Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Stone - wall

Some things become a ramble. We can all pray this one does not for this has been one busy week. Do it by the numbers - whatever I forget will be in next blug - which, may, is actually he first one you would read before this unless you read this one first...but, wait, I ramble.

1. To build our house, over 100 truckloads of dirt was brought in. Our lot is a slope. Little did I know how much a slope. Little did I know how much dirt would be needed. The Back of the house had to be leveled about 9-10 feet or more to be equal with the front, which, naturally, they raised anyway. Builders seem to like raising house off the ground.
2. So the back of the house has a slope wilder than the original. As you may know, if a house is on a hill, it could slide into the lake. Thus, we built a retaining wall. In July, 09, my chillun helped me lay the brick. We spent a long time, a llllooooonnnnnnggggg hot time moving these bricks and laying them. Once the brick is laid there is a void behind the wall that must have rock and dirt poured.
My wife figured (correctly I might add) that I was too old to move that much dirt and rock by wheelbarrow. I was willing to try. It was not to be. In January, I contacted the guy who brought dirt for my house. He talked good on the phone; but, never showed. Last February we contracted with this nice young couple to do the work with a machine. They were so nice. Months later, it became apparent they would not do the job. They had contracted to do the landscape, site prep for Corsicana's new picture movie house. And, then, it began to rain. The first of May - after I re-called them - it was decided I should move on. They gave me a name and they called him. That guy never called me. I called him; wasn't home. Never called me back. I contacted a guy on the west side of Corsicana who said his son would call me. Never happened. Didja think it would. Don't be naive.
Finally, I went back to the phone book. This guy came over. We sat on the back porch; it was the middle of May. The man's mom (he is 50 or 60 or so) was the elementary music teacher in Itasca for years. He was once on the school board of our local school, Mildred. Everything was fine. He gave us a price and said, "We will do it in 3 days, middle of June."
Well, of course not. I suppose I called every week from Mid-June and was led on each time. It reminds me a bit of Charlie Brown kicking the football. The day finally came that I called and said that our relationship was over. They were here within in a week - well that's not quite the truth. They had dirt delived on a Monday (dirt guy showed on Tuesday) - and Thursday. Workers came here a couple days later at 4 in the afternoon.
All of this whining. The wall was finished today - it was done correctly - gorgeous dirt - went ahead and had them put a drain line in to carry water from the front of the house to the lake. I am so glad it is over.
That exhausted me to write. Guess I will save the other stones for later: like 2 septic system leaks - Heidi ate fishing hook - cutting neighbor's phone like accidentally while running line - went to Austin & worked for a couple days in the UT Stadium - my license plate cover - light for the motorhome - gasket for boat motor - Heidi and lunch ---- oh, it goes on and on.
Later guys,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grammy Camp last

Grammy Camp is over - my oldest daughter Christine drove off at 8 this morning with the 3 G-Dots in town and her own 3 dogs. Just heard from her - arrived in Lubbock with minimal problems (including nobody cried on the way there). Yesterday's highlights included a trip to the play type park in Corsicana...it is nice ... even has a firetruck ..... then we met at Sirloin Stockade (like a Golden Corral) for lunch - kids eat free on Tuesdays.

The dirt guys finally showed yesterday about 3 to work on our wall. They had first scheduled us about mid-June. Frankly, the problem, our project is not big enough. Summer is the season for them to make all their money - we weren't important enough.

The guy we are working with goes into Dallas Baylor hospital with 95% blockage in his neck - the blood thing I can't spell. All sorts of things go through my mind - like, if he dies on the operatin table - we won't get this wall finished till next July. But, that is a tad bit in bad taste to say.

The dogs cannot go outside until these guys are through - they had to remove a section of the fence. Luckily we still have the Dog Pit for bathroom breaks.

enough for now - later, mtz

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stone from July, 2009

Old Thursday Stone from July, 2009:

1. background: I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport. It is slightly smaller than a 4 door Explorer and is a bit light in the loafers, that is, this is not a heavy car; it doesn't have 4 wheel drive. It is perfect to pull behind our motorhome. 8 years old and 67K miles on it. but, it is not heavy....or strong....

2. I have this pontoon boat. When the water level in our lake started down last summer (2008), we pulled the boat out of the water. That was sometime in late August, I believe. We have not been in the water since that time - lake level is low.

