October, Please Be Kind to Us

Went by the White Rock Center of Hope for my friend Bettina’s birthday (she’s the one on the phone). It was good to see Gabriele and Dianne as well. The whole system has changed due to Covid–no clients in the building at all and everything is done by phone. It’s probably more efficient, but less personal. I am thinking about going back soon because it seems pretty safe….hopefully. I miss volunteering there and hanging out with my friends.

We picked up our first Comeback Creek Farm box of the fall season. The lettuce and kale were so delicious! I am not sure how we will use up all that squash but Rich will probably find a way. More highlighting of voter flyers, cards in the mail from family and friends as well as a new hoodie from Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, I started on my 500 tiny piece Springsteen puzzle from Sarah and it’s gonna take me awhile!

I’m glad to be out walking again!

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. ūüôā


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. ¬†ūüôā 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. ūüôā ¬†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!

Sunday Funday

Well, not exactly, in a quarantine, but we make our fun where we can find it, right? Rich surprised me by bringing out the Scrabble board today. Usually we just play games with the grandkids and he’s not too much into it otherwise. I think he thought it would be a nice thing to do since I have been under the weather and anxious and maybe slightly complaining???

He got a bingo right off the bat with his first word, which was worth 70 points and I only managed to get 14 on mine. I was battling from behind the whole game and finally pulling up close near the end. I had a good word and thought I was going to pass him up and win! Then I glanced at the scoresheet and had the thought that I should check it because I knew he would challenge me if I won. LOL Sure enough, I had made a 10 point addition error in my favor a few moves back. Dang it! I caught it before the game ended and adjusted the score. ¬†Of course he then ran out of tiles and won. ūüôā

Another Day, More Handwashing

Today I managed to get myself a bit more organized. I did the Silver Sneakers workout, which was actually pretty good and got my heart rate up a bit. Watched part of the Trump news conference shit show, which only made me crazy so I turned off the TV and put on “classical music favorites.” I am trying to listen to more classical music and it is mostly soothing, though Rich had to laugh when some Wagner came on and we were reminded of the Nazis. Not really what we want in our heads these days.

Wrote out some cards for the people I mentioned in yesterday’s post, along with a note to my mom and my friend Tammy, who is out in Oregon away from her family, care-taking her elderly stepfather, and a birthday card for my friend Karen. Of course, I did not get them finished before the mailman came so I will have to put them out in the morning. My mom, sister and I have our usual games of “Word Chums” going on and I am trying to stay in touch with everyone. I’m reading a book one of my friends from Center of Hope gave me.

“The Great Courses” was offering a monthlong free trial. Well, free if you remember to cancel after a month. haha Even so, it’s only $30 for 3 months right now, so who knows, I might keep it! Signed up and began accumulating courses in my queue. I am interested in lots of things but not proficient in too many! Included in my list are Susan B. Anthony and Suffragists, Great Mythologies of the World, How to Play Chess, Knitting 101, The Art of Storytelling, The Art of Travel Photography, Visual Literacy Skills, Tai Chi, Women of History…and more. I’m excited to start but can’t decide which one I want to do first.

Then I cleaned the bathroom cabinets and drawers. Yes, there was lots of junk to throw away and the rest is now organized.

Heard from Susan that her kids’ schools are now going to home schooling and Sarah went to pick up her kids’ home learning programs from their school this morning. Bonnie’s kids are still on spring break so I guess they haven’t made a decision about theirs yet, but I am assuming they are going to online as well. Life goes on, if changed.



We celebrate Ada

We took a quick trip to Amarillo Friday through Sunday. Ada will be 2 years old on the 11th but Bonnie and David had a little party for her on the 6th since it was one of the few Saturdays David didn’t have to shoot wedding photos. ¬†We had a donut party in the morning with David’s family and some friends. ¬†Ada was really cute blowing out her candle and opening presents. ¬†She loves baby dolls and got several for gifts, plus a cute trundle bed for them. ¬†She played and played the rest of the weekend, putting those babies in bed, covering them up, saying they needed pillows and blankets, feeding them bottles and generally being a good little doll mama. ¬†ūüôā

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Later in the day, Bonnie and I took the kids plus their cousin Hannah to the Discovery Center’s 40th anniversary bash. ¬†It was hot and the lines were long but the kids had a ball. First up, Emery and Hannah wanted to climb the inflatable rock wall. ¬†Bonnie took Luke and Ada to get their faces painted while I stayed with the girls. ¬†It took forever, but eventually they each had a turn and did a great job going all the way to the top and rappelling back down.

Then off to get faces painted

The girls wanted to go on the zip line and Luke now wanted to do the rock climbing wall so we split up again. ¬†The line for rock climbing was really long. ¬†Zip line wait was long, too, ¬†but seemed to be moving faster. ¬†As we got closer, I saw a sign that said “must be 60 pounds.” ¬†I texted Bonnie and asked if I should let Emery go if I wasn’t questioned about her weight and she said yes. ¬†No one said a word (and there were even smaller kids going) so off she and Hannah went up the steps to the zip line platform. ¬†I guess there was a reason for the 60 pound limit because Emery did not zip very quickly! At one point, she was kicking her legs to try to make herself go faster.

