Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are we speaking the same language?

I went out of town again. If you're keeping track, this was the third time in just over a month. For one who loves to stay home and could write poetry about her love for her Select Comfort mattress, that's a lot.

Before I left, I kissed my M good bye. As I was also tucking her in for her nap, she was more concerned with making sure that Grandma had been given proper instructions on her care than she was with actually telling me good-bye.

Me--I love you.
M--Make sure you tell Grandma we get a snack after naps.
Me--Do you love me?
M--Like popsicles.
Me--You love me like popsicles??
M--No... I want popsicles for snack.

Hmm. Both of us were speaking English, but funny, we just weren't communicating.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guest blogger part two

In case you missed installment 1 of our trip to Pennsylvania, scroll down. :) My uncle Tom decided during graduation that he would write the blog and I would put in the pictures. So, enjoy. My comments would be the ones in italics. Also--my pictures are BIG--click on them for the full effect. Same with yesterday's post. :D

So the next morning--- back to the pool. Then up the hill again to Baccalaureate and Graduation. 50+ girls, all in long gowns and 3 inch heels walking on grass. This was a well thought out idea. I'm still impressed that not one of them did a face plant.

A little blurry, but this is the type of obstacle course the girls in heels had to walk thru. Impressive, no?

Again perfect little children. (truly, those were Tom's words and no, he wasn't paid.) :)

Graduation- was outside. Well—first Baccalaureate—it was inside and not painfully long. One of the Graduate’s peers who spoke compared it to the Hogwart Academy. Such was the highlight of that part.

Graduation--- outside. Bright sun. Some people with hair challenges were seen standing in the tall leafy hedges to find shade or even placing the program on their heads like a paper hat--- not that I would know, but crude and effective.

Our graduate— beautiful in a long white dress, graduated! (Note -I was told in effective writing class at ISU (my family will say, what is ISU but if you are reading this you know AA and GS and the ISU love story involving cold walks from a dorm on the edge of Des Moines)that underlining is generally ineffective—that’s why I used BOLD! C!
Isn't she beautiful? My fun cousin C, aka The Graduate.

So we killed time, gave gifts to house moms, entertained the little ones (GS, G and M) by taking lots of photos and finally went to the Hotel for naps before dinner. That would be the guest blogger on the right.

GS pointed out to me, that the silly radio station had built their transmission towers several hundred feet below the hotel on the lowest ten digit coordinate there was in sight. (Debbie thought this was the most bizarre thing anyone could notice—ask Geo about “the engineer and the talking frog”.) And we drank Y______ing. They had gotten a six pack.

Then back to the pool before dinner at the best restaurant in Tyrone. Note with particularity, that I did not say a fine restaurant in Tyrone. The second best, according to the Graduate is Burger King (sorry BK, I can’t do the little trademark sign) and the third best (I may have these reversed) is the Dog Pile, the favorite carry out / delivery establishment of the 250+ girls at TGS. But it was a fine dinner—with a great group of family and friends--- including the Graduate’s god parents.

Dinner was notable for several reasons—nice toasts to the graduate, perfectly behaved little girls (ok—they got carried away taking pics, but did we care? NO!).

And Geo demonstrating “Mikey will eat it” to his lovely perfectly behaved daughters. It would seem that every time someone at the table got full, they gave their uneaten portion to GS. His college days eating skills are still there. I think at last count he'd polished off the remains of 3 appetizers, his own entree and 3 others.

The next morning the Wisconsin clan plus Great Uncle went swimming--- M & G got to wake (pounce on?) V and C after their hour and half swim. Best part of swimming? M on Uncle Tom's shoulders, pulling up his hair into spikes on either side of his head and announcing "PIGGIES!" It was suggested by someone that her dear uncle's hair was a looking a little longer than usual. I'm thinking said commenter's child's idea to put his hair in pigtails only reinforced that observation. ;)
The Wisconsin family were off to Niagara falls---w/o this correspondent so Dear Reader/Observer I will speculate that the tone, meter, complexity and such of this travel narrative will under go a step function up or down--it will be a radical transformation, me thinks.

AA gets credit for always having games, puzzles, writing supplies and such condiments handy, which led to the perfectly behaved children. She’s my favorite!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Family Trip to PA by a guest blogger

Note from dangitAnge, hereafter referred to as AA by the writer of this guest blog post, written by my dear Uncle Tom, probably best known for getting me a wee bit tipsy following his last child's high school graduation. I have shared that story here. My comments on how the following story really happened will be in italics. :) Enjoy!

