Friday, February 28, 2014

Number eleven

Why, yes I did spend a lovely three whole days with grandchild number eleven. 
In spite of windy Denver.
It has been almost six months since I have seen London and she is nine months old now, so I was surprised when she smiled at me as I sat next to her in the car, and it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The child is a delight, sunny and good-natured. And she loves me!

We ate at Burger Fi the first night. 
London enjoyed the lemon I ordered for my drink.

And she demolished the hashbrowns off my Breakfast All Day Burger.

I don't know.
Hashbrowns on a burger just doesn't seem right.

London has a bath at 7:30 every night, which is a good thing because she wears a lot of her food by then. 
She is a true water baby and loves it.

On Sunday evening, we took a little walk and Charlie worked on scent-training Wrangler. The puppy is now 98 pounds and is a force of nature.

The boy loves his dog.

London sat snugly in her stroller, while Nana froze her bones. The wind had kicked up and I wasn't quite prepared for Texas to be cold.

The mealtime ritual is that Wrangler hovers around the high chair and snaps up anything that hits the floor. He also licks London's fingers and anything else that is within range. And then, after she has gone, he does a thorough job of cleaning up anything that she has missed.

And sometimes, Nana catches him with his tongue out.
Silly dog.

Sam and I did a lot of cooking while I was there. One time, I heard Wrangler making a slurping sound, and I thought to myself, Wait a minute, his water bowl isn't in here! and when I walked around the island, he was eating an egg that had fallen on the floor, shell and all!
Nothing gets past this boy.

On Monday evening, we walked around downtown Wylie and visited this park. 
London had her first swing ride.

And then a slide with Daddy.

Before I knew it, it was time to go back home.
But first, I took some photos of London looking at the books that Aunty Jenny sent.
The girl loves her books, especially when they make noise.

And then I came home and it all seems like a dream.
But I have photos.
Lots of them!

Art at the airport (Dallas Love Field)

Last Friday, I was supposed to fly to Dallas to see Charlie, Sam, and little London. 
I was foiled by high winds in Denver. 
After being dropped at the Beaverton MAX station by a friend and riding the light rail for an hour to the airport, I was told that they could not get me to Dallas that day. 
Bah, humbug.
So I sat around at the airport for a couple of hours, using their free, crappy wi-fi, rode MAX back to Beaverton, caught a bus that was just leaving to Tigard, and met Bethany at the transit station.
Just how I wanted to spend my Friday.

Jeff and I arose at 4 a.m. the next morning and I was on my way. 

I flew on Southwest, which is my second-favourite airline. 
Jet Blue might lose it's first place if it doesn't add some more destinations.

We flew into Dallas Love Field Airport. Southwest has a field day making puns on the name. I tried to do the crossword puzzle in Spirit magazine onboard, and could not figure out the catch. Turns out that many of the clues were answered with the word "love", only backwards. 

Here are some interesting facts about Love Field.

It is owned by Southwest and, so far, Southwest is the only airline flying in and out. It is also their corporate headquarters.
Love Field was originally an Army airfield, built in 1917 to train pilots for World War I.
It is named after First Lieutenant Moss L. Love, who died in a plane crash in 1913. He was the tenth fatality in Army aviation.
The airport was bought by the city of Dallas in 1927 for civilian use.
JFK flew into Love Field on his fateful last trip.

There has been a lot of rivalry between Dallas/Fort Worth and Love Field, but Love Field takes the prize, in my opinion. It is a lovely little airport with some fantastic art.
The first one I saw was this, suspended from the roof.

This mural caught my eye as I passed the security area. I covers one large wall and is a tile mosaic. These photos are extreme close-ups.

A door leading outside takes one to this sculpture, which made me feel sad.
The bronze depiction of a pilot's helmet, gloves, coat and goggles, placed on a chair with the monogram MLL (for Moss L. Love) is titled "Back in a Moment". The chair sits under the artist's trademark crepe myrtle trees.

I had a little time to wander on my return trip, and I found a room that told the story of all of the art works at the airport, including smaller versions of the actual art.

These are taken from a small section of the hanging sculpture.

A painting of the tile mosaic.
I love it.

I enjoy art wherever I find it.
Unless it like the piece of orange fabric on a that I saw at the local Cultural Center today, with a price tag of $35,000.
Apparently, it was serious.
I don't know. See what you think. Makoto Fujimura.
His most expensive piece was $150,000.
I don't understand.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


The snow, oh, the snow. It came in on Thursday night and by Friday night it had pretty much shut everything down. We in western Oregon are not equipped with things like snow shovels and snow ploughs, so we hunker down and live on hot chocolate and Netflix, which isn't completely a bad thing.
Except for the twenty pounds of red fingerling potatoes that I naively left in the shed, half of which froze and had to be eaten promptly. Can I just say that frozen/thawed/raw potatoes are not a nice thing. They ooze potato juice over everything, so that even when they are cooked deliciously, all you can think about is the black ooze.

But there was this:

And everything was delightfully white and pristine for about three days until the weather warmed.

A couple of weeks earlier, we were out at the Ranch and things were very frozen.
We never get tired of this view.

And a couple of weeks before that, we took Thomy and Jeff to see one of Josh's basketball games. Jeff was happily clicking away with his camera.
This is one of my favourite shots of McKenzie.

We laugh every time we look at this one, Josh looks so graceful. I always knew he would be a good dancer, if only his dad would consider the idea of dance lessons.

And how are the bathroom renovations going? 
Why, thank you for asking.
It should all be finished tomorrow, barring painting around the shower. 
We are very glad that we hired out the shower installation, as the new one was slightly smaller than the old one, necessitating a slight building up of the walls behind it. 
It occurred to me yesterday that I am grateful that we have two bathrooms. Not sure what we would have done without a toilet and shower for two weeks. 
First world problems.

As for me, I am flying out tomorrow, Texas bound. Hopefully, Jeff will have the taxes done by the time I get home next week!
Ha! I get Texas, he gets taxes!
Get it?
Stay tuned for grandbaby photos.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The bitter and the sweet

Life has been erratic. 
Let's just say that between the snowstorm, the bathroom renovation, both of us coming down with the norovirus, and me breaking out in hives that may or may not be a residual after-effect of the virus, last night I was hankering after something sweet and delicious and not too taxing to prepare.
Luckily, I had spent some time earlier in the day cooking up a couple of dozen uncooked Tortilla Land tortillas, and I had a can of caramel apple pie filling in the pantry and a carton of Philly extra-protein honey-flavoured cream cheese in the fridge.
Ten minutes later, I was popping these babies into the oven.

Drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and it's a pretty good approximation of Applebee's long-defunct apple chimi-cheesecakes, one of the few restaurant desserts of which I bemoan the loss.

Here are a couple of links to slightly different versions of the tasty dessert. This was the one I used, although I didn't add sugar to the cream cheese, which was already slightly sweet. I used half the butter and didn't frost them and they were plenty rich.
This one looks good too, being fried and put together rather differently.

And now I am wishing we hadn't eaten the last of them tonight.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I love the grandchildren at whatever age they are today, but I sometimes get nostalgic for the days when the older ones were younger and still thought that a walk around the block with Nana was exciting.

I found these photos on a blog draft that, for some reason, I never finished. 
The hat and coat are from my emergency outerwear stash, so it must have been chilly.

Back in the days when video games were not the entertainment of choice.

I love this little imp.