3. With son Roger and family here and the Dock finished, we oil and greased up da boat. We attached the boat trailer to our little white car.

4. Our housing development area has a boat launch area, concreted.

5. Off we went to put the boat in the water. Rog & I backed the trailer into the water; Roger aboard the boat to drive it up to the house; me in the car. When the car's back tires hit the water's edge, I had only 12 inches of concrete slab left before falling into the mud with the car.

6. The lake is down about 4 to 5 feet. The trailer was in the water but the boat was not immersed at all. Obviously this wasn't working. I put the car in forward & applied the gas. The wheels sat and spinned - I thought I felt a little sliding towards the water. I am in trouble. I put down the car windows and unlocked the doors just in case I needed to swim out. Roger climbed off the boat through the car's back window & tried to push on the car for better traction. Nothing worked.

7. I called the wife. She hurried with the Marauder. I took a yellow rope and tied the two together. Yellow is a distress color, isn't it? Roger climbed in the black car & I in the little white car. He applied gas as I did the same. Slowly, ever so slowly, we started moving up the ramp, trailer and boat following suit. We made it up and out of the water. The boat wheels were covered in sticky mud.
Roger commented that, when told to barely apply gas in order to minimize slipping tires and both cars slipping slowly into the lake (backwards), the Marauder doesn't do anything slowly - it is either stopped or racing to the moon. But it worked.
A neighbor came over and pointed us towards a lake ramp (free & not covered in mud). We drove over there, my wife and the Marauder following dutifully. The other ramp was less steep and was much longer. So the boat is in the water waiting for passengers.
I was glad Roger & family decided to stay a couple of days. He installed two ceiling fans on the back porch. him a good boy.
His wife Penney helped the wife this morning scrub down the boat - 9 months of gunk collecting under a boat cover. her'm a good girl too. Mtz

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sat Grammy Camp

Another couple of days at Grammy Camp. Saturday is closing; another day on the back porch will start in a few short hours. We had thought about taking the girls out to Garage Sales locally, but the heat nixed that adventure. Laura & Tom are still here tonight but plan to leave tomorrow for home. Daughter Christine and her 3 dogs will be here sometime tomorrow to become Asst. Grammy. She will stay till about Wed. then drive the girls (and her 3 dogs) back to Lubbock. Thursday will be so quiet around here, it'll be like a morgue.

Took a few notes of today's activities. Fishing has been terrible. The temperatures are soaring and the fish are hiding. The water temp on the surface is in the 90s. Bought some minnows to try; didn't help. Laura let the G-kids touch the minnows this afternoon - learning experience for all. I'm sure the minnows weren't too happy about it all either.

Loaded the kids up late morning - drove to town to eat at CiCi(s) pizza...cheapest in town. That went rather well and the people behind the counter even yelled the "come back" to us as we left. Immaterial that CiCis yells it to everyone leaving. They could elect to forget, but didn't.

We visited the Corsicana Petroleum Park, which is the location of the first oil well west of the Mississippi. The kids seemed interested in the well. The park has a two hole-er wooden jail from the oil boom days. We climbed all over that and decided that staying out of jail is good. Our next stop was the chocolate factory.

Corsicana is home to Russell Stover and Whitman's Candy Factory and factory store - reduced prices....and aging products. We found plenty of chocolate to own. I was getting a dark chocolate bunny for my wife, & she made me put it back.
Home again, home again. Most of the afternoon was 2 girls on computer games and 3rd playing various games with her Aunt Laura & Uncle Tom. I read the newspaper and played with the dogs. Had hot dogs for supper. 2 out of 3 girls went for cheese sandwiches and chips instead. I didn't think anyone ever skipped out on a hot dog.

Dog Sidebar: Last fall I found the cutest dog toy. It was a rubber duck - looked a lot like a rubber chicken; however, it squawked like a duck. The best thing was it was a duck decorated like a pirate and was red/black. Being a Texas Tech person, and the Tech football coach loved pirates - and Tech is red/black - this was sooooo great. I had a Tech red and black rubber duck that squawked and looked like a pirate. When Tech's coach was fired - it took a little of the fun out of the duck. The dogs didn't mind. They love this rubber duck & it still works, sorta.

