Being Parents and Grandparents……

06 Apr

Arlyne and I are in Texas and have departed from Austin. We’re in Alamo, Texas and have started our volunteer assignment at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Our duties are mostly in the visitor’s center but we’re in luck because the bird migration from Central and South America is in full force. It should be a birdwatching and photography bonanza. But before I write about the NWR assignment, let me briefly describe how we helped our daughter Alec and son-in-law with their business and watched our grandchildren grow up.

I’ve done so many things around their house I’ve almost forgotten most of what I did. I made a small wire fence around the yard so the newest member of the family, a rescued little mixed breed dog, can’t get out or go into the pool. I fixed the front door, replaced a bedroom door lock, repaired a bathroom lock, got rid of a rat in the attic, made a stand-up workbench for the shipping department, made a holder for large rolls of vinyl, put up the Xmas tree, took down the Xmas tree, helped set up a new TV, constructed a small fenced-in garden, made several roaring fires when it was cold, fixed kitchen cabinet hinges, repaired the embroidery machine, organized the garage a couple of times, replaced light bulbs in hard to reach places, baked cookies several times, made bread, made a blueberry dessert and brownies, etc.Image

Arlyne kept the books and records, packed and shipped products, helped with sales tax forms, 1099’s, and paychecks for the other women in the company, and all kinds of related activities. Arlyne and I were especially excited that Bubblegum Basics sold two iPhone cases with our picture of a tiger. In addition, Arlyne took it upon herself to write her life story, which we will have published in the next few weeks. She of course grew up in Costa Rica and her story is a bit different than the rest of us. I was fascinated with the details. More on her story a few blogs later.

Being able to spend several months a year with our grandchildren in Texas is a treat. We want to have some influence on their lives but that’s difficult with teenagers. Still, we do advise them about what they’ll encounter in their lives and how to deal with things. Mostly this goes unheeded but we like to try.

Samantha broke her wrist running backwards during conditioning for softball. Image

She has started to play again, after going to several games with her cast. Lexi, the 6-year old, has started to play softball now. She hits pretty well off the “T”

Griffin (16) went with his date to the Sadie Hawkins prom with his cute little date, Madison. Neither of them permitted their picture to be taken so I only have this one shot.



Broken wrist for Samantha!!  Dog amigos……Barney and Zeus.


I made four loaves of honey oatmeal bread and two loaves of cinnamon bread and gave a bit to everybody who wanted some. Lexi the 6-year old really likes my bread. We sliced up half a loaf for our “neighbor” John in the RV Park. He was quite sick a few weeks back but is doing very well now. We sent him over something good to eat once in a while. John worked for Willie Nelson for nearly 20 years as a “roadie” who set up the venues and built things at Willie’s house. John was a “seabee” in the Navy before that and he had lots of stories to tell us. I really like him because I like interesting people.

I made 100 snicker doodle cookies a couple of weeks ago…..50 for Lexi’s kindergarten “mall” and 50 for the rest of us. The Bubblegum Basics ladies are very good about not eating too many of them. I usually have a bunch, along with Griffin.

Arlyne has made soup, tacos, spaghetti and other stuff for the family……more than once. We had a great time with the Whitman’s three dogs, especially the contrast between the big South African mastiff (Zeus) and the little mutt (Barney). It’s too bad we really can’t have a dog the way we move around the country.

The next blog will cover the excitement we have had at the Santa Ana NWR and I’ll post it pretty quickly.

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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Bird Lover


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