What a busy weekend! I can hardly believe it's Monday again already, and I haven't blogged since last Monday. Whoever said "time flies" wasn't kidding. I guess I've been visiting some of the new blogs I'm following and neglecting my own stuff...I just have to find the right balance and stay on top of it all. I'll touch on the highlights and try to keep it brief. Warning: "keeping it brief" rarely works for me!
Tuesday 6/29 Mike & Aaron had their semi-annual dentist appts. Marching band practice was cancelled for Aaron since the a/c was out at the high school, but he still met at his section leader's house for a modified rehearsal. They were playing "Rock Band" on some video game system when I went to pick him up. I guess that's sort of considered practicing, huh?
When I stopped by my mom's house to pick up my nephew, Xavier, (who happens to be my daughter's best friend since I watched him since he was 5 weeks old and they were practically raised together), my grandmother (Grandmom) hopped in my car and buckled up as well. She just turned 92 and has dementia. She recently moved in with my parents because she was getting too forgetful to live alone. Was I going to tell my own grandmother to get out of the car? No I was not. She came on over to the house, too. Xavier and Alisa played for a while & when it was time to pick up Aaron, we all loaded back up in the car so I could deliver Grandmom and Xavier back to my parents' home after a trip to the pet store. When all was said and done, Grandmom returned to my home with her overnight bag packed. She told my mother she was going to spend a few days with me! Wow, this was news to me. I mean I'm not working right now, so it was okay, and Grandmom really isn't much trouble, but I should be studying for my Board exam for my nursing license at some point.
The following morning, Wednesday, 6/30, Alisa & I had our dentist appointments, so I dropped Grandmom back at my mom's house. Later that evening, my mom dropped off my 5-year-old niece, Sasha, around 5 p.m. I had already made the arrangements with my brother and sister-in-law to take Sasha to a singing dinosaur concert that evening and then let her spend the night. I guess mom dropped her off so we would avoid another "Grandmom hopping in my car to go, too" incident. That's about the time the rain started coming down. I held out hope that it wouldn't last and the concert would go on as planned, but I had no such luck. Sasha & I ran a couple of errands and then stopped by the Levitt Pavilion at 7:20 just to make sure the concert was indeed cancelled. It was. So, we returned home, cooked and ate dinner. We had cupcakes for dessert and then popped popcorn and watched "The Little Mermaid" (one of my favorites).
When Thursday July 1st rolled around, I was planning to attend the Carabali concert at the Levitt that evening. Aaron was at band practice, and Alisa didn't want to go, so Mike and I swapped Grandmom for Alisa and the three of us enjoyed the "salsa & merengue with energy" under the stars. I admit that I have 2 left feet, but still the music made me want to get up and merengue with the rest of the crowd. I had no willing partners, though.
Early Friday morning, 7/2, my grandmother's sister and nephew arrived in town from Chicago. My mom called and asked if I would bake a cake for Grandmom's birthday celebration on Saturday. 24 hours notice? Really? I felt like Larry the Cucumber on the intro to VeggieTales.
Bob: "Go on out there" [and play the tuba]
Larry: "But I'll look silly!"
Bob: "It's for the kids."
Larry: "Well, okay, but they better not laugh!"
(My kids have outgrown VeggieTales, but I still love them!) So, back to the grocery store I went trying to decide what kind of cake to make for Grandmom's birthday: strawberry or lemon. I decided on lemon cake with fresh strawberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting. The filling was a little on the runny side, but it tasted great, like stawberry lemonade.
Saturday morning, Aaron had to be at the high school at 6:30 a.m. to get ready to march in the 4th of July parade. I wanted to crawl back in my bed for just a little while because the parade didn't start 'til 9 a.m., but I figured I'd better make my buttercream frosting so all I'd have to do was assemble the cake after the parade. Grandmom's birthday luncheon at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen was scheduled for 1:30, and I wasn't sure how long the parade would last.
Although it had rained earlier in the morning, the weather was actually very pleasant for the parade. My cousin Barrett joined Alisa and me for the festivities. A little senior citizen set up camp right next to us and proceeded to talk incessantly throughout the parade. His wife was home sick. He has 2 beagles, named Honey and Sammy. He lives across from Lamar high school and watches his neighbor's dogs on occasion. He's a runner and also rides a bicycle. I thought to myself "bless his heart" and listened intently, excusing myself to snap a picture every once in a while. I could tell he really was a sweet person even if a couple cards shy of a full deck.
I rushed home (after stopping by Pep Boys to get a bulb for my front headlight which I just noticed was out) to decorate the cake and flat iron Alisa's hair and get myself read for our lunch date. We arrived only 7 minutes late, and that was because I missed a turn and had to circle around the construction on I-30 & Collins. North Arlington is like another city to me where I rarely venture.
Lunch went well. Aunt Ruth, Cousin Maurice, mom, dad, Barrett, Lorenzo Jr., Shannon & her crew, my sister-in-law, Renee and my kids and I all joined Grandmom to celebrate. Then we headed back to Mom's to have cake and open gifts. I think everyone was about stuffed to the point of being uncomfortable after Pappadeaux, so I served small slices of cake. Grandmom opened her gifts: beautiful cards, a night gown and several sets of bath and body stuff. What else do you get someone who is 92 and has recently moved in with someone else and has limited space for "stuff"? Consumables and gift cards, I guess.
Sunday, July 4th, I had to serve at 10 o'clock mass, and the kids wanted to go to early service, so Barrett picked them up and I went by myself. After mass, I stopped by my mom's to pick up the kids, and ended up visiting for a while with my Great Aunt Ruth whom we call "Ruthie Dear." Although she still uses words like "colored" and repeats the "N" word when quoting things her grandfather said, I just love to hear her talk about her mother, her Papa and her grandparents. Such a rich living history! I just try to take it all in because I know she won't be around forever to recount such stories. I guess that kind of counts for my "cherish the moment Monday."
Later that evening, my family headed to my sister's in-laws for a cook-out. Ed made the big, old-fashioned hamburgers with all of the trimmings. There were also hot dogs & hot links, assorted chips, fruit platters laden with grapes, strawberries and the best watermelon and canteloupe I've had this summer! I brought deviled eggs and my mom brought a cherry frosted cherry chip cake (I was off the hook for a change!). We left a little after 9 o'clock in search of a place to watch fireworks, and ended up in the parking lot near Steak N Shake watching the fireworks from The Highlands. It was the kind of carefree day that a holiday should be!
I'll try to keep my blogs a little shorter and more frequent so as not to bore my faithful followers to tears. I'm also going to post some yummy recipes from time to time as well. Thanks for stopping by...until next time!