One of my year old pups, Bruno, has a strong voice. He gets bothered by stuff and barks. It can be a car driving by, a boat driving by, someone shuffling feet, a book dropped, a door closing, or a sound in the dark that only can be heard by a dog -- tonight the kids were a bit active after watching Shrek 3 and bruno started with a low growl then barked a lot. I finally held him; his ears were down and back; his tail was tucked between his legs. He was not happy with this noise. I put him in bed and completely covered him with a blanket and he settled. That dog is becoming an old man faster than his scheduled time.

I get emails from a friend, band director Bailey....he has started telling a few short stones about the starting of marching season. It has brought back many a memory of the first days of August. In some ways I am happy to be retired and gone from the hot days and long band trips - but I miss it too. I wish there were a way to do all that stuff when I feel like it & skip it on days I'd rather stay home. Don't suggest being a substitute -- as my wife has always said: being a substitute is like traveling 3rd class in Bulgaria.

One last Grd-Dot stone from Grammy Camp. The youngest is 5. In our bathrooms we have Febreze Spray restomg on the back of each toilet - to be used if necessary. Last fall when the kids were here, I finally hid the spray. Our bathrooms were reeking of aroma; an aromatic cloud floated in each room. Now that she is a bit older, the spray can has stayed out. Only sometimes does the sweet smell of success roam the house....if you get my drift.
More later, Mtz

Friday, August 6, 2010

Anniversary Time

Today is August 5th, a Thursday...I started this on the 5th. It has stretched into the 6th.

On this date in 1962 we were all shocked to learn that Marilyn Monroe had committed suicide. It was something unbelievable. Over the years, many have made theories about her death being a murder ( see John F. Kennedy ) Vs. Suicide. It was all over the news.

I come down on the suicide side of this argument. Lemme tell you why.

On August 5, 1962, my lovely bride Brenda Joy Cooper and I tied the knot in the chapel of the First Baptist Church in Levelland. The preacher from the First Methodist Church did the preaching and tying. It was a lively, lovely time for all.

Before I continue with this "Old Man Remembering" stone, I return to Marilyn Monroe. I figure suicide because she learned I was getting married. That is my story all these years, and I plan to carry it with me to my grave.

Our wedding was not like these fancy dancy weddings we see today. No big band, no tuxes, no champagne (remember Baptist church?), no trip to the Bahamas. It was a nice wedding with several of our closest friends. I am embarrassed to say that I cannot remember who else was in the wedding. Brother Jim was the best man. Backups were Jerry Pickens and Jim Sudduth. Jeff Ingram did something - I think Coy Cook was involved - can't remember if brothers Marshall and Pat were in the wedding part - surely they were...Girl will remember.

BJ, as my father called her -- Brenda ( or Girl ) to me -- and Brenda Joy to everyone else in the entire town of Levelland - she can explain that name later if she wishes... I cannot remember any of her bridesmaids - maybe if I think for a while.

There were only a few things that I actually remember about that day 48 years ago. I do believe my brain went out for lunch for part of that time and date. (1) the night before the wedding, I was cleaning my new electric shaver and dropped it - parts went everywhere and I was teased unmercilessly by brother relatives. (2) gifts for the best men and helpers was a ceramic kangaroo that you put on your dresser to hold your coins and keys overnight. I never got one for myself, but would have loved to have one ( even today I long for one ).

(3) remember having to have a conference with the preacher - y'know, joint confer with the future bride. We sat in his office as he rambled about marriage and associated subjects. I remember one particular phrase - don't know why it stuck with me all these years. He said, "Remember, both of you stink when you go to the bathroom." How Wude!! I don't believe she or I mentioned that conference ever again. (4) When Brother Pat was a little kid he stayed with a lady who lived across the street from the Baptist church. She was a nice lady and Pat seems to have been okay....well, that has nothing to do with the wedding, except the lady who lived there let Brenda use the place to get dressed for the wedding. All the appropriate females gathered at the house & moved across the dusty main street in time for the music. They hid me in a back room.

(5) The wedding was just fine. Neither of us messed up to speak of. I am not sure that I liked all of that attention at the time. At the end of the ceremony we did the traditional kissysuckface thing. It was the first time we had demonstrated this in front of anyone. That was hard to do. (6) when we went to the courthouse to get our marriage license a couple days before the wedding, the clerk told us we had a 3 day waiting period. It was Friday. We were in trouble - actually not. We were both over 21 and the waiting period was for underage people. We looked so young, she just thought.....

