Saturday, December 21, 2019

Who are You and What Have You Done With My Grandmother?

Dave and Carolyn watched the sunrise with me this morning from the kitchen.  It was stunning.

We worked together to make a delicious breakfast for everyone.

I bought a Dot on Black Friday.  The kids enjoyed asking Alexa to tell a joke while they waited for the meal to begin.

I've tweaked the bagels so they are lighter and crispier.  I'm not sure anyone noticed.

For sure no one complained.

After breakfast. Julia was creative with the perler beads.

Papa Ben was still working on the television connections.

Dave helped.


Sometimes we barely finish with breakfast before we are working on lunch.  Carolyn made the artichoke dip.

While it baked, I played pool with Jacob.  I was so in the zone that Jacob asked where Dewey was.

Nathan knows all the rules.  I'm working on these.

Dave's family brought one suitcase.  The feet made the cut.

Matt joined us for a game.

Dave and Melanie spent some time trying to recover two favorite Christmas decorations which did not survive a recent fall.

I thought Cecil needed a Christmas hat.  Unfortunately, in the process of lifting the hat up, items on the mantle ended up on the floor.  The hat was not worth the loss, in my opinion.

The house has been saved--yay!  The verdict on Santa is not in.

Julia and I worked on burgers for lunch.  A cold day and a hot grill were a nice combination.

The meal was delicious.
All of a sudden, almost everyone ended up at the skating rink.

Big kids helped little kids.  I loved that.

Papa and I stayed home with Melanie, who is not a fan of ice skating.

Melanie won the first round.  And the second.

I won the third.

Melanie actually won one round in one massive play--impressive!

I was personally very happy when Papa won.

Melanie and I played Blink.  I never win against her, but we still have fun.

Melanie gave me a few pointers on shuffling.  She is so good that one of her roommates asked if she'd ever worked in a casino.

Then we played Backs and Fronts Memory.  I was at the back of the class.

I suggested pool.  Mel and I are both very good, but one of our games simply would not end.

We were neck and neck throughout, but victory fell into my lap when Mel scratched.  I'll take it however I can get it!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Matt's Nicer Than Me

I picked up Mel and Matt from campus last night.  This morning Mel practiced the piano.  This was very lovely.  She has a beautiful touch.

By lunch time, Papa had returned from the airport with company for Christmas!  We went straight to our new favorite restaurant.

Will joined us for lunch.  I can't explain the gift from his mother even though I was sitting directly across from him.

Matt ordered fried potatoes as a side.  These came early, three, actually.  Matt shares his food with people who ask.  I was surprised, and I told him I didn't share food.  He said, "I'm nicer than you."  There is clearly no other explanation.

This is my favorite restaurant meal:  K's Katsudon. I can't say enough good about this.

The proprietor took a photo of us.  Please notice Carolyn at the end of the table.  It's the only picture anyone took of her today.

Dave enjoyed the food.  In fact, Ben commented that he'd never seen Dave eat this much, which included all of his meal, half of Ben's and some of Julia's.  I was nonplussed.  No one has ever said anything like that before.

I will confess that there was just a bit of horsing around after our meal.  I love being with these kids.

No matter that everyone was full when we got home, we still broke into the chocolates Sammie and Melissa sent us.

We began settling into the dining room.  Listening to Dave play the guitar is one of our favorite things.  Even Matt and Mel on Thursday night told me how much they were looking forward to this part of our vacation together.

However, there has been a lot of work going on in my home.  Today was the last day I allowed them to work this year.  Drilling.  Sawing.  Too much noise upstairs.  We moved downstairs.

I had the best time.  Jacob beat me at Blink.  Three times.  Way fun.

Some of us played pinball.

Julia knew how to play, but she didn't know how to read the score.  I was able to teach her that.  She beat me twice.

She and I played Blink, too.  I don't usually spend much time in the basement, but we had such a fun time together today.

I played pool with several people.  The only time I won was when my opponent hit the 8 ball into the pocket before it was time.

Magic happened.

Everyone wanted to play with Melanie.  Everyone wanted to sit by Melanie.  It was pretty funny.

This is Jacob trying to beat his score from two summers ago.

Julia and I sneaked up the stairs several times to get various necessary items.  I taught her how to light up the Christmas tree.  She's playing Deck the Halls.  But she's watching the tree.

It lights up when people play the piano, play the guitar, even talk or sing.  Or burp.

Julia introduced me to Ribbon, who tucked herself away into a suitcase.

About 6 pm the workmen told me they were getting ready to leave.  Julia offered to help clean up.

Steven has been in my house for months.  He was in charge of putting the electronics back together, no small feat.  I asked him if the television worked, and he said, and I'm quoting, "Well, it's Schrodinger's Cat."  He could tell by the look on my face that I didn't understand, so he explained the details about a radioactive pellet, a box and a cat.  "The cat is either alive or dead, or both," he said.  "Fine," I replied, "But does the television work?"  At that moment Dave walked into the room and asked if the television worked.  I said, "Well, the cat's either alive or dead, or maybe both."  Dave said, and I'm quoting, "Oh, Schrodinger's Cat."  Hands in the air, I gave up.

I made this cheese ball yesterday, anticipating that we might need something quick and easy for dinner tonight.  Please notice the jalapenos and the bacon.  This is quite tasty.  However, the best part of this meal was being back in the dinning room, chatting, laughing and talking with each other.  We were all pretty tired, which for some reason made for lots of laughing.

The evening ended on a high, with Mel reading an email exchange about her being accepted onto a capstone project where she will be involved with building a Mars rover.  This was a wonderful day, and our two weeks together has just started!

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'...