We finished there and went back over to the rock climbing wall where Luke was STILL waiting his turn. ¬†Finally he got to the front of the line, got in his harness and took right off. ¬†I couldn’t believe he actually climbed to the very top of the wall! Great job, Luke! ¬†Then….he was too scared to come back down. Poor guy. ¬†He wasn’t crying or upset but he wouldn’t let go so the guy holding the rope could guide him down, and he wouldn’t jump back and rappel. ¬†Slowly, slowly, he inched his way back down step by step. Did I say the line was really long?? ¬†And it was really hot outside?? ¬†I know people were frustrated and impatient but everyone was pretty kindhearted about it. ¬†Bonnie apologized several times and once Luke was down, he got some applause and we high-tailed it to the food trucks for something to eat. ¬†ūüôā

We sat on the lawn and ate, then the kids ran around and rolled down the hill, laughing and playing with each other, totally carefree. It was fun to see them so joyful.

After more visiting, talking, laughing, eating, playing games and hanging out, we got up Sunday morning and headed back to Dallas.  Sarah, Miles and their three are on vacation in Colorado so we are on our own for a few more days and trying to get lots of chores finished up.

Happy Birthday, Sarah

Yesterday was my oldest daughter Sarah’s birthday. ¬†The kids had been busy moving into our house all day Wednesday and still had a lot going on on Thursday. ¬†Elle had been to visit her other grandparents in Cleburne so Sarah met them to pick her up and to leave Beck with them for HIS visit, then she had an appointment later in the day. ¬†Instead of trying to go out, Rich said he’d cook her a special dinner at the house (which would be better, anyway, in my opinion). ¬†We tried to get organized and get some stuff put away in both the house and the apartment and things were looking better by the end of the day (though still not done).

We had ¬†yummy pumpkin ravioli with sage/brown butter/walnut sauce (one of our faves), a delicious salad, broccolini, and toasty bread with a fruit tart for dessert. ¬†We were all stuffed and satisfied! ¬†I had to recount the story of 24 hours of labor with no medication before having to have a CSection delivery of baby #1. ¬†ūüôā ¬†We had a¬†lovely night sitting around the table chatting and celebrating Sarah, who’s a wonderful daughter, wife, mom, sister and friend. I couldn’t be prouder of her. ¬†I failed to take any photos, but here’s one of their family from Mother’s Day.

Miles, Sarah holding Jack, Elle and Beck

While Sarah and Miles were still packing things up, I took the kids to buy books and to have some frozen yogurt. ¬†It was a super hot day and there were no seats inside the froyo place so we sat outside and tried to hurry up and eat before it all melted. ¬†ūüôā


Today Sarah and Miles went out of town for her birthday and will be back on Sunday. ¬†Beck is still with his other grandparents, so this morning Elle, Jack and I ventured out to the Perot Museum. ¬†It was very impressive and we had a great time wandering around the various exhibits. I didn’t take many pix to show you around, but I’d highly recommend it. ¬†I went ahead and bought a membership because I figured we’d be taking all of the grandkids more than once. ¬†I’m still learning my way around Dallas and also got to learn how to pay for parking by phone today. ¬†Isn’t technology grand?!

Jack fell asleep in the car on the way home and I was able to put him down for his nap when we got to the house. ¬†Elle and I played a mean game of Scrabble and then we rested a bit, too. ¬†After Jack got up, they went swimming for awhile, had dinner, and watched part of a “Garfield” movie. ¬†I got Jack to bed, then Elle, Grandpa and I played a crazy game of “Headbanz.”¬†¬† I wasn’t very good at it. LOL

Now the kids are asleep and Rich and I are just chillin.’ ¬†I guess the rest of the unpacking and organizing can wait till another day. ¬†Happy weekend, all. ¬†ūüôā

Cute pic of Jack and Bo

A Quiet House

Bonnie and the kids left yesterday morning and I went back to my once-a-week volunteer work. ¬†It was strange to come home to find only Rich and the cats! ¬†Although it was busy with three little ones for the past 10 days, it was super sweet to have this¬†time with them. ¬†Ada’s voice is so cute¬†saying “Help me, Gigi!” and “Where’s Pe-paw?”(we’re not sure where she came up with “Pe-paw” for “Grandpa,” but it’s pretty funny). She’s quite a talker at not quite 2 years old and major-ly adorable in every way. ¬†Not that I am biased about my grandkids. ¬†ūüôā ¬† All three¬†¬†loved Ajax, our cat, and wanted to hold him and pet him (and chase him if he didn’t cooperate with the holding and petting). Luke was so proud of himself for getting in the pool and working on his swimming; he is obsessed with superheroes and power rangers at this age and often wanted to pretend-play, asking me what color power ranger I want to be or what superhero I am. ¬†I laid in bed with Emery a couple of nights and she told me, “I love chatting in bed!” ¬†We had many interesting talks–she said she’s a¬†princess and¬†has a¬†huge castle where all the guards are¬†girls (no boys allowed) and “everyone is girls” ¬†and¬†it’s¬†a dream come true. ¬†I said it would be great to have all our dreams come true, and asked her what’s her dream for the future? ¬†She said “to be the queen of the world and have all the powers.” ¬† She also told me that she’s not getting married and doesn’t believe in true love or kissing. ¬†I told her she might change her mind in the future, but if not, that’s cool, too. ¬†ūüôā