There we were in the bright sun, quite warm, waiting for graduation at The Grier School (TGS) when AA ( that’s the owner of this site, contrasted to A who is her oldest daughter, who is also known by some as BK, which is “Bright Kid”) and I, her favorite Uncle, and hence her children’s great uncle, decided that I would write this piece and she would populate it with pics. AA for the record is the niece I taught to drive and taught decimal equivalents of sevenths to and also to drink beer (the last instructional point didn’t take).

So having never written for a blog before, and only about 80% sure that is the name of what I am writing for—I wish to state some ground rules. All typos, confusing sentences, and portions thereof, punctuation and the like, are strictly AA [ AA is both singular and possessive—please try to keep up. ] fault. My family is big into finger pointing, so I wanted to get that out of the way early. This appears a good time to add that I had to clean this up a bit before posting. I do have SOME pride. ;)

Flashback—Dear Reader—just because I did that once doesn’t obligate me to tell you the next time that I reverse course. And the photos may or not match so ... IDK what. (IDK—the Graduate taught me that – it means “leave me alone, Dad”, in a text.)

So having dropped (not physically or at least not far—she has bad hips , I trust) Piper the Wonder Dog (they wonder, why, how, when and such about him. ( Her?) Her. off with a friend, who must be of questionable sanity, the Shimada clan, hereinafter GS, AA, A, G, and M. Formerly known as The DaddyMan, dangitAnge, A, G and M--please try to keep up, climbed in a van, strapped the poor little ones, G & M, into car seats and headed East to Tyrone, PA on Thursday afternoon.

Why you ask ? Well so they could enjoy Chicago rush hours up close and personal, rather than just on the radio and to attend AA cousin’s graduation from TGS. Hence, a road trip from Wisconsin to Tyrone. I wasn’t there but no one had much to say about Thursday and Thursday night except the Chicago rush hours. (hours is not a typo). Friday a.m. they got up at GS time and most of them went swimming. Then GS insisted they follow the Garmin rather than common sense and the PA turnpike so they could see more orange barrels than exist in seventeen western states of your choice and the back roads of PA.

They arrived about two hours late or several hours early depending on one's perspective at the hotel. Great Uncle Tom greeted GS with a beer. (the local one that starts with a Y). { An short aside—the locals swear by this beer—best in the land--- every time I stay at this hotel, they are out of or run out of Y_____ing. So I asked why they don’t order more, if they are always out/running out. I asked three bartenders, “gee I don’t know”, which is close to a IDK ! } ( an end of paragraph note, technologically I can not do footnotes--- the space is intentional--- the three employees were not bartenders, they were merely tending the bar—no mixed drinks until later, when the bartender came to work.)

So GS was now OK. He is easy. M and G got to meet Aunt Debbie who perhaps never got them straight, name wise. Of course, she had help from G who delighted in saying she was M, or even A upon occasion.

The group, including the graduate C and V,the older sister of the grad, went swimming. Out of the pool and with a hour to get ready for the graduation dinner, all should be copasetic. Na... Great Uncle, whom is also dad of the grad and V, forgot that teenage girls do not get ready for major events, (which is anything more important than going to the kitchen for chocolate, when no one else is home), do not and can not get ready in an hour. So running late, we went to TGS from the hotel in a cloud of dust and a hardy Hi Ho Silver! (well, that dates me, I guess)

V and A at dinner. Aren't they adorable? :D

Now the praise for M & G and also A. They performed perfectly at the Graduation Dinner. And at the hour long musical and dance recital that lasted two hours. Really? It was only 2 hours? And even at the TGS Ancient Candlelight ceremony that followed. OK, really, G eats a little slow, and M eats only sugar concentrate and sugary accruements, but hey!

New toys are the key to keeping small children entertained during an after dinner speaker. Look closely and you'll see the graduate and her big sister being entertained as well.

And V, who has a better/worse nickname that the one I have for G, that is now a secret between her and I, didn’t fidget too much either. And GS didn’t snore,at least noticeably. Great Uncle calls G "Squirm." She pretends to hate it, but loves being the one w/a special nickname. And GS may not have snored during the dance recital, but he did count down until the final dance. There were 13 dances in all, just in case anyone cares.

A photo of C, the grad and her mom after dinner. More to come.... Some bloggers can be sooo long winded. :)