Monday, October 31, 2011


This is my abuelito.  He is my father's father.

 He is 89 years old and lives in Puerto Rico.  He came for a visit this month and was staying at his sister's house in the Kissimmee area.  She's his younger sister; all of 83.  Due to some crazy changes, what was supposed to be his staying at my house for 4 days, turned into him leaving the day after I had arranged it for him to spend those 4 days with us.

Scrambling on a Thursday after work, David brought the kids to me at work.  We then spent an hour and a HOUR and a HALF, stuck in ridiculous Orlando rush-hour traffic!  Poor abuelo actually thought we were not coming.  It was a stressful ride (and I left straight from work, hence my looking like a lump) but we made it to see him.  We arrived some time after 6:30 p.m. and we still had to drive back home on this school night.

I wished he could have stayed.  Yes, he's old & persnickety sometimes, but he's my grandpa and my elder. I definitely can handle persnickety with respect.   I really wanted my kids to see him.  This is their great-grandfather after all.  They have two great-grandmothers, but only one great grandpa, and I really want my kids to say they remember him. I mean, he's 89.  He loved that Jacob is a musician.  My abuelo loves music; he sings and plays guitar.  He even makes guitars in his garage.

I gave him a careful hug; he's all angles and bones, and we talked while he ate at the house of a neighbor of his sister.

 Sadly, by this time the kids were STARVING and whining about it.  We ended up only spending about an hour with him before we had to turn and make the 1.5 hr ride back home.

Here's my abuelito.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Part 3 of Play is Not up!

UPDATE:  Jacob's teacher asked us to take down the play.  Something about legal bladdy bladdy.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - a High School Production

As I stated earlier, Jacob was in a production of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," by Tom Stoppard.  A seriously funny play dealing with the back story of two minor characters in Shakespeare's "Hamlet."  The play intertwines small scenes, word for word,  from "Hamlet" within it, so there are some scenes you might be familiar with if you've read the bard's tome.

After weeks of nights and weekend rehearsals, the kids performed on Wednesday through Friday, October 12-14, 2011.

 Jacob played Hamlet, a man falling deeper and deeper into madness.  When the play starts, Jacob's hair is pretty normal.  We came up with the idea of Jacob's hair getting messier and messier as the scenes progressed, to show Hamlet's descent into madness.

Nice hair
 The play is so darned witty and the language so fast-paced, that sometimes things get lost in the telling.  I had several people, young and old, as me "Do you know what the heck is going on?"    Yep.  Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are bumbling idiots who have no idea why they're in Denmark, why they were summoned or what they're supposed to be doing.  It's wicked fun.

Jacob as Hamlet and The Player, played by Leon D.

Alfred the Tragedian, played hysterically by Richard R.

The group worked hard and are hoping for high scores; they were being judged one evening in hopes of moving the production to a state-level competition.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Week That Would Not End...

......has thankfully ended.


It started well enough.  Jacob had rehearsals all weekend and the beginning of the week for the play he was in, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," so he was pretty much at school 24/7.

Monday Isabel started another round of swimming lessons.  I sometimes wish we had a pool, or had access to one that did not require a monthly membership fee.  If we had access, I'm sure David would have taught her by now.

Then came Tuesday.  I was home, after working all day, making cookie batter.  I was going to make gift cookies for all the kids in the high school play.  The phone rings around 6 p.m.  It's David telling me he had gotten into a car accident in his Honda.    This is Tuesday.  The previous Saturday, we had just paid almost $1500 to get repairs done to the Honda from two previous incidents, neither one his fault.  One was a dent caused by someone coming out of our own driveway and hitting his car and the other was in the parking lot at Disney, where someone scratched the paint off the side of his car while we were inside.  Fifteen hundred dollars, and two days later.......

 Leaving Isabel with her brother, who had gotten home from rehearsals, and leaving all the baking things as-is, I ride the 35 minute trip to where he is.

With about 2 miles to go, I'm at a traffic light at a busy intersection, and I can't get the Jeep into gear.  I drive a stick and I cannot get the danged thing in gear.  I put my hazards on and, my voice in near-hysteria levels, I cry to David over the phone that I can't get the car in gear!!!  Cars whiz by by me and finally, I grind the thing into third gear and pray I don't get any red lights, as I head to where David is.

I make it to where David is and stop.  We decide to call a tow truck to get David's car to the local garage I use, near my office.  When David tries the Jeep (he must think I'm being ridiculous about getting the car into gear), he can't get it into gear either.  Duh!!

We call the tow truck and I weepily call a co-worker who lives WAY far away and who had just gotten home from a 4+ hour drive from a job site.  He scarfs his meal and comes to where we are.   He is a co-worker and  friend of 14 years.   I owe him big time.

Both cars get taken to the garage and we get taken home.  Thankfully, we have the car that my sister gave to Jacob.  It needs new brakes and a new rear suspension & shocks ($1200 quote) but it works.

The next morning, Wednesday, David takes care of the insurance claim on the Honda while I take care of the Jeep.  The Honda needs to go to a collision shop 300 feet from the garage where we had it towed.  Great luck.  My main garage quote me $1200 to get the clutch fixed, and when I balk, he recommends we take the Jeep to a place that only works on transmissions.  My co-worker and I are able to get the Jeep in gear and he follows me the 2 miles to the transmission place.  They say they'll look at it.

That evening, I take Isabel to swimming lessons in a co-worker's borrowed car (I work with truly amazing, selfless people) while David drives the Ford for work.  He text-messages me to tell me the Ford is sputtering at stop lights.  I try not to cry, say a little prayer to God for help,  try to focus on Isabel's lessons, and head home to finish the cookies I tried starting the night before.

