Gypsy's Travels


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday DS!


Happy Brthday! You've come a long way, Baby.....
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday DD-Ki

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Happy Birthday to my 4th generation Texan!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Was He Kidding?

The appraiser from the insurance company visited and checked out the damage to the car. I have already secured a quote from the body shop but the insurance company wants to do its own thing. I was apprehensive when he wanted to raise the hood and check things out. The hood seemed a little off kilter and I was concerned it might not close again. The body shop rep didn't open it because he did not want me to be stuck if it did not close.
"What if the hood won't close properly after it is opened?" I queried the appraiser. I didn't even mention the fact that in the whole year I have owned the car, I had only had to check under the hood one time.
"Don't worry," the appraiser replied, "we'll do just what we always do."
"What is that?" I wondered aloud.
"Tie it down with strong twine and you can go on your way until you get it fixed."
"But I have to drive to Houston on Thanksgiving Day with a car full of children!" I said.
Was he kidding? I don't know but, fortunately, the hood closed with a satisfyingly loud noise.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh, Deer!

Well, it was bound to happen - I hit a deer last night!
I had driven to Ft. Hood to attend Em's "Drums & Xylophones" concert at her elementary school (BTW - it was excellent!) and was headed home at a respectable 6:30 PM. Of course, with the DST changes, 6:30 in the evening is now pitch black. Fortunately, I was obeying the speed limit, 35 mph, as I drove through the subdivision and was only a few blocks from home when it happened. From "out of nowhere," a deer suddenly appeared on my right, moving fast. I slammed on the brakes and saw the right front side of the car connect with the side of his(?) body. I was horrified! He fell to the ground on his side and I worried that I would run over him but, thankfully, the car stopped on demand.
The deer floundered around, skinny legs akimbo, then stood up, and moved to the side of the road. He stood for a moment looking right me, as if to say "This is really my territory, what are you doing here?" Then he ran off into the relative safety of the brush in the greenbelt.
I was shaking, but able to drive the rest of the way home. All the damage appears to be to the right front headlight area of the car and it does not appear that the lights are broken.
This does not fit in my agenda for the holidays.

I hope the deer is okay.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Dan


Happy Birthday to a guy that has always loved life at the wheel....and still has that Porsche!
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Oh, Give Me a Home, Where the Dinosaurs Roam.....


One of the joys of keeping the children is taking them to places I would not ordinarily choose to visit. One of Abs' great interests is dinosaurs. She knows whether they are "herbivorous," "carnivorous," or "omnivorous." She knows how big they are, what their skin was like, how fast they move.....you name it, Abs can recite it. So, it was only natural that we should visit this exhibit at Zilker Park in Austin. Set in a rather natural habitat, with identifying information, and life size models, we perused the creatures and were thankful they were only models. An bonus was the myriad of "prehistoric" plants. Of course, not all these dinosaurs lived in this area, but the park does have an area counting real tracks from prehistoric visitors.
Abs lingered at each exhibit a little longer than the rest of us. At one point, the three of us sat on a bench and waited for her to join us, within eye distance, but dallying back up on the trail. I called to her several minutes later and she eventually came. A woman and her small daughter waved and called out to her as they passed by us on the trail.
"Who are they?" I queried.
"Oh, they had some questions on one of the exhibits, so I helped them out," she said matter-of-factly.
This summer I am taking Abs to an instructive week in Utah where dinosaurs really roamed. It should be an interesting and enlightening experience.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ch!


Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear Ch,
Happy Birthday to you!
Eleven and counting....
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Friday, November 7, 2008

"It takes a village...."

Maybe that should read.."it takes a family to raise a village". I had agreed to watch ABW's three Monday afternoon while she took a class. Since DS and baby WRS were visiting, they went along.
Em & Junior were there, waiting for us, and ABW left for her class shortly after we arrived.

Junior was so excited that I thought we would all be well-served to leave a little early, walk to the school, and pick Abs up from her chess club meeting. I was sure all the walking would burn off some of the children's energy. We arrived a little early and waited for the appointed time. Junior knew everyone and every inch of space before we left, WRS slept through it all in the stroller, and DS made-like-a-tree while everyone hung on him.

At the appointed time, I ventured to the area where a bevy of children were pouring forth from a classroom. Abs was nowhere in sight.
"Is this the chess club meeting?" I asked.
"No, chess club was cancelled. Didn't you get the notice?" There is no time for explanations.
"Well, where is Abs?" I asked. He shrugged.
I fought a rising panic in my chest. You can't get in or out of a school these days without a note from God, I told myself, so she is here safe and sound....somewhere.

There are people everywhere after school. Working parents depend on these well-regulated after-school programs for the security of knowing their children are in good hands. Nevertheless, there are always stories on the news that I don't even like to think about. It takes several anxious minutes for one of the workers to track the different groups. The workers communicate through hand-held intercom radios, but these people are the eyes of the organization, they don't necessarily interact with the children individually.

Abs finally emerged from the depths of a classroom off a distant hallway. She had been in the computer room. Her appearance is always an indication of the behavior we can expect. In this case, her eyes were glassy, her hair tumbled and disarrayed, and she was clearly not happy at having been interrupted. Good thing we were walking home and she could burn off some of her obvious irritation.

We enjoyed the sedate walk to the school, WRS and Junior in strollers, DS & Em chatting comfortably as we ambled along. The return trip was a little different. Junior decided he wanted to walk and, being two years old, he stopped to examine everything. Abs wanted to get home as fast as possible, so she ran the whole way. I was pushing WRS in the stroller at a fast clip, trying to stay up with Abs, who was a block ahead of me and moving fast. Em, DS, and Junior were a block behind, examining ants and rocks on the path.

Fortunately, ABW had dinner waiting in the crockpot. When I called everyone to the table, the children indicated that all those times they told Mommy they didn't hear what she said, were nonsense....
"Mommy never has dinner this early!"
"Mommy always lets us watch T.V."
"Mommy doesn't make us sit down quietly."
"Mommy lets us have whatever we want to eat."
"Mommy said we could have candy."
"Mommy.....Mommy....Mommy...."
"Mommy also says,'Different parents, different rules,'" I told them, "and these are Grandma's rules."

By the time ABW returned, the children were fed and in the process of being ready for bed. DS helped ABW mow and trim the lawn, in the dark, while I watched the four children and took time to have a conversation with Abs.
"Abs, if I am going to take you on a dinosaur expedition this summer, you will have to listen and pay attention better. I can't take you to the desert area of Utah and have you running off, getting lost in the desert, and dying of thirst."
Abs looked at me seriously with those big, blue eyes, and said, "Well, Grandma, you are going to have move faster because I will have a lot of exploring to do there."

By the time DS & ABW finished the lawn and came back in, everyone was calm and ready for bed...except Em....she had left the room several minutes earlier and not returned. A quick check revealed she was in the shower.
"But you had a 20 minute shower earlier!"
"Yes, but Abs used up the hot water and I had to get out."

Everyone has gone home now and it is very quiet at my house....until I babysit this weekend.....