(7) In those days, I suppose now too, after the wedding reception, one changed into traveling clothes. Being in Levelland, we were not going to hang around there very long. When Bren was buying her traveling dress, the clerk said it was a very good dress, and she could wear it all through high school. If I remember it was a tan dress with some type of white stripes. (8) she had a beautiful wedding dress - sorta puffy at the bottom with little puffy type sleeves, I believe. I only got to see it once. The dress is in a box in our garage. Recently heard of a grandmother that took her wedding dress and made special things for her grandkid's weddings out of it - like ring bearer pillows and the like.... (9) Our cake was nice. We did the "bit" of trying to mess a little cake on the other's face. Not much else. Did not have a groom's cake. I want one on our 50th. Sugar free of course.

(8) after the gig, we drove away in my brothers Ford convertible. Someone tied cans to the back. The car had been protected and nothing was written on it. I drove off, turned the corner, drove one block and took the cans off. Did I mention I wore a brown suit which Marshall helped me select. I wore that suit forever and still have the coat somewhere, moth holes and all. As we drove out of town, we stopped at the Chat and Chew Drive-In for a coke before driving north towards Clovis. (9) We spent the night in Clovis after having a steak dinner at some joint down that street. The wedding trip was to the Grand Canyon. We had no reservations or plans. Just took off and went. There were no vacancies when we arrived at the G.C. We whined and were able to make one for the next night. We left the park, driving south as we looked for a motel. It seemed like a long drive. The night was pitch black out there; the stars were bright; it was hot in Arizona; the top was up on the Ford; the inside of the top was very black and when you looked up you got the idea that no stars were out. (10) Honeymoons are one of the best traditions we have.

(11) My parents had a trailer house in the backyard in Levelland. We lived in that place till school started. My father got me a job working on a oil field crew. I learned so much - like: dig a hole to fill up that other hole. There was a guy on the crew who told me that he married a Spanish gal. The girl didn't know how to cook anything. He taught her how to make meatloaf right after they married. She was still cooking meatloaf everyday. About one week after the oil field job started, Littlefield high school called and I was hired as their very first asst. director. I was not prepared for that school at all.

(12) We both went back to Tech that fall. She finished her teaching certificate and I completed my Masters. Everyday, I drove to Littlefield and made it back to Tech for marching band at 1 p.m. We lived in a small duplex in a strange part of town. Rent was $50 a month, bills paid. Them were the days.
Old Man remembering ends Other thoughts will wait cause I need to go to bed. Mtz

Thursday, August 5, 2010

grammy camp cont. 5

I do so hope you ( ooo ooo 4 words in a row using the letter "O" - if'n I could speak Spanish, I might have written, " Yo Do So Hope You..." - thus have five words, or if'n I were of Biblical times "I do so hope thou...." but I degress. I do so hope this edition does not become too involved for thou-s to follow. It has been an interesting 2 days at camp and living off the backporch.

Yesterday: Camp was nothing special. The sack present/game for the day was called Monster-ology .. which Laura (LJ) took them through. Have they played it again since then? Nope. Bought it at Atwoods Store for $13.

Today's sack was a finger painting kit. They were through with that in less than fifteen. I don't think any have finished their flip=flop=fun from Tuesday. Nobody asked, but I will tell anyway. I hate Disney TV with all those stupid shows of pretend high school kids having issues. School is not like that & I believe little kids thrive on that junk.

Two loads of washed rock and one of back fill soil have been delivered in 2 days. Work on the wall awaits. It really is an issue. The homeowners have a rule of 40,000 lbs per delivery, and rock must come before 11 a.m. He showed yesterday at 10:50. Our roads are sick in this development. Too much weight will make the roads really bad - no, wait, they already are really bad. Try WORSER. When someone brings a load of rock, how do you really know how much you are getting? 6 yards, 7 yards, 10 yards, a dollar. You are at their mercy.

The Marauder went into the shop and is still there. As of 6 p.m. yesterday, the problem was not identified. I called at 6 today with the same results. But, good news, the cylinders have great compression. Tomorrow Maybe.

Laura has been fishing. I have gone down a few times and helped. We threw out a line with 5 hooks tied to the dock. Later I went down and rebaited same. If you have read previous blogs, you know that Heidi and Sue (black labs) live next door and roam the neighborhood at will - this includes the dock. I took my 5 hooks and put on bait. Heidi was asleep over there. I stepped away from the hooks to get a knife. When I moved 5 ft from the line, Heidi jumped up and ate one of the hooks.....I didn't see her do it, but I heard a noise.

