Staycation with Kate

Kate and I arrived home from San Antonio on Sunday pretty nearly on time on Amtrak.  Kate chose to go to the Olive Garden for supper.

She enjoyed her dinner of cheese ravioli.

After we got home she entertained G’Dad and me with a style show.

The next morning she and G’Dad went to the grocery store in the morning and selected cereal for her breakfasts, cokes, and lunches that she liked and ice cream for a nighttime snack.  Then she and I went to the movie and saw Toy Story 3 in 3-D.  We went to Studio Movie Grill and she really enjoyed being served her snacks at her seat.

On Tuesday morning G’Dad went to play bridge and Kate stayed asleep until very late.

I had set up the netbook for Netflix, and she stayed up late to watch movies.

We went to Chow Thai for lunch and she stopped to pose with the Buddhas on the way out.

On Tuesday afternoon we went to JoAnn’s and got some craft supplies to work on a “doll house” for the family of pinecones she found by the fireplace.

We also got some yarn for a scarf because she thought she would like to learn how to knit.  Unfortunately, she soon decided that she would like Grandmother to finish the scarf for her.

Wednesday for lunch we went to Backyard Burgers and she had a baked potato.  Then she and I came home and worked on our crafts while G’Dad played bridge at the church.  She also spent a lot of the afternoon watching her pre-teen shows on TV.

On Thursday, G’Dad took her up to McKinney to spend the day with Erin, her best friend when she lived there.

On Friday, I went to Toastmasters’ and then to bridge while G’Dad stayed home with Kate.  She worked on her crafts some more, and watched a little more TV.

She made several pipe cleaner people to consort with the pine cone people in the doll house.

She was also very helpful watering the flowers that are really suffering with the heat (100 deg. the last two days).

Even though she has made a bit of a mess in the living room where she is sleeping, she promises to clean it up before she goes home.

I’ll really miss having her around when she gone, just like I miss having Ian around now that he’s back home.  They are both great kids who are willing to run errands (like fetching the mail) and set the table and help with emptying the dishwasher and all kinds of things.  It’s nice to have little helping hands around, although I love them just for themselves.

Stuff I’ve been contemplating

I’ve been thinking about and worrying over lots of “Stuff” lately.  Here’s a blog post quoting a speech by Barbara Kingsolver (if you aren’t a fan of her books – you better start being.)  This is in light of not just the tragedy in the gulf, but in response to a lot of my angst about global warming, over-consumption, etc.

I’ve also been really worked up over, and then resigned to a lot of the actions and inactions of the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  This blog addressed a few of my issues there.

As Kevin Costner said in Bull Durham, I’m “…dealing with a lot of shit, here!.”

I’ve also had grandchildren with me for the past couple of weeks, so my time has not been my own.  I’ll post a look at our Staycation with Kate tomorrow.

Kid Swap

On Friday, Ian and I got on the train in Dallas about noon and rode to San Antonio.  Bill and Kate got on the train in New Orleans about the same time and also rode to San Antonio.  Ian and I got in about 9:30 p.m. and checked into a motel, and Bill and Kate joined us about 2:00 in the morning. 

Saturday morning we got up (late) and had breakfast (supplied by the motel) and then the kids had some pool time.

Kate likes the shallow end, and Ian is happier clinging to the side.

Then we took a taxi to the Mercado.

I sat in the shade and listened to the Andean flute players while Bill and the kids did some window shopping.

Then we went to Mi Tierra for lunch.

Ian had beef and cheese nachos.

Kate had Chicken tenders (with queso dip).

Bill had cheese enchiladas (what else?).

And, of course, I had guacamole salad!  Yum!

Then we walked over and waited for the trolley to take us to the Alamo.  (That’s Kate’s hair waiting for the trolley.)

Bill and Ian had been to the Alamo a couple of years ago, but Kate had never seen it (and she’s the only one born in Texas!)

I went and sat under one of the big, old live oak trees in the shade while they paid homage to the shrine.

Kate enjoyed walking on the wall of the Memorial Fountain to Bowie, Crockett, Bonham, and Travis.

Bill and Ian took advantage of the cool under the oak to cool off before continuing on our sightseeing trek.

Kate liked the statue of the Mexican soldier.

