Belly Laughs Before Breakfast

Poke, poke in the ribs–Chloe’s usual way to wake me. Exhausted from hosting Thanksgiving, I had gone to bed when the grandkids did. I looked at the clock: 8:50! They let us sleep in!

Soon the bed was a maelstrom of wrestling, pillow-tossing and mayhem, which I quickly escaped.

At breakfast we sorted out roles: the kids were Rogues, who created chaos, Gary was Rogaine, who, of course, restored hair, and I was Roguette, who restored (or tried to restore) order in the universe.

Bryan had plans with his dad and I promised Chloe we’d go to the carnival. When we got there we learned it didn’t open till 4, so we went to Mayfield Park to see the peacocks,

Shy and straggly peacock in a tree

Shy and straggly peacock in a tree

which are looking a bit bedraggled this time of year. We walked down the trails leading to a beautiful flowing creek (a real treat after a drought year).


Skipping across the rock bridge

Skipping across the rock bridge


After a brief stop at Laguna Gloria we headed home for lunch. Later we returned to the money pit, um, carnival. Chloe won a fluffy stuffed dog (“Fluffy”) by popping balloons with darts, and we rode on enough rides to spend all my cash and make me nauseated.

On the Ferris wheel with Fluffy

On the Ferris wheel with Fluffy

Trampo-bungee ride (not sure what it's called

Trampo-bungee ride (not sure what it’s called)










That evening we watched the (Mark Wahlberg) version of “Planet of the Apes.” We had seen  the older film (with Charlton Heston) a few months ago, and Chloe was fascinated by the story. Next we had “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” cued up.

Thanksgiving weekend is essentially “Fall” in central Texas. Out walking and playing tag around the condo complex Saturday morning, we found enough leaves to rake up into a pile, which took longer than the time we actually played in the leaves, but on such a beautiful day it was worth it to be outside.

Leaf pile

Leaf pile

All that yard “work” tired us out and we took a nap. Then Chloe painted and decorated old light bulbs with acrylic paints for Christmas ornaments. I’ll probably hang them from a tree in the courtyard. She also made snowflakes from a book of stencils I bought in the Brooklyn Museum gift shop, using glitter crayons also found at the Brooklyn shop.





Recycled into swirly ornaments

Recycled into swirly ornaments

Colorful snowflakes and stencils

Colorful snowflakes and stencils

Saturday night was a double-feature: “Annie” (the old version from the 80s) and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” On her next visit we’ll try for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which releases on DVD this week. Did I mention she’s fascinated by these stories–she roots for the apes.

Sunday morning we invited the next-door neighbor girl, who is 11, over to play, and we went to a neighborhood park. By this time they were a bit jaded and bored, but we climbed rocks chased around with a spunky 4-year-old named Ginger.

Too much weekend?

Too much weekend?

I am rarely still, always doing something–knitting, writing, cleaning, reading. But when I am with those kids I am in the moment and not thinking about what needs to be done (until about time for Chloe to leave, when I notice the piles of laundry).

When I took Chloe home, the dog jumped into the car to greet me. Must have been the turkey scraps I fed her on Thursday. Best Thanksgiving I can remember in a long time.




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