May Round-Up, Part 1

Well, I have fallen down on the job once again!  I have to finish May before I get started on June!

Two of my co-volunteers at White Rock Center of Hope went with me to a panel discussion on poverty in Dallas. We met first to have dinner together, which was lovely, and then on to the event.  It was quite interesting, though I am not sure any real answers were presented. I know it’s a tough topic and there’s no magic solution but I sure wish we could figure out a way to make life easier for the folks living on the edge in Dallas and elsewhere.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading about housing lately and it’s such a huge problem here.  Even one of the panelists, a woman who is fairly new to working for the city, stated that people making $100,000 a year have a hard time finding housing in Dallas.  Now what does that say for those living on much, much less?

Garden update: doing great this year so far!  We have blossoms on our cantaloupe and eggplant, hurray! AND first potatoes are harvested! AND we’ve managed to win the battle of the bugs and varmints to this point, but I might be jinxing myself just by saying so.

Beck is now taking piano lessons at a local school of music.  We attended his recital and it was great to see lots of students playing lots of instruments, even some pretty young kids playing and singing in bands.  My faves (besides my grandson’s performance of “Ode to Joy,” of course) were the young girls playing guitar and bass and fronting bands as singers.  Yes!  The teachers got up and jammed with the students, too, and it sure looked like they love what they do.

Mother’s Day was very nice.  Sarah and Elle took me for a pedicure, then we all had lunch together at their house in between Elle’s soccer games.  I talked with Bonnie and Susan and my mom, and Rich took me out to dinner (even though I am not his mother).  Later in the month Bonnie came to town and gave me some cute vases for my shelf and a drawing of all 8 grandkids from all of my girls.

Sarah and I were invited back to Seek the Peace where we had dinner with some of the same beautiful refugee girls we met at Christmas time, hung out with them and chatted, and learned how to make a flower arrangement.  All of the girls made arrangements to take to their moms  or a significant person in their lives.  I am really impressed with the work being done by Seek the Peace and its Project Shine which works with adolescent girls.

My friend Susan came through on the way to her mom’s and spent one night with us.  We had a nice time chatting and laughing about various topics and indignities of life.  Bonus: she brought a mama kitty and her two sweet babies with her.  Too cute!

 

 

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Quick Little Road Trip

Last week we took off for Clyde, TX to watch granddaughter Ally play softball, then on to Amarillo to watch grandkids Emery and Luke run in separate track meets.

We arrived in Clyde around 3:30 PM on Thursday, visited with Susan for a bit as it was her day off, and then the kids got home from school.  Corey came in from work and we went out to eat before the game, which wasn’t scheduled to start till 7:45 on a school night, which I thought was pretty late for 11 year olds!  Ally had to be at the field an hour ahead of time so we all headed over there and enjoyed sitting at a picnic table talking and laughing while waiting for the game.  I guess the game before theirs started late because Ally’s never got going till after 8 PM.  Last year, she was on a pretty good team and I was amazed at how well those girls could hit the very fast pitches coming their way.  I just assumed this year’s teams would be even better.  Well, I would be wrong! LOL Unfortunately neither team had anyone who could pitch worth a flip so it was really a battle of the “walks.”  Seriously, almost every kid got up to bat and was walked on balls or hit by the pitcher and walked.  Additionally, the catchers couldn’t catch the balls the pitchers were throwing so they were constantly chasing the balls down and this led to girls stealing home and scoring runs besides the runs they were scoring by being walked home.  They were only permitted to get 6 runs each inning and basically walked that many in each time (or scored by stealing).  It was SO tedious!  Those poor girls!  Thankfully for all, the game was also timed so eventually time ran out and they were allowed to finish the inning they were in, which I think was only the 3rd or maybe the 4th at most.  Ally’s team lost by 1, mostly because the other team batted last. Or should I say walked last?!  It was really sad and I hope they will all improve as the season wears on.  Despite the game, we had a lot of fun with Susan, Corey and the kids and discussed their upcoming visit to Dallas in the summer. We always enjoy having them here with us!

 

We spent the night in Abilene with our friend Karen since Corey’s grandma had come to town and had already planned to stay with the kids before we decided to come.  We had fun visiting with Karen, though it was so late by the time we got to her house that none of us stayed up too much later as she had to work the next morning.  We slept in a little bit and then got back on the road to Amarillo on Friday.  At least it is a little closer to Abilene than it is to Dallas so we had a relatively short drive compared to leaving from here.  We arrived just as Bonnie was getting in the car to pick up Luke from school so I rode along with her while Rich stayed at the house with Ada who didn’t want to go.  The kids are really entertaining and funny and we had a nice dinner at home, then watched “The Greatest Showman” before bedtime.

