Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pumpkins in the Graveyard

Kyle ate a quick breakfast before leaving with friends for the Hartford Connecticut Temple.

I, on the other hand, was not in a hurry and had plenty of time to savor Steve's pancakes.  I don't know what your recipe is, but I do know it's not as good as Steve's.  No one's is.

After breakfast, we hopped in the car and headed for a tramp place.  To our dismay, Camille was too old to jump for the first 30 minutes.  Fortunately, I know how to make Amazon compensate for a few of life's little disappointments.

In the meantime, Adele and Lewis had a wonderful time.

Adele is quite the jumper.

In no time, Camille joined them.

Cartwheels are more fun on the trampoline than on a living room floor.

After a delicious lunch, some of us got out the beads.

I don't think Steve has ever joined us before.

He's a natural.

Then, it was time for swimming.  On our way, the sun came out for the first time since we arrived.

Sometimes the old tricks are still way fun.

Camille taught Lewis a new trick.

Adele worked on swimming, with Dad's help.

Then, we were off to the home of Janet's parents, Andy and Nancy.  They have traditions around Halloween, but they were out of town, so today was the day.  This worked for me.  First, we all carved Jack o'lantern from pumpkins which Nancy had grown.

I haven't done this for a long time.  Ben dunked his phone inside with the torch app on.

Many of Janet's relatives were there, too many for me to count on my fingers.  We always have a lot of fun in this home.

Camille loves all the traditions. These are ghost potatoes on top of beef stew.  The meat came from steers Andy raised.

For the record, Adele doesn't like too much instruction.

This was delicious!

Our dinner companions were three of our own grandchildren.  Lewis enjoyed the meal and chatted with us the whole time.  A child at another table made some repetitive noises that reminded the adults of a Beach Boys song.  This is where I learned about the Minion's version.  Maybe you had to be there, but it was a pretty funny moment, and Lewis engaged.  Completely and totally, in fact.

I saw brownies, but the girls would not let me sneak one.  I pouted.  No, they said.  I had to wait. This is another tradition.

The brownies happen to be the base of a wintery graveyard.  Camille is labeling the tombstones.

Lewis, well, there are no words.  He was beyond excited.

He knew he had a job to do.  A passing adult (not me!) asked if there were actually pumpkins in graveyards.  Her question was ignored.

Lewis very carefully placed each pumpkin.  However, when he did that, Cool Whip stuck to his fingers.  Every time.

Lewis had a practical solution.

Two grandmas watched and smiled with no interference on either of our parts.

Kyle arrived, just a little late.  He did not want to miss out on any of these traditions!

You are wondering if the day could get any better.  Yes, it could.  I have known Andy for 15 years.  Tonight I learned we share these two Puritans as common ancestors.  Ok, eight generations back was easy to miss.  It was the Collins middle name of Andy's great-grandfather that caught my attention.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Empire State

No trip to the grocery store with Lewis is mundane.  He has his favorite routines, including a complimentary sugar cookie and a chat with the lobsters.

Our next stop was the library.  Based on my first impression, I was expecting a quaint place.

Nope.  This library had digital books for Lewis to read, including one of my most very favorite books ever.  For the record, Lewis knew exactly what to do.

We all met up at Neon Sushi.  We have some favorite routines there, also.

Papa and Steve always order exotic sushi rolls.

Kyle and Mom were adventurous.  Not so much me.

I know what I like.

After lunch, some of us visited the Empire State Aerosciences Museum.  Folks, I have a new favorite place.

I could have spent all day long here.  Camille was quite knowledgeable, too.  She taught me a few details about December 7, 1941, that I didn't know.

Kyle and I studied the planes.  And there were lots.

Steve and I had a long discussion about this plane.  After some pointing and explaining, I finally grasped that the front of this plane is facing right in this photograph.  Look closely, and you'll see the propellor in the back.

I wanted to read every single caption, look at every single exhibit.

For many reasons, I loved this place.

After arriving home, I spied this wind chime Camille had made.

The mail had arrived.  Kyle tried to act surprised, but he and I both knew what this belated birthday gift was.

We had actually checked out a pass for the museum at the library.  We also checked out this game.  Camille challenged me to several rounds.  Fortunately, it's a collaborative game, so the fun is in playing together.  And twice, losing together.

Adele and I had just enough time to get this puzzle together.

And then we were off -- to the pool!

The week has been rainy and wet, but somehow being in a pool is completely different.

Kyle can stand on his head.

So can Camille.

We got home just in time for dinner.

Janet had made a delicious family recipe.  This soup had lots of ingredients, but the beets were my favorite.

Papa regaled us all with his infamous beet story, but not before telling us how he acquired the scar on his forehead.  Everyone paid very close attention.  I was surprised kids laughed, because it's not a funny story.  But then I found myself laughing, too.

Fortunately, I was able to help illustrate.

Surprise in Front of My Eyes

Steve has been cooking my eggs this week.  I thought I'd better take a quick picture to mark the occasion, since this was our last mea...