Long Distance Grandparenting

Studly and I live in north Florida. Two of our grandchildren live in Texas and three live in Illinois. Needless to say I don’t get to see them often. But thanks to this new-fangled invention called the Internet 😉 we manage to stay close.

This past weekend technology almost made it feel as though I was right in my daughter’s home in Illinois. She and the youngest grandchild, 2 1/2 year-old Harper, called me on FaceTime as they often do just to show off some new song or skill Harper has learned.

During this call I asked Harper about her new “big girl bed.” She got so excited and asked her mom if she could hold the phone. That’s when the adventure began. Harper carried the phone down the hall and into her room. She placed the phone on her pillow exclaiming proudly that Nana was in the big girl bed.

I pretended to be a baby and cried quite convincingly. So Harper told me not to cry and showed me her dolls and stuffed animals: Apple Dumpling, Hello Kitty, and a baby named, appropriately, “Baby.”

Harper read me a story about a puppy named Biscuit. When I asked to see the pictures she’d lay the book on top of the phone. We played and talked in this manner for at least half an hour, then Harper covered me up with her blanket and left the room.

A few minutes later her mom came in and found the phone. Apparently I was supposed to be sleeping.

Now to those of you who are fortunate enough to be able to hug and kiss your grandchildren every day this might seem kind of silly. I’d give anything for even 10 minutes of in-person time with my grands, but this interaction was incredibly sweet. Harper didn’t seem at all bothered that Nana was in the phone.

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Peace, People!

I Finally Saw “Saw”

For years I’ve heard about the “Saw” movies, but I’ve always avoided them on principle. How I wish I’d stuck to said principle. Holy crap! What sick, twisted mind came up with this stuff?

Just in case you haven’t watched them (don’t!), they all seem to feature this deranged clown character who sets up problems to be solved by ordinary people who face certain death if they are unable to solve said problems. Oh, and the deaths aren’t quick, merciful ones. They’re bloody, tortuous, scream generating affairs involving self-mutilations.

In one of the “Saw” vignettes I just saw, er, watched, a man was attempting to free his wife from being burned alive by placing hooks in his pectoral muscles and pulling himself to the top of the room in order to unite two electrical connections thus freeing his wife. Now, I love Studly, but there’s no way I am puncturing my pectorals to save him, nor would I expect him to do that for me. Oh, and the hooks tore through the man’s muscles, so it was all for naught anyway.

I didn’t intend to see “Saw,” but it seems that once seen, “Saw” cannot be unseen. Unspeakable. I say, don’t see “Saw.”

Happy nightmares.

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You can’t find what you can’t see

Ok, this is what I went through this morning. I got up extra early to go over the intervention lessons that I offered to teach for a friend today. Showered, dressed, ate breakfast, readied the house for the housekeeper, and then practiced the lessons. All was well. Then I realized I didn’t have my glasses on. Not only that, but they weren’t in any of the usual places. I checked and rechecked but it’s hard to find one’s glasses when one has lost one’s glasses.

I was quickly running out of time, so thinking quickly (stop laughing!) I grabbed my prescription sunglasses out of my motorcycle ditty bag. At least I could drive legally. Now, I had to decide if I had time to stop for my morning caffeine fix. The answer was a resounding “of course, you fool” so I ran into a convenience store, grabbed a cup, and promptly sprayed myself with Diet Coke. A little adjustment of the nozzle actually put some soda in my cup, but now I’m a mess. No time to go go home, so I mopped up with wet paper towels, paid for my soda, and hurried on my way.

The front parking lot at the school was completely full, so I parked far away in what I lovingly call the “back forty.” From here, it’s quite a hike to the office, but I was still at least 15 minutes early when I got to our little classroom. But the door which is never locked was locked. So I went in search of a key. That was fairly easy and only cost a couple of minutes, but I couldn’t get it to turn in the lock. Finally a nice teacher came by and used her key on the door. Great! I found a student to return the key I’d borrowed and went about setting up materials for the lessons with five minutes to spare. Whew! Wrong!

Just as I headed out the door to pick up my four students the custodian came by and said he needed to move me to another room. Since I’m a guest at the school I said, “Sure!” much more pleasantly than I felt.

Of course this new classroom was almost out where my car is parked. Quickly I got all my stuff arranged and went to pick up the kids. The intervention lessons proceeded smoothly in spite of it all, and even though we started late we managed to end right on time. Then I figured I had time to run home, change clothes, and look for my glasses.

The housekeeper (the most wonderful woman in the history of the world, next to my mom and my mother-in-law) had just arrived and she and I scoured the house from top to bottom. No glasses. I decided that the cats must have knocked them off the back of the dresser, but I’d have to wait until my hubby, Studly Doright, came home to move it for me.

I decided to grab a bottle of water out of the fridge before I left the house and wow. There were my glasses sitting next to a gallon of 2% milk. Now I know I’m getting old and forgetful, but how in the world did that happen? Never mind that, I needed to go to my next school.

