Jessi makes oatmeal for breakfast, walks Sammi to school, then rides her bike to work. Caleb and I eat while Lyra watches Sesame Street and then Caleb hangs our clothes on the line to dry. Jake gets the shop ready for making ceramic cups before joining us, while Caleb and Lyra have fun identifying things (ex. Tyrannosaurus rex and Swiss cheese – her words) on stickers from her large reusable book including scenes from Finding Nemo, Cars, Toy Story, and Ratatouille.
We watch Jake make a cup while I help Lyra get more oatmeal, keep Piggy out of the shop, and water the garden. Watching these two, Jake teach Caleb, reminds me of Caroline and me. The teacher is smooth, quick, and coördinated. The student struggles at first, makes it look like they know what they are doing, and then they present their proud work. Caleb started out easy enough, then his cup got wobbly for a bit, and that’s all it took to put a chip in the rim.
We have enough time to pick up Robert later than we had planned, but still early enough for his heart doctor to make sure he’s still ticking properly. They buy drinks in the café while I check out the gift shop with no need for stuffed animals, flowers, and get well cards. Then I look at the large library with books available for patients and family members about health and disease, life and loss, and some magazines. There are also shelves displaying pioneer medical equipment and historical documents.
We read from ’Tis while we wait for Robert’s return – which isn’t long. We go to the store to pick up ingredients for squawkos and go through self check-out with our squash, chard, etc. On the receipt it says, ‘Your Cashier Today Was Self’ and the cashier that keeps an eye on the four check-out registers tells me, “Good Job Self!” when she overhears me reading it happily.
We swing by Robert’s to get him something un-squash to eat and get back to the house to the girls making pretend syrup with dandelions and leaves from the yard. I eat the rest of my salad from last night and talk with Robert while Caleb makes the handle for his cup and Jake helps the girls make cups for each other and then tiny animals. Caleb’s cup ends up with a dent in the bottom from him dropping it and a fingerprint from each niece from their curiosity.
Then, for the first time in four years, we get to hear Piggy have a barking spree. She usually gives one loud woof if she has to let her bladder leak or fill her gut on something besides random things found in the house or yard or Caleb’s book bag. We yell at Sparky to shut up, but I try to catch this moment on video since it doesn’t happen ever and I can appreciate it more. I prefer when Sparky does his talk-bark or grumbles. I don’t mind the barking, except when it’s in the house, car, tent – enclosed and usually places that echo.
Jake and Caleb start dinner while Lyra and Boompa play together in the living room. She’s talking to him when she points at his arm, “There’s a clock, in your watch” in a questioning tone. It’s cute and funny, and he asked for verification if there wasn’t a watch in his clock. My Little Ponies take over the living room when Sammi brings them out of the bedroom and dinner is served when Jessi arrives.
The fun doesn’t stop there. I wonder if the tortilla hat is worn for the camera as I remember my mom telling me when she was growing up that at the dinner table they were given the option to eat or wear their food. I would’ve worn so many things (shrimp gumbo, anything with ground beef, and the stuffed cabbage with hot sauce, etc.) had I been given the chance. I didn’t become a vegetarian for the animals sake, I did it for my own narcissistic reasons. I don’t like the way they taste dead, though I’m sure live is more difficult to chew and a bit bloody.
I try calling Sherri to get her sunflower waffle recipe. We have it written down on a card, but I never posted it to my blog (like I should have), so we will have to look to the internet for similar inspiration. Sammi has one-on-one time with Jessi and then goes to bed quietly and easily. The adults watch Lyra play some educational app games before she too is off to bed. We all talk for another hour before doing the same.