminal, over and over. She said they were not taking luggage off the plane and she would wait it out a little longer. We visited at home for awhile and she finally let us know she was boarding again. At that point, her arrival at Love Field was updated to 11:45 PM. OMG. Susan and the kids went out to the apartment to go to bed and Rich and I watched some TV till it was getting close to time to head out. I checked the flight tracker one more time and it had been updated to a 1 AM arrival! Poor Mom! They never left Philly till 11 something. On our drive to Love Field, we almost hit a tree that was completely prone in the road but very hard to see because the street was so dark. Both of us could tell there was “something” ahead but it was disorienting and we couldn’t really tell till we were right up on it. Thankfully we did not hit it, nor did the guy behind us rear-end us! Whew!
Mom was exhausted but always the good sport and said that she and her fellow passengers were “almost cousins” by the time they got to Dallas. We came home and chatted a bit and by the time we all got to sleep it was 3 AM. We were supposed to go to Sarah’s at 9 AM for a last hurrah in the swimming pool for the kids but I told Mom that Susan could take them by herself and we could sleep in. Well, no. Mom was up, showered and dressed by 8:30, so we dragged ourselves up too. Susan and the kids came in and Rich made breakfast for everyone before we went over to Sarah’s. The kids had a good time together and then we had to say our goodbyes. We miss them, but hopefully they will be back again later in the summer!
The kids went with me to run some errands one day and were rewarded with frozen custard from “Andy’s,” which is pretty close to Jersey shore custard. Yum. More swimming at our house and Sarah’s and the athletic club, Aidan harvested potatoes and tomatoes from the garden with Rich, we played lots of games, Rich made pizza and Ally helped him make churros, Ally and I had an enjoyable lunch with Aunt Frankye, we took more after-dinner walks and saw the neighborhood chickens, had a candlelight dinner just like “olden days” when our electricity went out one night, laughed our heads off at Rich and Aidan talking into their drinking glasses while playing games (you had to be there), talked, laughed some more, told stories, and watched some shows. Love having these kids with us!
Susan and Corey brought the kids to us and visited for a bit before going to a concert and heading home the next morning. We’d been telling Corey about Big Tony’s West Philly Cheesesteaks so we had to have lunch there and everyone gave it a big thumb’s up. Pretty darned close to the food we love from Philly and South Jersey! The kids got right in the pool and we took a walk after dinner.
Susan and Corey left the next morning and we took the kids with us to run some errands at a couple of garden stores and grocery stores. Grabbed some lunch at the cute little cafe at one of the garden stores, where Aidan ordered a grilled cheese sandwich that was much more “gourmet” than he usually eats, with several kinds of cheese and some fig jam on it. He was a good sport and did his best and Grandpa finished the rest! That night we went over to Sarah’s and babysat all the kids while she and Miles went to a concert. Elle had a soccer game and Ally could not wait for her to get home! She finally arrived late and they were happy to have a cousin sleepover.
The next day we were invited to the Dallas Athletic Club with Sarah and Miles for Memorial Day festivities. The kids enjoyed swimming, getting fake tattoos, eating cotton candy and snow cones, and having a big ole time together. It was hot but fun for all!
Bonnie and David had to shoot a wedding in Dallas so we kept the kids while they worked and then we got to visit a little bit, too. Sarah was out of town with her high school girlfriends so we hung out with Miles and their kids most of the weekend and traded kids back and forth while they had various activities to attend. There was lots of swimming, playing of games, going to the park, helping us at the garden, and general tom-foolery. The last night we had the three girls, Elle, Emery and Ada, at our house and Miles kept Beck, Luke and Jack at his house. I think we probably got the better end of that deal. LOL Then my niece Missy and her six kids came through and spent one night in our back apartment so we got to visit with them as well. They are an Air Force family, recently moved from Japan to the Boston area and came back to Texas for my great-niece Kailey’s high school graduation. The second cousins had a good time hanging out with each other and getting to know each other a little better. We had a crazy houseful but it’s joyful to see everyone together.
Jack’s been taking swimming lessons with two of his little buddies for a couple of months. I’ve gone with him a few times when Sarah has had conflicts and Rich and I took him to his last day while Sarah went to Field Day at the older kids’ school. The swimmers got to do a little demonstration of their skills and then received their certificates and awards. Jack got the medal for “most improved” and we were proud! He had to miss some classes when he got his tonsils out so he did a good job of catching back up! These boys are super cute friends.
The garden is going wild and we are having a hard time keeping it in check! But that’s a good problem to have. We are eating lots of salads from our various greens and had our first beautiful, perfect, delicious baked potato. Yum.
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