Saturday, May 14, 2016

Contentedness in Seattle

I returned Wednesday night from a very nice vacation at Heidi's in Seattle. I was last there in July and so there had been some changes: Brian had passed away, and so that was sad not having him greet me and lie by my feet while watching TV. Corinne was now carrying on conversations and was very fun to play with in the toy room as well as other parts of the house and the back yard, and there was new furniture in the living room and a flowering cherry tree in the front yard. Oh, and there is a new puppy – Lucy. She is a beautiful red Golden Retriever and is nearly six months old. She is learning some commands such as "sit," and "park it." But being a puppy, she still likes to chew, bark, and run around. Corinne is in love with her and visa versa.

 Marshall making a pizza.

 Corinne bringing me the tray of Christmas cookies.

Corinne (wearing her purple tutu over her slacks), waiting for the microwave to complete cooking my egg. She was so cute with all of these appliances —mixer, toaster, coffee maker, and oven. She and Marshall have wooden donuts with various icings; wooden pizza wedges with pepperoni, mushrooms, and peppers that can be added or removed; a wooden waffle iron with waffle sections and strawberries, chocolate chips, butter, and syrup that can be added. They have a half dozen wooden eggs—3 white, 3 brown. It was so much fun for me to play house with them.

Here you see some of the waffles, eggs, toast with butter, donut with sprinkles, a plate with a fork and knife, and a glass of juice. Corinne did a great job bringing these food items to Grandma and then sitting with me to pretend eating them. With each bite we would say, "Mmm. This is yummy!"

This is Lucy, a sweet red Golden Retriever. We were at the bus stop waiting for Marshall when this photo was taken.

I loved meeting Marshall at the bus drop off after school and walking around their beautiful neighborhood where the flowers were abundant. I also loved going to his soccer game on Saturday. He played several positions.

After the soccer game, we went to their area market where the grocery store was having a "Grand Opening" celebration. There was a big jump house for kids, and inside the store they were spray painting "tattoos" on kid's arms and/or cheeks, cupcakes to decorate, and employees helping children plant a blooming petunia in a small pot. Marshall got two tattoos (they wash off).

The day before Mother's Day, Heidi treated me to the movie, "Mother's Day." It was being shown in a very nice theater where the seats were reserved and were actually recliners! How comfortable. This was new for me. The show was cute and we enjoyed it.

Sunday, Mother's Day, I heard from Hans and his kids, and got a nice card from Heidi and one from Marshall and Corinne. In the morning, we went to the Top Pot Doughnuts shop, and had the big decision of which ones to buy. Later in the day the family went to dinner at a Greek restaurant where the food was delicious. Such a nice time.

Corinne and I had plenty of time to play "house," while Marshall was in school. She and Marshall have a very nice toy room and their kitchen set-up is amazing. Marshall has a cash register there, too, so one night we played grocery store. Corinne and I did the shopping - putting play food in the grocery cart, and Marshall was the cashier - sliding our items over the barcode reader or placing the items on a scale to be weighed. His pretend money looked real. I thought this was a lot of fun!

Corinne reading Elmo book while Lucy watches

Corinne sporting Grandma's shoes.

Marshall and Corinne posing with Target's Bullseye

Marshall enjoying a chocolate shake at Red Robin
Off and on during my time there, Heidi and I watched some cooking shows on TV. Chad did some cooking out on the grill, and all of us watched the movie, "Annie."  The time spent at their house went by so fast, and now I am missing them - especially playing house with Corinne and store with her and Marshall. Oh, and hearing Marshall read to me. It was a special time.

The sun setting on Puget Sound

Monday, May 02, 2016

Saturday I had the most enjoyable time with my three grandkids: Aurelia, Felix and Leo. Peder had asked me to come to stay with them for a couple of hours while he went to an appointment.

After chatting with them for awhile, I gave them 15 minutes to complete what they were doing on their screens (iPad plus two other devices). When time was up, I had no push back and then asked them to get their jackets on so we could go for a walk. This was an idea that popped into my head as I drove up to their home – trees abloom in many yards and on the boulevards.

We started out by stopping at each house to look at what was blooming and to point out any interesting aspects of the house. (A rule I made was that they had to stay on the sidewalk.) It wasn't long before one of them would stop us to point out the tiny wild violets in the grass.

After turning the first corner, Felix and Leo ran up to the house at the next corner. They were excited to show me the large rock that was sitting on the stone wall. "Look, Grandma D – it has sparkles in it!" Sure enough, it was a large piece of granite. That particular house had many lovely and unusual features. We spent a bunch of time there.

Onward we went, spotting tulips, daffodils, lilacs, flowering plum trees, porches with swings, little ponds—one with gargoyles around the edge.

On the next block, I spotted a gorgeous cat – about the size of Nels – who was paying no attention to us. It was behind a beautiful black wrought iron fence and eating grass. Its house (my assumption) was a lovely Victorian, painted in tan, purple and blue. I should have brought along my phone so I could have taken a photo—not only of this house and cat, but of my three darling grandkids who were enjoying this so much!

When we came upon a brick house that is just inches from the sidewalk, there we saw a large patch of lily of the valley. The ones nearer the foundation were already open. The kids enjoyed seeing their little bell-shaped flowers.

One particular flower really impressed Felix and Aurelia. It was the bleeding heart. I pointed out the heart-shape and then showed them the little drop of "blood" dripping from it. Felix gently pinched one of the petals and then released it to see it return to its original state.

Yesterday I returned to Peder and Sarah's for Felix's birthday party. Aurelia was the greeter at the front steps. She told me she had drawn a picture that morning of a bleeding heart. Sarah later told me Aurelia had been drawing flowers all morning long. I loved hearing that.