Kate and Ian posed with the cannon.

Then we went out on the River Walk and looked around for a while.  (Getting hotter all the while.)

In an effort to cool off a litte, we took a ride on the river boat.  This is Ian thinking about taking a nap.

By this time we were exhausted and ready for supper, so we went to Acenar and had more Mexican food.

Then back to the motel for more pool time.  Ian is still hanging on to the ladder.

And Kate is still in the shallow end.

I watched the kids in the pool while Bill took a much needed nap.  Then he and Ian got packed up and left to get on their train back to New Orleans, leaving at midnight.

Kate and I got up EARLY on Sunday morning and caught the train back to Dallas at 7:00 a.m.

Kate napped and played with her DS and watched the world go by, until we arrived back in Dallas about 3:30 p.m.

Trip to Abilene

Big Al and I decided to take Ian to see where his dad grew up (from middle school through high school).  We got up early and left a little after 8:00 a.m.

We stopped in Weatherford for breakfast.

The area is so grown up.  This used to be a field with trees.

Now there’s a strip mall behind it.

There was NOTHING across Tin Top Road from McDonalds.

And there was nothing across I-20 either.

And the McDonald’s itself has had a MAJOR facelift.

Our old homestead, 758 Davis Dr.

They even planted a tree in the same place where the other one grew that fell on the van.

O.H. Cooper High School looks just like itself.

Cooper Cougars

We planned to eat at Casa Herrara, but, the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglae (as the bard says…)

So we ate at TaMolly’s instead.

Ian had a half dozen tamales

Then off we went to Dyess AFB.

First we stopped at the memorial park to look for our brick – and we found it!

B1-B Bomber

B-52 D Stratofortress

KC-135 Stratotanker

EB-47 E Stratojet

KC-97 Stratojet

B-17 Flying Fortress

As an added attraction, we saw two Huey Helicopters flying in.

O-2 A Skymaster

RB-66B Destroyer

B-57 Camberra

C-130 Hercules (with JATO pack)

F-84 Thunderchief

F-86 Saberjet

F-89 Scorpion

F-100 Supersabre

F-101 Voodoo

F-104 Starfighteer

T-33 Shooting Star and T-29

And then we drove half way to Sweetwater to see the big windmills on the hills.  Ian decided he wasn’t that interested in windmills, so we turned around and drove back to Dallas – through driving rain storms and clear blue skies.

For supper, Ian had a KFC Double Dipper.

Staycation with Ian

Ian seems to be having a great time just vegging out.  He’s watching TV, playing his computer games, and relaxing.

He’s camping out on the living room floor.

We’re waiting for lunch at the Olive Garden

Yum – Fettucini Alfredo!

And a NEW Haircut!  (No more hair in his eyes!)

“This Is My Song”

There has been a fair amount of chatter in the Twitterverse about patriotic songs in church.  We sang this this morning, and I really think it’s great because it allows my own patriotic feeling, and yet validates other people’s.

This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine.  This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in other land are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine; but other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.  O hear my song, thou God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine.

This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms:  Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done.  Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him, and hearts united learn to live as one.  O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations, myself I give thee; let thy will be done.

(This was printed in the bulletin without any attribution, or copyright attached, so I think I’m okay with quoting it.  If someone knows differently, please let me know.)

Sunday with Ian

We got up in time for church this morning (barely).  He was a great congregant today (he’s really grown up in the past couple of years), and fully participated in hymns, prayers, and communion.

For lunch we went to Beni Hana – because he loves to watch them throw eggs and knives and shrimp tails around!

That’s Al, styling the advertisement for Beni Hana!

This was our chef!  He did a great job of performing and cooking.

This was our fried rice becoming fried rice.

And here it is all ready to be parceled out for us to eat.

Ian tried to use chop sticks.

He decided for Yakisoba with Beef!

He LOVES slurping his noodles.

On the way out we stopped to look at the baby ducks and their mama.  (You can just barely see them right by the far bank to the left.

Mama got out to dry off and the babies couldn’t get up the bank!

So she jumped back in and they were much happier following her through the water.

Here they are next to the walk!

And here are the other four.  Six in all, if they don’t get eaten by the fish!