Friday, August 3, 2012

Catching up again

Oh what a tangled web...

Each time I think I can take the time to write a new post, life butts in.  For a while I was picking up grandkiddles #1 and #2 from their respective schools and taking them home.  For those who have not had the pleasure of this, one goes to school A about 1/2 hour before dismissal, gets in line and parks.  One has to remember to put the child's name thing on the dashboard or one cannot pick up said child.  Then come the buses and loading of the children begins.  Then the parked cars start their engines.  One teacher or other school official is in between the 2 lines of waiting cars and calls out student names as the cars roll by.  She or he has a walkie talkie to do this with.  Supposedly then the students, hearing their names, get their stuff together and line up to be escorted out to the still idling autos.  Some times this happens in a timely fashion and some times not.  Once this child is seated and seat-belted off we go to the next school.  

There, no name card is required but this line up is a bit more challenging.  Again a double row of parked cars and again, buses arrive. At this school, however, not all the buses can fit in the area designated for buses ONLY.  So when the riders (not students at this facility) are dismissed, the drivers start their engines and then are waved through between buses and cars to the area where the riders are to wait for their rides.  Now the job is to get the attention of your rider so that person can come and get in the car.  This being a facility for older kids - early teens and precocious tweens - the males are busy with display activities to impress the females.  The females are in groups watching/ignoring the males.  Apparently this activity has not changed in the decades since I was that age.  As a female you are to notice the male, but seem to not pay attention to his/their activities.  I never understood why the males participated in some of these activities as it often made them look very stupid. 

Once this rider has noticed the driver and sibling and enters the vehicle, then it is time to drive to their home.  This has a moment or two of interest as we pass the local Wal-Mart near shift change and near a local manufacturing facility with a LOT of truck traffic.  Since the trucks own the road (even 1/2 ton pickups), being in a car - not an SUV - means you are invisible.  Lane changes are necessary to keep from being flattened by a truck driver doing his/her thing.  Never had any mishaps but did have very interesting conversations with both grandkiddles.  

Not long after #1 and #2 finished their school year, I was kidnapped by my daughter and driven to the wilds of south Jersey.  There I encountered grandkiddles #3 through #6 and the newest addition to the family, the South Philly Alleycat.  I had a wonderful time spoiling kids and refereeing battles between the South Philly Alleycat and The One Who Was Here First.  

I also got to spend time knitting on my Zilver shawl which was round 1 in Camp Loopy 2012.
 Here is the completed version - somewhat blocked but not showing the true color which is a darker blue - but not quite ultramarine.  The lower photo shows the detail of the lace pattern of the shawl.  Looks good, simple to do if one can count, and since you start with one row of the fancy stuff then go to 2 and on to 5, it's pretty hard to mess up too much. That's what I needed when dealing with the daily circus of my daughter's household.

I was also able to experience the Fifths Disease in 3 of 4 children - without catching it myself and a birthday party with about 20+ kids for #4 who celebrated the first anniversary of his 8th birthday.  He did not want to be 9 this year so this is the solution for him.

Father's Day saw the daughter, her hubby, his parents and myself having a meal at a local diner.  Those who do not know what a true diner is are missing a wonderful experience.  There is usually a display case with desserts which add about 7 million calories to you per second you look at them.  The food is awesome and the memories for me are great.  

I also got to experience a phenomenon called a derecho.  It is, if I understand it, similar to a hurricane but it develops over land, not water.  Fortunately we were on the edge so didn't have any of the issues that some areas of NJ, MD, DE and Washington DC had - and maybe VA.  

On the 4th of July we all (7 of us) loaded into daughter's soccer mom vehicle and headed down to my home.  Well there was another rider too:
Meet Spud.  She is a South Jersey Feral Kitten.  Daughter found her under the above-mentioned soccer mom vehicle and captured her with a large fisherman's net.  Poor thing was skin and bones, literally.  I was not sure she would make it - her tongue was white - sure sign fleas had been feasting.  We treated for fleas but I decided we would wait on worming treatment until she gained a bit of strength and weight.  Other feral kittens I have dealt with are full of spit and hiss.  This poor girl never did that - too weak I think.
So after arrival in the home place, we, along with grandpa, went to different places to entertain the kids.  We went to the Science Adventure Center which was a hit with all and to Percy Priest Lake for swimming - also a hit with all.  The best part for me was when DH set up his hammock.  Later he came back to sit in it only to have it flip him feet over rear!  Daughter and I had quite a laugh from that!  

The highlight for me was dinner at The Aquarium Restaurant.  This is a chain which features a large (200,000+ gallon) tank in the center of the room.  Tables are situated around.  DH and I with both kids, and all 6 grandkids had dinner there.   Grandkids 3 and 4 sat closest to the tank and loved watching the fish swim past them.  Their dad was able to identify some of them and the rest of the family helped with others.  The food was good - no problems there - but service - not so.  I had made reservations for 12, with 6 kids, one needing a booster seat.  Well, no booster seat and food was delivered in shifts - and some not at all.  Manager treated us to dessert - and hopefully the server was told to ASK FOR HELP when dealing with a large group.

Spud went to the vet and was found to weigh in at 2 lbs.  She was unable to give blood for testing and did have a bacterial infection in her gut - which was successfully treated.  She is now gaining weight and growing and now, acting like a kitten - learning pounce and finally playing with her toys.  She is also now a camouflage cat, blending in with our bamboo floors and my maple spinning wheel.

So I'll leave with these photos of Spud and will be back with more spinning and knitting - and Spud - another time.