I moved as fast as I could and got her away from the other bait. She had chewed through the line and swallowed a treble hook with bait in one gulp. i didn't see it happen, but I just knew she had had a feast. I loved her and called her mom, our neighbor Lelanie. Long story short. They operated on Heidi this afternoon. She is 9 yrs old. It was not considered to be a safe operation. The X-ray showed the hook, bait still attached in the stomach. Ethically, what is my financial responsibility in this?

Aside note: Several months ago, I was working in the garage and Heidi came in with a piece of string hanging from her mouth. There was foaming. I pried the mouth open to see a large fish hook embedded in her tongue. I called Lelanie. That operation cost them over $200. Heidi is such a sweet dog. This just tears me up.

A few weeks ago, I bought squares of St. Augustine grass. I water them often. Today I decided to do it again. On this lake you can pay a $100 and pump all the water out of the lake that you might want. I paid; I pump. Other than the cost of electricity, that is free water.
I started pumping and squirting. Down below the fence, I rounded a tree and water was bubbling up from the ground. This means the septic system has a break in it. It must be dug up and fixed....soon.
Called the septic system. No return call yet. This is not a bad thing - expensive perhaps, but not bad. With the aerobic system, the water is suppose to be clean when it hits the field. While it may seem yucky, it is not a health hazzard unless Heidi's mom doesn't like sewer water floating nearby.

I am tired of this blog. Wait till you read the next one.

Drummer Jokes

What good is doing a blog if you can't throw in a funny story once in a while?

These are two funny stories, particulary funny if you've ever spent any time around drummers. I realize some of you have not had this luxury, but maybe you'll appreciate the 2 stories anyway.

I got the first story from a musician and band director friend of mine, Bill Woods, retired band director living in Abilene. It was sent to him from a musician friend of his who lives in Louisville, John Bizianes.

John prefaced the next story by telling a true experience. He was once using a local drummer, Hank Glass, and they were getting ready to play a gig. The other musicians from the band weren't perfectly set up yet, but it was time for the downbeat. So Hank started playing, drums only. Someone from the audience approached him and asked if he could play "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" -- to which he replied: "That's what I'm playing."

Here's the 2nd story, mostly for drummers . . .

A jazz trio was playing a gig at an upscale nightclub. They played a classic bebop tune at a fleet tempo with grace and ease. Then came a Wayne Shorter composition filled with mysterious harmonies, poignant melodies and daring improvisations. Next, they presented a medley of lesser known Harold Arlen songs that only a connoisseur would recognize, again played with elegant styling and exquisite taste. The whole evening had been one dazzling performance after another.

Though the trio was playing background music for the club and not a formal concert, the audience could sense that the musical display they were witnessing was of such a high caliber that the musicians should be allowed to perform as they pleased without interference.

Then a well-dressed middle-aged man approached the bandstand and asked the pianist "Can you play Laura's Theme from Dr. Zhivago?"

The pianist told the guy that they were jazz musicians and they usually didn't take requests of that sort.

The man reached into his coat pocket and pulled out three one hundred dollar bills which he laid out on the piano. The pianist looked at the bass player, then the drummer, and said, "Lara's Theme in G." They played the tune in the fashion of the original version, the pianist emulating the Balalaika textures with a delicate upper register tremolo. The song obviously did not present the same level of difficulty with which the trio was accustomed to dealing.

As the pianist played, he absent-mindedly gazed down at the soundboard of his Steinway B ebony, and thought about the grain in the wood. "How would the tonal characteristics be altered if the grain of the soundboard ran perpendicular to the strings rather than parallel"? He was also an old piano salesguy, so that's what he was asking himself.

The bass player amused himself with an assortment of well-placed double-stops and harmonics. He daydreamed, as he looked at the top of his mid-nineteenth century double bass made by French master, Paul Claudot, and wondered "How many times has the top been varnished; how did the varnish of past years differ from today's; how would the resonance properties be affected if there were no varnish at all?"

The drummer gazed down onto the single ply, medium weight plastic head of his 1950's vintage black oyster pearl snare drum and thought to himself

"One, two, three, One, two, three, One, two, three..."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Grammy Camp, day 4

The day was not too eventful.