The next morning Luke had his track meet, which was super cute and funny to watch.  Their track meets just consist of various relays so there were no individual events but Luke ran in 4 or 5 races and seemed to have a great time.  He was a pretty fast little runner and his former track star mom was proud!  We came home for a couple of hours, then went to Emery’s meet in the afternoon.  Again it consisted of relays only but the older kids were more organized and looked good in their races. Emery has a long stride and did very well in her events. Watching track brought back lots of memories of Bonnie running in middle school, high school and college.  I am not sure how many hours I’ve spent at track meets in my life but it’s gotta be up there!  Once a track mom, always a track mom, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the kids.

 

Sunday we got up and had a nice breakfast before the long drive back to Dallas.  It was a bit of a whirlwind trip but we loved seeing everyone and getting to be involved in some of the kids’ activities.

As an aside, Emery always has some funny quips when we see her.  This time she was doing cartwheels and round-offs in the house so I told her she is really good at it and maybe would want to go to gymnastics. She paused for a moment as if thinking it over and then said, “No, I prefer to be self taught.”  That girl cracks me up.

Mondays with Jack

 

April Doings

Happy birthday to our son in law David on April 6.  He’s usually behind the camera so it’s hard to find many pictures of him! He’s smart and funny, great at being a dad, a teacher, a photographer, and a human being. We always enjoy our wide ranging conversations and his thoughtful opinions. Even better, he’s a lot of fun! We love you, David!

Beck was in his school talent show last week.  All of the 1st grade boys took part in a song and dance number with a sports theme.  They were super cute and I may be biased but Beck was the best dancer out there and sung his heart out with lots of feeling.  🙂  It was especially cute and funny at the end when all of the boys ran off the stage and Beck stood there looking out at the audience. I don’t think he realized everyone had left. We got a little chuckle out of that.  I didn’t get pix during the show because of the lighting but here are a few that Sarah got later.

And Aidan was busy with his favorite thing: motocross racing.  We weren’t there but Susan sent some pix.  We will get to see him race Memorial Day when we go to visit.

Jack had another soccer game and it was freezing but at least he had fun playing this time!  🙂

Community Garden 10th Anniversary Celebration

I went to the garden around 10 AM to help with set up and it was pretty chilly and windy. We were hoping for warmer weather after the recent cold spell and raininess but it was not a lot better.  Oh no!  Set up took about an hour and a half, then I went home to shower and change before Rich and I went back at 1 PM. Rich made three different herbed lemonades: lemon thyme, rosemary, and mint-ginger.  He also made a few dozen pinwheel pastries for the dessert table.  I worked at the welcome table for the first hour, then Sarah, her friend Megan, and their six kids arrived so I left my post to hang out with them.  Eventually the sun came out and the kids loved the scavenger hunt and the snacks and running through the garden.  Rich’s lemonade was an especially big hit and got many compliments.  We had lots of food, speeches and presentations, and a butterfly release to commemorate 10 years of community gardening.  It was really a nice day and a lovely celebration!

Easter

My son in law Miles’ parents invited us to join them for Easter brunch at the club in their housing development in Cleburne. We had a lovely time with them, Miles’ grandmother, Miles’ brother and sister in law and their two kids, plus Sarah, Miles and our three grandkids.  Rich talked with the chef briefly and told him he was happy to be on the other side of the buffet line after many years of doing the same thing! Brunch was good and we stopped to take some of the requisite “posing in the bluebonnets” photos that are iconic in Texas this time of year.  We went back to the in-laws’ home for a couple of hours to visit and then came back to Dallas. All in all, a nice relaxing day!

March Catch-Up

Yes, it’s April, but I haven’t finished March!

Garden update:

 

Hung out with Jack a few more times and went to his first soccer game. Three year olds are a mess on the soccer field.  No clue!  He loved it till he hated it and sat out most of the second half.  🙂

 

March for our Lives, Dallas! I recently joined the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and we were asked to be route monitors at the march while the students took charge.  It was fun and we had a great turnout.  I am inspired by these young people ready to make a change!

 

March birthdays:

First, my daughter Bonnie on the 30th. She’s smart and hilarious and a juggler of multiple responsibilities, a great mom and a friend to many, involved in her community, and concerned for those less fortunate. We always have good talks about lots of issues and topics and she makes me laugh with her funny stories about kids and life. I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like but we never fail to have a lot of fun when we’re together.  We love her much!

 

Then grandson Aidan on the 31st. This kid turned 15! I really cannot believe it! We’ve had so much fun watching him grow up from a smiling, happy baby boy to a smart, kindhearted, talented, funny, awesome young man. He’s great at motocross and basketball and putting things together and beating us at games. His younger cousins adore him and he’s always so kind to them when they see each other. We love it when he comes to visit us and even more when we take road trips together. I always beg him to say that he will still want to hang out with us even when he’s got teenager things to do. Pitiful, I know! We love you, Aidan! Happy birthday!

 

Random: Ajax, thrift store gems, neighborhood walk, Rich spending hours in the Asian store and then making it all worthwhile with a beautiful salad for dinner.