Giving Rosa a hug I ran to the car and headed to my next school. It was only when I sat down that I realized I was still wearing my Diet Coke stained shirt. Have Mercy! Life is good and today is Friday.

Hope this made my readers feel super smart today!

Peace, People!

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Looking Ahead

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s a little depressing to know that I’ll be cooking a full-blown Thanksgiving dinner for just Studly and me. I know, we could open our doors to others, but Studly isn’t into that sort of thing. He just wants family around on holidays. So, I’ll cook a small turkey and make my mom’s recipe for cornbread dressing. We’ll have cranberry sauce, green bean casserole (ugh!), and some kind of fruit salad. It’s nothing fancy, but tradition (Studly) demands it, and he doesn’t demand much.

My brain is already looking ahead to Christmas. For the first time in many years our family will be together for Christmas. I can’t even tell you how much this means to me and how very excited I am! I could use multiple exclamation marks and they still wouldn’t convey my excitement. Our son and his family live in Texas, our daughter and her family are in Illinois. Studly and I live in Florida. My heart longs for us to be together, and on December 24, 2014, that will happen.

We are renting a home in Nashville, Tennessee, a location fairly equidistant to all of us, give or take a couple of hours. We’ve booked a trip to the Grand Ole Opry on the 26th and a trip to a place where we’ll be locked together in a room and have to solve a mystery as a team in order to escape on the 27th (http://nashvilleescapegame.com).

But I just want to see my grand babies playing silly games together. I want to see their eyes light up when Santa visits. I want to help them leave treats for Santa’s reindeer on the lawn in front of our house. This photo was taken the last time we were all together in one spot.

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Harper, the baby, is two now, so it’s about time we got together as a family again.

These are the kids I can’t sit to hug:

The Illinois bunch

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And the Texas two.

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Peace (and LOVE), People!

St. George Island Musings

Almost a year ago, my mother-in-law and I took a drive down to St. George Island, off the coast of Florida in the northern Gulf of Mexico. It was a grey, wintry day and the Gulf roiled with barely leashed energy.

We watched this gentleman, a Brit from his accent, set out on the waters in a kayak. He told us he was going to paddle around the small island. It took him awhile to get underway, but once the waves took him we quickly lost sight of his small craft.IMG_1354-0.JPG

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I’ve often wondered how he fared on his solitary journey around the island. Did he encounter any dolphins? Did his craft serve him well? For how long was he out in the waves off of St. George Island? I guess I’ll never know.

Peace, People.

The ‘Hood

I took the iPad for a walk around my neighborhood today and wanted to share some of my pictures.

These leaves are from one of several magnolia trees. There aren’t any flowers right now, but I like the leaves. They’re dark and waxy and large enough to house a fairy family.

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I’m no flora expert, but I believe this is a hibiscus or a camellia or a peony. Anyway, it’s a flower of some type.

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These photos are of the woods directly behind our home. I honestly never thought I’d live in a forest, yet here I am.

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Above is a glimpse of our lake. We have gators, so I don’t advise swimming there, but it’s great for kayaking and paddle boating.

And here’s the road winding to the outside world.

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Thanks for visiting my little piece of Florida.

Peace, People!

November 11, 2014

This might be my favorite one ever!

White Outs

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If the baby was named Ducati he could go by Duke.

Some friends asked me to create a witty drawing for a wedding gift involving couples, motorcycles, and religion. This is what I came up with. (Although their version has the man asking “God” for a sign rather than the “universe”.) If you want comics created for you on a certain topic I can do that. But it will cost you. 🙂

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Fair in Tallahassee

Study and I visited the North Florida Fair on Saturday night. As fairs go, I’ve seen much better, but the food from local vendors was terrific. A beautiful family cooked the most delicious grilled shrimp just for me.

The highlight of the evening was the carousel. I’d never seen a double decker carousel before!

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The Ferris Wheel looked spectacular lit up against the November sky.

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Studly ate all of his favorite fair foods: chicken kabobs, corn dogs, and funnel cake. Amazingly he still manages to keep his churlish figure. 😍😉

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Perfect night. G,night all!

Peace, People!

Little Odds and Ends

I’m between assignments at my schools. Pretesting has ended and my portion of the intervention won’t begin for another two weeks. My life went from 90 mph to a slow crawl in the span of a weekend.

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So now I’m left to ponder all of the little things that have been neglected during these past few fast and furious weeks. Such as, how did that spider manage to spin a web across three-fourths of my living room undetected? And how is it that a tub of yogurt in my fridge soared past it’s expiration date without ever having been opened?

Obviously I’m not a multitasker. Honestly, I’m not even much of a monotasker. Once work picks up again I’ll be focused solely on getting the job done to the exclusion of everything else in my life, but for now I’m a slug.

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Peace, People!