We have this gimmick for trying to make Grammy Camp days a bit better and different. After breakfast all 3 kids sit on the couch, & we give them one sack. Each day a different G-child gets to open the sack. The day of the week is written on the sack for clarity. Inside the sack is a "special" project or thing for that day.

Today was "Flip Flop Fun." Their Aunt Laura had found crafty flip flops at a store. They came with a printed design and marking pens to color the shoes....flip/flops. Around the kitchen table we went. Each colored her own flip flop - then, it needed to dry. Have I ever mentioned that the first flip flops in the world that I saw - were back in 1965 or 1966 (I believe that is the date - may have missed it a few years)? My mom had some that she found in California, saying that all California people were wearing them. In CA. they were known as "Go Alongs." Later as time went by, the name changed to "Thongs." I figured out in my last year of teaching that calling them thongs, yep, that was not cool. I still have trouble using the term flip-flop instead of thong. Enough of that...seemed to have flip flopped away from original subject.

Meanwhile, Laura was down on the dock fishing, catching nothing.

The Camp moved to the dock & climbed in the boat - off we went across the high seas. The plan: each g-kid would drive the boat for 10 minutes. We went fast; we went slow; we went straight; we turned to the left; we turned to the right (stand up, sit down fight, fight fight); we made circles; we made figure 8s; we made S (s). We did not hit any trees or the shore or the boat house - we didn't lose anyone on our ocean. Overall, it was a good boat ride. Tomorrow they are wanting to boat down to the bridge and circle it - 10 minutes a piece. We will see.

The guys didn't show to fix our wall again. Why should they? They have only given their word.
We have 2 people involved. One is going to provide the labor and the other the dirt & rock. So far the dirt/rock guy is okay. The labor guy has problems. You'd think a business person in the trades would treat potential customers better. Nah. I'll ramble on about this more later.

Tired of waiting, I called the dirt guy's store to ask delivery questions and payment questions. He wasn't there. But, his daughter said she would contact him & have him call. Amazingly, the labor-type guy called me within 7 minutes. Later, 30 min., the dirt guy returned my call.

My premise: daughter called daddy, daddy called labor, labor called me, labor called daddy, daddy called me....pretending no contact had been made. I hate being treated like an idiot. Within an hour, both guys showed up on my hill and planned where to put the dirt in the morning. Amazing !!!

Not much else happened at Grammy Camp. They played - they played - they played.

My wife is in the FUMC bell choir which meets on Tuesday nights. I volunteered to substitute in the group - rehearsals only - if they needed me. I went with her tonight and "Rung Them Bells." I have NO skills on bells other than being able to out sightread the whole pack. And, I fake good.

Final bit. I took the Marauder into a shop 2 weeks ago, maybe 3. The engine was not running smoothly when I accelerated. They worked on it. I drove it home and all was well. Within a week it felt like it was missing again. I drove it another couple weeks. When I drove to Waco yesterday, it was having problems. Took it back to shop this afternoon on the way to bell choir practice. I miss my Marauder.

Old Man remembering Aside: Back when I first had to take cars to mechanics, it would always cost me $100 for a repair fix. Over the years, the repair titles remained the same, but it would now cost me $200 everytime we saw the inside of a auto repair shop. My last years of teaching, I could count on a repair bill of $300 everytime. It didn't matter what was wrong, it would be $300. This Marauder's trip to the shop is it's first ever. 107K and it began to hurt. The common charge: Well, yessir, that would be $400. It shouldn't be long till the rate moves up to $500 for all repairs.

Wait, one more Grammy Camp thingy. Everyone is in bed. The girls are in bed. I heard our boy Bruno growl and bark. I got up to go keep him quiet. When I opened my computer office door I bumped into the oldest 2 girls. They were on their way to see me. Shelby had tears. Longer story short. Strange house, dark, different from Lubbock etc. she was scared. Had a vision (don't know what that means) of a bloody man...at least that is what Megan told me that Shelby had. I'm guessing ghost stories crept into our lives.

Made general fun of ghosts. Talked about Bruno would alert us if anything was wrong. Talked about black labs Sue & Heidi next door who roam the neighborhood saving us. Megan tried to help by pointing out that our house was too new to have that kind of monsters (ghosts) roaming the premises. I didn't mention that our house was probably built on an old Indian Burial ground. Sure hope she doesn't hear the ghost drums tonight. The sun will come up, and all will be well - pray no full moon tonight.