(Local) granddaughter Elle is off to a week of camp. Sarah and Miles were a little concerned that she might be reluctant to stay, but no worries! ¬†She was apparently all smiles and didn’t have any trouble saying goodbye on Saturday.

Jack and Elle with her trunk for camp

Bonnie and I filled up¬†the last couple of days of their visit.¬†We¬†took¬†Emery, Luke and Ada downtown to Klyde Warren Park to run through the splashpad, climb on the playground and slurp up some snow-cones from one of the many food trucks lined up¬†alongside. ¬†It’s a great little park and kept the kids occupied for a good while before it got too hot.

Monday¬†Beck was getting bored without big sister around, so he came over to join the cousins in the pool. ¬†They had fun playing all afternoon while Bonnie took Ada in for a medical visit; later Sarah, Miles, and Jack came over¬†for dinner with the rest of us.¬†Rich made some delicious chicken marsala with asparagus on the side and we had a big ole time chatting and laughing about crazy family stories. ¬†Don’t you just love those kind of nights? ¬†I do!

Beck, Luke and Emery

We were having such a good time talking that I didn’t get any more pictures of everyone, ¬†which is probably a good thing. Sometimes I wonder if all this picture taking somehow distracts from being present for the actual goings-on. ¬†I love having documentation of life’s moments but maybe we don’t need to have the camera (or these days, the phone) out all the time.

Meanwhile, between vacation and having grandkids here, we’ve really let the garden slide. Rich has been going by to water and to harvest but we haven’t weeded or cleaned up in weeks. ¬†Not surprisingly, we received an email “gentle reminder” from the community garden board stating that our weeds were getting out of control and “fellow gardeners are becoming concerned.” ¬†And that we needed to take care of it asap before we received a notice of noncompliance! ¬†Oh, my. ¬† While I enjoy being a rebel about some things, deep down I am quite a people-pleaser and I do not want anyone being upset with me. ¬†It was pure torture to know that our very first season at the community garden (when we hoped to make friends and have everyone love us!) was becoming an epic fail. ¬†It’s so hot right now that we couldn’t bear to go during the day but as soon as it started cooling off last night, we headed over and worked for an hour and a half cleaning up our plot. ¬†Even in the evening, we were dripping sweat. ¬†Thankfully, it looks almost good and just needs a little more sprucing up. ¬†We pulled out a lot of dead plants and weeds but we are still getting a few tomatoes and our eggplants are flourishing. ¬†Check out this¬†purple beauty!


We have 7 days left in our house before Sarah, Miles and crew move in. ¬†In our ongoing first-world-problems-comedy-of-errors, we now have a washer and dryer still in boxes in the dining room and a half-put-together bed out in the apartment. ¬†Our washer and dryer were delivered but the guys stated they couldn’t install them because our hoses were rusted to the faucets and they couldn’t get them off. We would need to call a plumber and have them removed before the installers could come back out. I was SO looking forward to having my own laundry facilities again, but off to the laundromat I went, and spent three precious hours of my time. ¬†On the upside, the laundromat offers free dryers if you use their washers. ¬†Nice!

A bed and dresser were delivered to the apartment; thankfully the delivery guys went¬†to put the bed together because otherwise we would have discovered the problem later: the sides did not match up so the slats could not be laid down to hold the mattress. Seriously?? ¬†They called it in and we were told we’d get a new delivery on the 25th. ¬†I am somewhat annoyed by this because I want to get the apartment set up for us to move in and now there are bed pieces all over the limited space.

AND for some reason AT&T does not think we deserve to have internet and TV in the apartment because we already have it in the house. That is a simplistic statement of a more convoluted problem but let’s just say I am getting the feeling that the universe is testing my patience this week.

Happy Wednesday! ¬†How’s your week going?

4th of July

I took a little time out from unpacking to join Sarah, Miles and kids at their neighborhood parade and carnival. ¬†It was fun and reminded me a little bit of Unalaska’s version. ¬†I guess there’s not a lot of difference between a small town and a defined neighborhood even in a big city. ¬†Sarah and Miles love living in the Lake Highlands neighborhood where they know lots of people, their kids have many friends, and the community comes together for activities and events.

After my little respite, back to setting up house!  Hope you all had a happy holiday!