Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bye-Bye Barbie

We've been playing a little hard this week.  I slept in until 6, but everyone else slept in later so I decided to eat without them.

Of course, Ben came up the stairs at the exact moment the toaster pinged.  He got a banana.

Ben and I are having a lot of fun with the Crossfire game.  You might notice that he has all the balls.  I could still win if Ben didn't reach out his little hand and push his piece back onto the board.  I asked him about it and he said, "It's one of my moves."  Ya.  I have a different word, but it's all good.

I have mentioned sorting and storing.  This box was on its way to the recycle bin when Ben stopped it.  It suddenly became a transporter.

We tried a new restaurant for lunch.  I loved it.  Ben and Corinne were only so-so.

The plan was for the four of us to go to a museum after lunch.  Ben did not want to go, so I said I'd take him home and Papa and Corinne left in his car.  Except Ben decided he wanted to ride in the far back.  There wasn't a car seat back there and I asked him what we should do.  He said I could pull up the jumpseat and move the car seat back.  Whatever works.  And that worked.

We got home only minutes before Mike the fish guy showed up.  (Mike has a code, so this didn't really matter.) He brought some new things for the tank. This coral is quite colorful, but my camera is affected by the LED lights, is my latest guess as to what my problems are.

The rose anemone is actually bright red.  Why my camera can show the clown fish accurately and not the anemone is beyond me.  The clown fish rarely leaves the anemone.  Mike told me the other fish would attack him if he did.  When the rose anemone is feeling good, he's as big as a dinner plate.  Usually he's the size of a child's fist.

Evidence of the times in which we live, Ben found this kazu as I was sorting toys.  He asked me if other kids had used it.  I said, "Of course."  He politely asked me if I would wash it.  Ok.

As I was sorting through a jar that, among other things, holds the lost and then found silver balls for Crossfire, I came across this zipper tab.  I considered tossing it, but then I decided I wouldn't have saved it in the first place if it didn't belong to something important.

About fifteen minutes later while Ben and I were sorting through baby toys to go to DI, I gathered up all the pieces for the favorite veterinarian kit Ben loves so much.  The zipper tab was missing.  I was so pleased to be able to fix this!

Giving up long-held possessions can be incredibly difficult when emotions are involved.  I bought these Barbies for Corinne decades ago.  Fortunately, she's here.  We had a moment together, and then we let them go.  Well, they got as far as the garage.  The DI trip isn't until next week.  Will I change my mind?

Mike dropped about two dozen snails into the tank.  Papa calls me over whenever he finds one.

The sun came out for a little while.  Ben took advantage of this short-lived moment.

The new coral is relaxing.  What I mean by that is that the coral is starting to relax.  I took this picture with my phone hoping the color would be better.  Not much.

I didn't think I would like this particular coral, which was one of the first things in the tank, but I was wrong.  At night he pulls in all the green and the whole thing becomes purple.  In the morning, the green leaks out and waves in the water.

Ben used markers to decorate his transporter.

He needed a seatbelt and asked if I had any ideas.  I remembered seeing a suitcase strap in my velcro box.

Ben spent the next ninety minutes buckled into the transporter, sitting on the couch chatting with Papa about the fish and shrimp and snails in the tank.

Lots to discuss.
Still in the transporter, Ben listened while Papa read about dinosaurs.  And, good-night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Coral Banded Shrimp

Ben had quite a bit of fun with my wooden train this morning   He told me he was driving and I was in the next car eating a snack.  That sounded about right.

The shrimp in the tank hides all day long.  However, early this morning, Ben and I spied him.  My camera caught a bit of his red color.

I am still sorting, sifting and arranging.  While looking for the right plastic container, I found an ancient but unopened Lego kit.  I gave it to Ben.

It took him about 30 minutes, but he followed the instructions and put it together completely by himself. 
Papa took us to a vegan restaurant for lunch.  To be honest, and maybe not very politically correct, I was concerned the food would be boring.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  It was delicious and next time I'll willingly go. 

All of us went to the Bean Museum.  Ben has never showed interest in the magnetic ant hive before, but today we were almost the only ones there and this was very fun.  I was a little embarrassed that I couldn't adequately explain why we couldn't put the magnets close together.  I know about magnetic polarity, but I also know if you can't explain a concept to a child, you don't know it well enough.  I'll study up.  Or at least figure out how to use smaller words.

Papa invited Ben and me for a walk.  First, we fed the birds.

Next, we checked on the koi.

The rocks around the pond are great.

I probably don't need to mention this, but Ben has more energy than anyone else on the planet.

Papa and I walked at a normal, steady pace.  Ben zoomed away, came back, zoomed away again before returning.  He covered at least four times the distance we did.

The afternoon was beautiful, perfect.

Sometimes Ben waited for us, but he waits about as well as I do.

We saw ducks.

Back at the ranch, we played Crossfire.  This is actually a fun game, even if the other person is not playing by the rules.  Well, the fact was, neither of us were.

I baked another loaf of bread this afternoon.  Corinne turned it into avocado toast.

Just before bedtime, the shrimp said goodnight.

Monday, March 9, 2020

In Our Family We Don't Waste Chocolate

I've been sneaking out of the house in the early mornings for my walks.  This morning I didn't need my flashlight.

Ben was delighted to help Papa cook his breakfast.

I took Ben with me on my errand run.  The clerk in the UPS store gave Ben a tootsie roll.  He told her that his cousin Ella likes tootsie rolls, too.

Ben surfed through my neighborhood Walmart.  Honestly, it was hilarious.  Everyone laughed.

Ben is a little obsessed with numbers.  In the car on the way home I gave him some problems.  "What's 2 + 2?"  His response:  "Four million."  I tried again, "What's 3 + 5?"  "Eight billion," he answered.  I tried again.  "Ben, what is 5 + 1?"  He told me it was six trillion.  Ok, I got it.  Normal math is boring.

All of us enjoyed lunch at The Crepery.  My Casanova was more artichokey than usual.  It was gone before I thought to get out my phone.  This is Papa's Mac Daddy.

We shared an Inigo Montoya for dessert.

Ben wasn't sure he could finish his Nutella crepe.  Corinne encouraged him with what should be our motto:  "In our family we don't waste chocolate."

Corinne and I took Ben to my favorite playground.  Some other little boys included him.

Ben had a riot.

Along with milk this morning, I bought play doh.  

The new tank is a lot of fun.  We spied a starfish that had come in with the live rock.  I'm learning how to photograph the tank.  I'm not sure why my camera can focus on the moon but not on a starfish stuck to the back of the tank, but I'll figure this out.

The Wrasse is a colorful fish.  The new mushrooms are beautiful.

This elephant ear mushroom is interesting, too.

Ben needed some help watching a show about spiders.  Papa was there for him.

Everyone was too busy to feed the fish, so I volunteered.  My camera came with me.  Mostly these pictures are for Dave.

I think everyone is adjusting nicely.

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'...