Thursday Thoughts

Workin’ Man
When Bill McLain decides to be a workin’ man, he goes all in. We (and when I say we, I mean Bill) have been working on demolition of our family room in preparation for putting up drywall to replace the 70s paneling that has lined the walls since the house was built, and then painting. After that, he is going to embark on installing wood floors. To say it’s a lot of work is to put it lightly. Trust me when I say that Chip Gaines makes it look a lot easier than it actually is……

Do Not Tuch
Amidst all of the demolition, Mylee had built a variety of items out of Legos. When I went to clean up after she had left, I found her legos on top of this note….

Trust me. I didn’t tuch.

I’m pretty sure it’s official. I take the worst selfies in the entire universe. And this selfie, I’m afraid to say, is particularly bad. I took it during our trip yesterday to Rocky Mountain National Park. Bec thinks it’s just because we have short arms. That may be so, but from the looks of this photo, I have the arms of a Tyrannosaurus Rex…..

My goal, by the way, was to get a photo of us with the mountain in the background. Selfie fail.

So the Mountain Came to Mohammed
So, what the heck! I just took a photo of the mountain, which is very beautiful. And much more beautiful than it looks with our mugs in front of it….


Thursday Thoughts: Wednesday Edition

Travelers is Not Just an Insurance Company
This week is sort of Upside Down Week because we are, for all intents and purposes, still traveling. We got home Sunday afternoon from Arizona, took Monday to say hello to our Denver grandkids, and left bright and early Tuesday morning for the airport to fly to Chicago. Bill’s mom will turn 99 this July, and so we take opportunities to spend time with her when our schedules allow. So you have my weekly THURSDAY THOUGHTS post on Wednesday so that I could do a throw-back on Thursday. You know – TBT. At any rate, we return to Denver on Saturday and get a few weeks here until we return for one more week to the desert so that Bill can finish his dental work. Phew.

Which Way to the Bathroom?
I have mentioned before that no matter which direction we’re going, it takes us a bit to remember where everything is at this particular house. I think that phenomenon is worse in Denver because the house is bigger. Even the toilet paper is on the other side in our toilet, so in the middle of the night, I tiredly fumble for the toilet tissue on one side when it is actually on the other. As for food and other kitchen items, it’s nearly a lost cause. I’ll be fine in a week or so.

Grandkidpalooza, Part 2
We had to fit a lot of grandkid-time into a day-and-a-half before we left again for Chicago. Dave and Jll and the kids, along with Allen, stopped by Sunday night for hugs and catch-up time. Monday I picked up Mylee from school. Kaiya had stayed home because of a cold. I took Mylee home and gave Cole – who will turns 2 today – his present. I bought him some swimming paraphernalia, some bathtub toys, and some age-appropriate Legos. Mylee was very happy that Cole was willing to share the Legos as Legos are about her favorite thing after Play Doh. Cole cried when I left, which makes me happy and sad all at the same time.

cole birthday 2

Creepy Facebook
When Bill and I go to Chicago, one of our MUST-DOES is a trip (or two) to Bill’s favorite pizza place – Fox’s Pizza. There are three or four of them around the south side of Chicago and its suburbs, but the one we go to since his mother moved to Orland Park is called Fox’s Pizza on Wolf Road. The other day, I opened up Facebook, began scrolling down, and came across an ad for Fox’s Pizza on Wolf Road. So, not only do “they” know that we are going to Chicago, “they” also know where we plan on eating. I try not to think about it too much. Apple (bless its heart) worked so hard to avoid having to allow the government access to telephones, when the fact of the matter is they all know where we are at all times anyway.



The central plains in general – and Chicago in particular — had snow on Thursday. That wouldn’t normally impact us. After all, Bill’s mom lives in assisted living and has no reason to be out in the snow. No concerns there. Our kids who had visited her for Easter were long since home, so we didn’t have to worry about their safety.

Nevertheless, the Midwest weather conditions resulted in our plane – waaay down in Arizona – being delayed by a couple of hours. The plane, you see, originated in Chicago.

However, it was all good because we had nowhere we had to be once we landed in Denver. At least not that night. And it was a good thing because security in the Phoenix airport was as bad as I’ve ever seen it. Between snowbirds heading home after Easter and Spring Breakers’ vacations winding down, we settled in for a good long wait. It was fine because we had nothing but time. What’s more, when I checked my email later, Frontier had given me a $25 voucher for my trouble. I won’t turn that down.

We had not a lick of food in our Denver house. It seriously looked like the home of Cindy Lou Who down in Whoville after the Grinch had stolen all of their presents and the roast beast. So once we were settled (and we are grateful that the house was standing in one piece), we ordered Greek food to be delivered, because as usual, the Yellow Bug refused to start. Dead as the proverbial doorknob until such time as we could get the battery a charge. Which we eventually did.

Starting Friday, from 8:30 on, we had grandkids. The number varied based on the time of day. It started with two — Dagny and Alastair. Three more arrived at lunchtime — Kaiya, Mylee, and Cole. The original two went home for a bit, but two more came in their place — Addie and Maggie Faith. Finally, the other two couldn’t stand that there was fun going on without them, and showed up at my front door, cheeks red from riding their bikes the three-block distance to our house from theirs. I bought a family pack of Oreos Friday morning and they were mostly gone by Friday afternoon. Meghan Trainor may think It’s All About the Bass, but in our grandkids’ minds, it’s all about the Oreos.

Besides Oreo crumbs, here’s what time with the grandkids largely consisted of…..




cole play dough


As you can see, now that Cole is almost 2, he is no longer happy just carrying around the Play Doh can; instead, he wants to get his hand in the mix.

Jen came for a visit on Saturday and spent the night, along with Kaiya and Mylee. Cole came for the day, but went home in the evening with his mommy and daddy. A couple of things have changed since I saw him last. First, he has lost all of his little toddler looks. He is now all little boy. Second (and related), he will have nothing to do with the portacrib in which he used to comfortably and cheerfully nap. It’s not enough that he weeps bitterly when I put him in it because he doesn’t want to miss out on the fun; now he is able to crawl out of the crib. After his cries subsided on Saturday afternoon, I quietly tip-toed into the room to see if he had fallen asleep. He greeted me cheerfully at the door. Oh boy.

A swing full of girls. Well, and Cole....

A swing full of girls. Well, and Cole….

Saturday evening we had a princess party. When you are the grandfather and brother of girls, you adapt. As you can see, Papa and Cole were happy to join the festivities. Anything for the pound cake and ice cream with chocolate toffee sauce that were the princess treats.

cole papa princess party

Cole princess party

It’s the story of life with two sisters….

Sunday following church, we dropped the girls off at their home and had lunch with the other grandkids.

I’m tired.

This post linked to the GRAND Social