Saturday, July 31, 2021

Chocolate Shake

Camille was curious about my new cupboards.  I had something that needed to be put away, so up she went.

Then she and I quickly made bagels.

We watched two episodes before breakfast.  Kyle and I are watching the war arc.

My groupies join us as long as the episodes aren't too scary.

A repair two years ago on the front door was sagging.  In preparation for Steve's visit, Ben spent $65 on new screws and tools so they could do a better fix.

Two engineers and Kyle were involved.  I had a lot of confidence, and it paid off.  If the house catches on fire, I'll now be able to open the front door.

Sammie and Bradley showed up after dropping the rest of their family off at the airport.

I asked Sammie if he could identify his nieces.  Ha, no.

Steve talked with Kyle about the shotgun which Sammie was retrieving.  Sammie has learned that the steel used in the 1930s when Ben's father bought the gun is not compatible with modern ammunition.  Sammie wanted the gun anyway and was taking it home.

These kids quickly posed for me before racing downstairs.

Steve cooked Sammie breakfast.

I asked if I could take a picture.  Their responses made me glad that I'm not a young mother of these two yahoos anymore.

In the meantime, Bradley and Kyle played a little pool.

They were laughing and cheering each other on.

Bradley was winning, then Kyle, then they both in turn hit in the cue ball.

The fish in the aquarium are fed at 9:20.  Adele volunteered for this job.

Ben then sat at the table.  These three have been laughing together for a long time.  They were talking about Monty Python so I didn't stay long.

This morning, Jonathan asked Sammie if the person on his shirt was Dewey.  Sammie then claimed complete innocence on how that might have occurred.

As they left, Bradley got shotgun.

Suddenly, the rest of us were off to Cascade Springs.

The day was hot.  I promised the hike was only a mile.  This morning in the heat, it felt much longer.

The water at the springs was very cool.

Our next stop was Granny's.

I am a person who knows what she likes at each restaurant, and that's what I order.  At Granny's, it's a cheeseburger.  It comes with fry sauce.

Lewis ordered a chocolate shake.  He shared, too.

After returning home, we chose to relax and cool down before going to the pool.  Steve found a Beethoven sonata he hadn't played for possibly two decades.  The kids heard someone at the piano and asked me who was playing.  It was pretty cool.  Maybe surreal.

We told the kids that after Kyle and I played two games of pool, we'd go get wet.  Lewis wanted to play, so Kyle set up the balls for him to shoot in.  This was great practice.

Pretty soon, we were at the pool, but I saw the sky and felt bad that we had procrastinated.

I was the only one watching the clouds.

Steve taught the kids how to jump off his shoulders.



Adele took a turn.  This is harder than it looks.


Steve threw Lewis in the air.

Camille got a few turns before it became clear we had to go home.


I am in favor of the plan for the rest of the evening.

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Best Day

I found company in the kitchen when I got home from my walk.

Kids were ready to help with bagels.

Adele was happy to help.  It's been too long.

These girls are pros.

This was Adele's first time to drop the dough into the boiling water.  Camille coached.

I feel a need to point out the time.

Last night on the train, a man gave Kyle and Steve a math problem.  They worked on it while we made the bagels.

I offered Kyle some chocolatea to help his brain.  He accepted.

Lewis joined us at the table.

After breakfast, 3 kids watched the hummingbirds.

The birds were incredibly active, and in fact they drained that entire container of food long before the day ended.

These kids have some favorite toys.  Magnets are one.  The marble games are popular, too.


Kyle and I found time to play pool.


Camille had never played pool before.  She willingly took instruction from Kyle and actually did pretty well.

Of course the pinball machine is nearby.

Papa showed Adele the fun things in the tank.  Its lights are automatic and it was still early.

This rose anemone disappeared more than a month ago.  She turned up last week in a drain.  She's very faded, but it appears she's slowly moving up the rocks closer to the light.  You are wondering if we can move her.  The answer is no, she has a mind of her own.  We can only try to keep her out of trouble.  

Steve joined us in pool.

After awhile it was time for a cookie break.

When I returned to the basement, Lewis was getting a private tutorial.  He likes playing pool, although he gets the name of the game mixed up with "pond."

Adele helped with lunch.  She wasn't sure she was going to like artichoke dip, but that didn't stop her from making it with me.

While it baked, she and Kyle found an old favorite.  The kids played Crossfire off and on all day long, mostly on.

Then it was time for lunch.  Melanie joined us for French Dip.  Kyle taught me the correct pronunciation of Au Jus.  

Adele was a little concerned when she learned Melanie was coming over.  Adele didn't think she remembered Melanie.  Turns out these girls had a great time together.

Melanie also made time to play pool with Kyle.  I loved hearing them laugh together.  To Melanie's dismay, Kyle is taller than she is.

The magnets.  I have to look to see if someone is playing with them because unlike Crossfire, these are quiet.

We needed to take Melanie back to the New Engineering Building.  Melanie was happy to give the kids a tour, which started the very second we got out of the car.

Melanie wanted to show them everything.

This is a Mars rover.

Melanie knew all about the rockets in the lab because she has helped build some of them.

My camera was having a good time.


Melanie explained how to build the rockets.  The kids were very interested.

Melanie is showing them a rocket she built this past spring.

Then it was time for ice cream.

Some of us had brownie nut fudge.

Adele chose Coconut Joy.

We had a great time.

Melanie told some great stories.

The creamery was out of Marionberry, so Ben had raspberry cheesecake.  He chose wisely.

Back at the ranch, there was more Crossfire.  This is a two-person game, but these kids play together on teams.

We watched some Star Trek.

Kyle and I played more pool, and we have changed the rules a little.  For example, a break is not a break unless four numbered balls hit the sides of the table.

It had been too overcast and cool to swim today, but the evening brightened up.

We fed the koi.

Camille found a solid spot for a handstand.

Lewis flew over the rocks.

I'm not sure if Adele was leading or following, but this was fun to watch.

Kyle and I had a big discussion about which episodes to watch.  We ended up with DS9.

Pizza was originally on the docket for dinner but after French Dip and ice cream, there was little interest in that.  We ended up with cereal, which everyone seemed happy about.

I love these groupies.

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'...