Sunday, February 19, 2017

Father/Goddaughter Dance

In late January, Don was asked if he would be willing to take his goddaughter, Rhea, to a father/daughter dance in Valley Center.  Of course he said yes, but he wanted to make sure that Rhea asked him to go with her.  Don and Rhea's mom created a situation where they would be in the same place, and once Rhea asked him, the game was on.

The night of the dance, Don picked Rhea up at the house.  She is fairly shy, so the drive was quiet.  They waited in line for the corsage, they waited in line for the tickets, they waited in line for the dinner of spaghetti and salad . . . and then they couldn't find a place to sit with her friends.  So she and  Don sat at table where they knew no one.  Don kept asking Rhea to introduce him to her friends, but she was so shy, she wouldn't do it.  About the time she thought she wanted to go home, one of Rhea's neighbors invited Don and her to dance with them.  Well . . . that broke the ice!  After that, they never left the dance floor.  Don taught her how to twirl, and he taught her a few dance steps as well.  By the time the dance was over, Rhea was all smiles, and Don was a sweaty, exhausted 64-year-old.

Don's goal was to make sure Rhea had fun.  And she did.  I would say it was a successful night.

I Want to Remember This One

On Sunday evenings, we always go to dinner with our neighbors.  Tonight it was just the Gaskills and us, so we were home rather early.  Jordy and Nelson were their usual crazy selves, running and jumping like crazy.  After they wound down a bit, Jordy went to his bed.  Nelson, however, stood over by the kitchen, whining at Jordy.  He would whine a bit, then lay down, get up, whine some more, move to the other side of the room, whine more, jump around a bit . . . it was rather funny, but we couldn't figure out what was going on . . . until I noticed Jordy had a cow hoof and Nelson wanted it.  Jordy made it very clear, however, that it was his, and soon Nelson gave up.

A few minutes later, Nelson went to the door and began ringing the bell to go outside.  He is rather persistent, so eventually I went to let him outside.  The minute I opened the door, Jordy jumped up and ran outside.  Nelson, on the other hand, stayed inside, turned around, and grabbed the hoof.  Jordy continued outside, so I closed the door and Nelson had his hoof.  A few minutes later, Nelson rang the bell again . . . but he just wanted Jordy to come in . . . and then he ran to the hoof so Jordy couldn't have it.  It has been quite the adventure this evening, but to see Nelson scheme to get his hoof was rather interesting.  And who says dogs aren't smart?

Friday, February 17, 2017

My Valentine

Since Kenneth's birthday is around Valentine's Day, we went to Kansas City the weekend before to spend it with Kenneth, Melinda and Caleb.  And what fun we had.

We were able to attend Kindermusik with Caleb and Melinda.  It is hard to tell whether Caleb has inherited any musical ability, but he clearly loves music.  He and his parents listen to Pandora, and he knows when Bach comes on, Vivaldi, Chopin . . . and at Christmas he recognized Frank (Sinatra) and Perry Como.

Saturday we went to Union Station to ride the trolley, had lunch at Sasha's, played with toys, and took a walk.  We were able to babysit while Mom and Dad went out for a date, and then we watched SNL. Although I am not normally an SNL fan, it has become can't miss TV.  I wonder who is going to show up this Saturday!

On Sunday, we went to Country Keepsakes for brunch.  After Caleb finished, we went out to look at the steam engine parked behind the tearoom, and then we had to go home.  It was sad to leave our sweet little boy, but we will get to see him on his second birthday in a few weeks.  By then we anticipate he will be fully potty-trained - which is incredible.  "Incredible mean?"

A Crazy 72 Hours

In mid-January, Don and I decided to make a whirlwind trip to Albuquerque.  It was prompted by all things by a Global Access Pass Interview.

Because we are going to Madrid in March, we decided to look into the Global Access Pass, which should allow us to get through customs more quickly.  It will also serve as the TSA PreCheck, so we applied.  Once we were cleared, we had to go have an interview.  We thought we could go to Kansas City, but they did not have any availability until April.  We also could have gone to St. Louis, but that seemed silly.  Dallas was in play and we had applied for a time, but then it occurred to us that we could go to Albuquerque and accomplish several other things.  So we headed the New Mexico way.

Our interview was Thursday morning, and we found it to be an easy process.  They allowed us to start early, and the interview did not take any time at all.  We were out of there earlier than anticipated and were able to head to Pecos.  We met Chris Long, and while he and Don talked about our new cabin addition, high school friend Kathy and I met another high school friend Betsy for her birthday lunch!  She drove over to Pecos from Las Vegas, and after lunch, she and Kathy went back to Las Vegas while Don and I went to Santa Fe to look at materials for the addition.  We then went to Jemez Springs for a two-hour Forest Service meeting.  We returned to Albuquerque by 9:30, and by 7:30 the next morning, we were on our way back to Pecos.

We returned to Frankie's for breakfast with our friend, Claudia, and then we headed to Las Vegas to pick up Kathy.  After spending a few minutes in Las Vegas, Kathy, Don and I headed back to Wichita.  Phew!  What a three days, but we were delighted to be able to do it.  And amazing as it is, we received our Global Access Card within just a few days!

Funny Little Boys (and girls)

There is something about little ones when they first begin to talk that makes people smile.  Each child has their own eccentricities, but unfortunately, I don't remember many of my kids' sayings.  I think I was just so busy, I couldn't take time to enjoy them as much.  But now that I am a grandma . . . well, that is a game changer.

Caleb has been quite verbal from the beginning.  He began singing with me fairly early by completing sentences:  There is a boy I love so much and Caleb is his name-o.  Except he would say, "Cayboo name-o name-o."  That has since become Cayeb, as he tries to pronounce his "l."

The other day, his mother told him he could go to bed, or he could go to the potty first and then go to bed.  "More options?"  he asked.  And then on the potty, he told my friend, Kristen, "More privacy, please."  Hilarious.

He asks for "Gamma sing,"  and when he wants to know a definition, he will say, "Fabulous mean?"  or "Extremely mean?"  And his mom explains it for him.

We didn't take the RV the last time we went to KC, much to his disappointment.  We told him we would bring it next time, and he said, "Pwomise?"

There are many more, but I can't seem to remember them.  I think old age is catching up with me!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ethan Frome

Our book club book for January was Ethan Frome.  Good thing, too, because it was a short, easy, heartbreaking read.  On the surface, it could just be looked at as a sad tragedy - a somewhat Romeo and Juliet that didn't quite turn out the same way.

But I think if it is looked at a little more deeply, Wharton captures the difficulty of being a part of the working poor.  The grasp poverty has on those in its grip is demonstrated well in this book, and despite his best efforts, Ethan does not seem to be able to escape.  He is not lazy - he works hard - but the stars never seem to align for him.

Wharton's writing sets an exquisite scene, making the read enjoyable despite the very sad story.  For someone wanting a quick, "classic," read, this would be the one.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Teddy Bear Toast

Grandpa Norton is not known for his dietary acumen.  But he is known for making fun food and snacks with the kids.  When Kenneth and Diana were little, he would bake blueberry muffins with the kids while I slept in.  They baked them through high school and even into college.  One of the kids favorite traditions.

So when Papa saw Teddy Bear Toast, he decided he needed to make it with Caleb.  After getting permission from Mommy, Papa made himself some TBT for the little guy and showed it to him.  Needless to say it was a great hit!