Thursday, and still no Jeep.  They're "looking into it."   I'm at work and the new sales guy comes in.  He's been with us 4 weeks.  I tell him my tales of woe, and he comes back from his office and hands me his car keys.  His personal car has been sitting outside the office, unused, for 4 weeks.  He has a company vehicle and has not moved his personal car since he started with us. "Keep it as long as you need it."  I just stare,  disbelieving.  "Are you sure?!"  He replies "Yea, absolutely."  Prayer answered.   Thanks!

Thursday night, my nephew and his girlfriend arrive to stay the weekend.  I continue decorating cookies and then we all head towards the high school, my nephew and his gf driving, to watch Jacob in his play (more posts on that later).  I came back home to finish decorating the cookies and got to bed at 1 a.m.

Friday, no Jeep but they're making progress, no news on the Honda, and another night of the play.   The Ford is giving David more problems, but for now, it's running.  The play is fantastic and the kids love the cookies.

Saturday, Jacob has a choir performance (more posts on that later) and the garage finally calls me back to say the Jeep is fixed; $680.  *sigh*  I take Jacob to Daytona Beach (40 minutes one way) for singing the middle of Biketober Fest.  Back home (40 minutes).  Head back 2 hours later to pick him up (took me 50 minutes this time) and an hour to get back home because the biker traffic had really ramped up.

Then BACK to Daytona Beach for the night's performance.

Sunday was spent catching up on my sleep and going grocery shopping, which I had to neglect all week long. tired. I am glad this week is over.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Buffy Season 9: No 1, Free Fall pt 1

Buffy Season 9 has begun!

Buffy Season 9 #1 cover edit Pictures, Images and Photos
Steve Morris' cover is great.

I was 50/50 with Season 8.  The whole Angel/Twilight/whatever thing just.....*sigh*  It made my head hurt.  The last time a comic made my head hurt, I canceled my subscription *coughAngelcough*

I decided to just suck it up and continue with Season 9.

So here we are with Free Fall part 1.

I love looking at the individual cells to find miscellaneous items (Mr. Gordo! Who's the Japanese race fan? Did Vans sponsor this one? Yay, a Wicked poster!  Huh. That monster looks like Giles.)

Overall, it's a good start.  Buffy's trying to deal with what she's done; how she's made magic go bye-bye and all the guilt she feels over it.  What better way to get over guilt than to drown it is booze!  Yea! Cause that always helps.

There's the "Jane Doe" murders stating to unfurl in the background, the pink haired slayer is back and someone's put a hit out on our girl, but what else is new?  (Also, I'm not sure if all the magic is gone. I mean, what's up with the green-ball-force-field thingy and the demons with the lighty spears?)

Mostly, though, it's Buffy not knowing how to deal, in an adult way, with what she's done, hence the boozing and not remembering.

I'll be looking out for #2.

Side note from grammar mama here:

THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!   Right there, the top panel.  Where Willow says "or You're being projecting-y."

I know that there's a huge problem with Your vs. You're.  I, for one, get it, but is the above the sign of someone trying too hard?

Let me explain.  when you say something like "It's your love of pizza that gives you heartburn" we understand "your love" is giving you problems.  So when Willow says it's not about blame or Buffy's being projecting-y, shouldn't it be "your being projecting-y?"  Her "projecting-y-ness" (possessive 'your')  is what it is not about.  Yes, "You're being projecting-y" makes sense in grammar.  You are being projecting-y.  But in the context of Willow's earlier statement, "Buffy it's not about blame," doesn't it make more sense to say "Buffy it's also not about your being projecting-y"  You would not say "Buffy it's not about you are being projecting-y."  Am I making sense?    Am I right here?  Grrr, Argh!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Computer-Drawn Pictures by Isabel

All art and titles by Isabel.  Enjoy.

Our House

Chipmunk Love

Cosette Grace M. (Isabel's newest cousin) 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hanging Out in an Estuary

Estuary.  Gesundheit.  

An Estuary is a place where fresh water and salt water meet.  Check it out.

Jacob's in an AP Environmental Science class.  A.P. E.S.  aka APES.   They had a field trip to Rose Bay, which is an estuary in Spruce Creek Park.  They needed chaperones, so I volunteered.  Turns out, I was the only volunteer needed.  There were only 15 kids going.

We headed on the bus, driven by the class teacher, which was pretty darned funny and impressive; she'd just gotten her license to drive school buses and this was her first trip!  She did great.

We arrived and were split up into 3 groups; one for me, one for the teacher and one for the teacher's intern from a local college.  Jacob ended up not even being in my group.

Each group had to go through 3 small tours; birds, plants & manatees.  My group of 4 girls and one boy were off to birds.

The kids were really fun and were interested in what the local park educator had to say.

Next up, Plants.  We walked around and were shown different plants, what to eat what not to eat, etc.

Studying plants

Stoner tries a numbing plant.  Yes, his last name is Stoner. No, I am not joking.

Jacob's group heads off to the plants tour.

After plants, we headed over to the manatee lesson where the kids played a game that showed how overpopulation hurts the animals in an environment.

After this, we all headed on a small hike, maybe 1/2-3/4 of a mile.  Our group headed to an activity where we mapped out the crab population using these meter.....things.  See below.

The other two groups? They were in the water with a 70 foot net, trying to catch things!!

Jacob & classmates lug the net
Once we were done with our crab-mapping, we switched off with a group in the water and we waded right on in.

Jacob on the right. On the left is an exchange student from Germany.  

I was in the water with them, taking all the pictures.  We got muddy and smelly.  We didn't catch much; just some tiny fish, shrimp and little non-stinging jelly thingies.  

A fun time was had by all.