Saturday, October 15, 2016

"Dewey, Why are You Stabbing the Potatoes?"

I can't begin to tell you how much fun I'm having on this trip.  Kids play Memory with me all day long.  Or Go Fish.  It never gets old.  Sometimes I win, but not this particular game with Julia this morning.
Nate and I played a two-person game of Go Fish.  A special vocabulary has evolved around my games.  For example, "You're bleeding" has a specific meaning.
Jacob horsed around with my camera while waiting for Matt to drive him to Grammy and Pa's house to mow their lawn.  He ended up taking the cap off and joining us in a few rounds.
Nate won a round with the creepy doll, a victory I never want.
Julia spent part of the morning washing her beloved kitchen.  She has made the decision to gift the kitchen to her little cousin Ben.  She sorted through dishes and food, too.  This was a tender time.
Dave spent a considerable amount of time trying to open the battery case to the burner so it would once again snap, crackle and pop.  The good news is we think a repair part is available.  An interesting fact is that this kitchen came to Julia via a garage sale.  What a well-built toy!
Matt loaded the kitchen in Papa's car while Julia laughed.  Then Matt and I dragged Main, so to speak.  I was game for anything except the car driving itself.
We arrived home just in time for lunch.  The watermelon came from the backyard garden.
After lunch, a birthday present was in order.  The resident diva, a.k.a Julia, looked on.
Before running off for a play practice. Matt and Nate enjoyed the birthday gift.
A brief interruption was necessary while Dad made necessary adjustments to Nate's costume.
Julia is going to be the tooth fairy for Halloween.
Afternoons at Dave's house are wonderful.  While some people napped, he and I and a few kids checked out the latest Star Wars trailer.
I put potatoes in the oven for dinner.  Nate and Julia were fascinated that I used a knife to prick the skins.  This ritual was an unquestioned part of the culture of my upbringing.  I explained that my mother taught me that a potato might explode while baking in the oven.  Their doubts led to a long, hilarious conversation with Dave explaining the dynamics of why an explosion was possible. Maybe you had to be there.
Grammy and Pa joined us for dinner and cake.  This is a special birthday for Nate, made even more special once the 8th candle was located.
Grammy's gift to 8-year-olds is a monogramed towel.  Nate loved it.
Fortunately for the adults, Nate also got some cool toys.
Mel had marched all day long, arriving home in time for leftover cake.
Will also marched.  Their band did well.  Notice their sunburns.
I was the designated tender while Dave made last minute preparations for tomorrow.  No one minds when I stream a little Star Trek.
In the meantime, Papa and Carolyn watched Matt, one of the leads in his school play, bring Will Shakespeare to life.  Finally the day was over, but I can't wait for tomorrow.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Triple Chocolate Day

Dave thanked me again for this gift this morning.  Then he made me a fabulous mug of his chocolatey.
Dave bought donuts for breakfast.  The kids have a favorite:  Cajun boudin sausage.  Yes, we're talking donuts here.  I was forced to take a bite.  I left plenty for everyone else.  Not a crumb remained.
We played lots of games today.  Nate, now with a permanent handicap, still wins.
Julia was her wonderful, delightful self all day long.
Jacob wanted to go for a ride in Papa's car this morning.  He got his wish, but not in the frunk.
Matt drove.  Yes, it's true.  I failed to mention that Papa picked me up at the airport last night.  Ask me later about that.
I was determined to spend quality time with each grandchild today.  Early on, Will showed me some music he had written for his marimba.  He ended up teaching me how to write music using a clever computer program.  I listened, learned, and will get my own account.

Jacob, who misses nothing that goes on in his house. listened, observed, and was soon working on his own music.
Papa Ben gathered up some peeps for a fun game.
By this time it was noon.  Mom was worried about Mel, so she and my camera went up the stairs to check on her.  It was a long day yesterday for Melanie, but it was also lunchtime.
Julia sweet-talked Papa into playing memory tiles with her.  No losers here.
Nate had a fun day streaming Star Trek under my careful supervision.  Sometimes other family members participated.  Nate learned about the borg children today.
Jacob and I played Memory off and on all day long.  I took this picture after I had scored a few fun matches.
In the end, Jacob creamed us all by big margins.  All day.  Way fun.
Lunch was a family favorite.
The kids all know how to use chopsticks.
Matt and I were both very hungry.
We spent too much time discussing how to safely retrieve the marbles from the soda bottles.
The reason I like this meal so much is that it takes a long time, so we talk while we try not to get burned.
Mel joined us for lunch and helped with dessert.
When it comes to Star Trek, resistance is futile.
One of Dave's personal mandates is to make great Halloween costumes for his kids.  A surprising amount of time has gone into this adorable but deadly turret.  Dave might finish it today.
During a short break in the action this afternoon, I checked on Dave's fish.  They are, of course, fantastic.
Dinner was leftovers from last night.  Melanie likes a little brisket with her pickles.
Some of us enjoyed triple chocolate ice cream for dessert.
After dinner, and actually, for a long time after, many of us listened to Dave regale us with hilarious stories from his youth, always interesting when seen from his perspective and not mine.  I snuck this picture, but I didn't want to disturb the other teenagers listening.  This was a perfect Friday evening.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I Think--I Don't Know

I got up early today.
Taking the train to the airport this morning was a great option, but with a delayed plane, today turned out to be a long day.
Dave had ribs waiting for me.  I was dying and they saved my life.
Nate was delighted that I had come to play.
Julia was pretty happy about seeing me, too.
Jacob loves me, he really does.  But he loved the ribs as much as I did.
Dave told me his latest favorite flavor of Blue Bell is the kind with Butterfinger candy bars in it.  I was forced to agree.  I was then rewarded with a second scoop.
Nate is now so good at my memory tiles that he plays with my handicap, no second match.
This allowed Julia to win a game.  Jacob, btw, had my camera.
The four of us played a rousing, wild and crazy game of memory with all 48 I Spy cards.  Who won, including a stunning cleanup?  Me. Yes, me!
You might be wondering where the other people are who live in this house.  I probably need to remind you that Dave has 3 kids in high school.  That should explain everything.  Maybe I'll see them tomorrow.

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We'...