I wonder what exciting thing the daily sack will hold in the morning.
o'er & out

Monday, August 2, 2010

Grammy Camp, Day 3

Day 3, Grammy Camp.

Believe this is one of the slowest days we will have.
1. Wife went to Quilt Guild in the morning while I watch the group.
2. I started feeding them lunch about 11:45; wife showed up about 11:58
3. Megan ate a leftover cheeseburger.
Shelby had a piece of cheese between 2 pieces of bread, melted in the microwave, with
tortilla chips crumbled inside
Kayla had a peanut butter sandwich with grape jelly and a piece of watermelon
4. Drove to Waco and picked up daugher Laura so she could become Asst. Grammy.
5. Played dominoes with Kayla. Played tic-tac-toe with Kayla. Taught Megan another 2 pages in her piano book. Let Shelby help me water the yard. Fussed at all three when the wouldn't quit making noise at bedtime.
6. Made an error today. I let them use my walkie-talkies, channel 8. There is a noise that can get annoying purty darn fast.
7. Let them use a portable electric keyboard with sounds and rhythms and pre-recorded music. Finally taught them where the volumn control was. That helped a bit.

Their mama called about 9 tonight. All had a satisfying conversation except Grammy. Well actualy because for and why -- Grammy had already been in bed for 30 minutes, sawing logs.

Tomorrow will be a fine day.
Maybe the dirt guys will come.
We may do the boat ride in the morning.
Girls like to drive the boat in circles.
Stay tuned for day 4.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Grammy Camp, Day 2

Day 2

"GRAMMY CAMP" started Yesterday. We drove 3 1/2 ++ hours to Cisco to meet son Roger/Penney at the DQ. Exchanged greetings, ate steak fingers with extra gravy, loaded up the 3 grand-dots and headed for home with only one potty break via the drive. That was good. I could have used another one, but didn't want to upset the status quo aboard the Marauder.

The kids (5, 8 & 10) took up residence & the fun began. As of this moment there have been no beatings of children. The youngest did shed a few tears over some immaterial-to-me things. Today we drove to Canton to visit Dog Town at the 1st Monday Trade Days. Looked at the puppies, rabbits, cows, horses, chickens, various unnamed birds, goats, no sheep(?), and kittens plus one cute gray sugar glider and other animals I can't remember. We had told Rog/Pen that we were going to buy him a goat . . . . But the pot bellied pigs were much cuter (humor).

Just now got in from a short walk down the road. It is still a tad warm and we didn't make one-half mile. Tomorrow = a boat ride and more snacks and sugary drinks. How Sweeeeeeeet It Tis.

Tomorrow - is day 3 - will be a minor problem. The spouse has Quilt Guild Meeting in the morning. This leaves me in charge for half day. Daughter (Aunt) Laura is being driven to Waco for me to pick up @ 2 pm. She will spend the week as the Assistant Grammy when needed. An asst. gram can be such a blessing.

We have workers who are suppose to start working (what else would workers do but work? - major stone on that subject at a later date) on our backyard retaining wall in the morning. And, G-children must be watered and fed. Since I am in charge of lunch, I project cheese sandwiches and a sugary drink. Peanut Butter is my backup plan - maybe with jelly, if requested.

Tears Explanation: Ate at Canton's Pizza Hut for lunch today after we left DOG TOWN. All of us got drinks in a glass except the youngest, Kayla. Her drink came in a small portable plastic cup - not good since all other kids had the real grownup glass. The world almost ended. I pointed out that her cup could go home with us - didn't help. We ordered a real glass & moved on. sigh. It never crossed my mind that Pizza Hut would give the youngest a different cup. I have so much to learn.

Right now the head honcho Grammy (after whom the camp is named) is making S'mores in the kitchen. I did fein tiredness - my back hurts - as to get out of creating a campfire for marshmallow cooking. Apparently it's okay.

A s'more is a s'more is a s'more.

#2 G-Kid Shelby just interrupted my musings to show me her face covered in chocolate & marshmallows. It's not "ring around the collar," it is "ring around the face. I'd send a photo but don't know how to upload here yet.

Tuesday, day 3 is coming - stay tuned.