Saturday, May 23, 2015

Awesome dinner--to me

At a loss for something to have for dinner besides a half a pimiento cheese sandwich, I fixed a dinner that I thought was awesome--and would have sent son-in-law Christian running for Whataburger. Creamed tuna on toast and shredded zucchini, a la Julia Child. I know, most people equate creamed tuna either with the tuna casserole of their childhood (I can make a killer tuna casserole) or creamed chipped beef on toast (SOS in the army). I can make a pretty good version of that too!
First the zucchini which a neighbor brought me--it comes in her weekly vegetable delivery, and she's allergic. I used the large hole shredder and ended up with what I thought was too much--but I ate every bite. Just sauté in a bit of butter and olive oil adding salt and pepper--it will get weepy at first and then soak up the liquid. Don't let it stick to the pan. Doesn't take long to soften shredded zucchini.
Creamed things are a  problem for me because I don't keep milk on hand. Every time grandchildren are coming I dutifully buy milk, and when they leave I either send it home with Jordan or throw it out. I've also stopped buying them orange juice.
Anyway, back to tuna--I made a roux of butter and flour but didn't brown it, adding chardonnay by bits until I had a fairly thick sauce (1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. flour), then threw in a dollop of sour cream and the tuna. If I'd had green peas, I'd have added them, but I was out. Again, salt and pepper and you're done. I served it on crisp toasted French bread. Both were delicious.
Speaking of peas, a new favorite dish of mine is, I think, standard in the British Isles--pea mash. Just take some of those good, petite frozen peas (not the pale green canned) and sauté in butter. When they're soft, mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Keep mashing until you have a fairly even consistency. Salt, pepper, and you're done.
I seem to be in for easy cooking these days. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bone-weary tired

This is my not stodgy, not an old person's car--eleven years old with 31,000+ miles!
Bone tired. You  ever feel that way? That's how I feel tonight. I've done a lot of running around this week that I'd rather not do. I'd like to be home at my computer, but I took the dog to the vet for an annual check-up, went to physical therapy which is always tiring, went out to lunch twice and dinner once (all of which I enjoyed), had Jacob overnight three nights (which means I don't sleep as well even though I love having him here--mostly), got a haircut, went to the grocery, took the car to be repaired (predictably it cost four times what I anticipated) and went to a doctor's appointment. Maybe it was the nap I took this afternoon that made me lose my oomph--slept so soundly that the alarm was a great intrusion. Woke up to go get Jacob--who promptly went home to play with a friend. Should have gone back to bed.
The weather doesn't help. By now, everyone knows about the monsoon season we're having--22+ inches, more than all of last year. And it's supposed to rain at least until mid-week. Sometimes a gentle rain is comforting, but we've had sudden heavy downbursts--they don't last long, but they're intense. Plants and lawns are loving it. People not so much. We're beginning to long for sunshine and to feel moldy; crops are dying from too much water. It's been a great drought-breaker, with lakes a year ago almost empty now overflowing.
Texas novelist Elmer Kelton's most significant work was the novel The Time It Never Rained, but he later wrote an article titled "The Time It Always Rained." Writing mostly from sheepmen's point of view, Elmer stressed the difficulty for animal raisers. I wish he were here today to give us his view on this deluge.
To make it worse, this is the weekend of the PGA tournament at Colonial Country Club (sponsors change occasionally and I can't remember what we're calling it this year--it will always be Colonial to me). I don't know much about golf, but I imagine a soggy course is a real problem for golfers. And surely it discourages both real golf fans and those who go to drink beer and ogle the women--a Colonial tradition. However, if traffic is an indicator, it hasn't discouraged many people--traffic is as always a mess anywhere near the golf course. Streets closed, etc. This morning I thought I'd be smart and cut through a shopping village parking lot--blocked off with an official man patrolling. Had to retrace my steps. And my favorite way to come and go to West Fort Worth is blocked. This evening to avoid University Drive, I went almost downtown to get to White Settlement and retrieve my repaired car.
So glad to have my Beetle back. Grateful for the loan of a Passat but it felt stodgy and stiff to me, and I was never comfortable driving it. A friend told me in Germany all the old people drive Passats--oh good, just what I needed to know.
Enough rambling. I'm going to go fix breakfast for dinner--scrambled eggs and bacon. It's one of Jacob's favorites.
 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Taking a new road

I debated about blogging about this, because I try not to blog a lot about my writing career. But a timeline I recently saw said on the road to self-publication the first thing to do is tell family and friends. So here I am to say I'm going off in two new directions next fall: I will self-publish my historical novel, "The Gilded Cage." Yes, I know there are other novels by that name, but it's so apt. I've had some success with similar novels before, about extraordinary women of the American West, but this is different. It's a fictional biography of Bertha Honore (Cissy) Palmer and her husband, Potter Palmer of the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.
I'm fascinated for two reasons: I grew up on Chicago's South side, Hyde Park/Kenwood to be specific, close to the grounds of the 1893 Columbian Exposition--rumor has it that the 1892 house in which I was raised was built for the exposition. As I delved into that story, I became more fascinated than ever at the amazing amount of talent showcased there, everything from scholars like Frederick Jackson Turner and Henry Adams to sculpture by St. Gaudens and art by Mary Cassett--to the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, the original Ferris Wheel, and the scandalous "Little Egypt" where there was--gasp!--belly dancing.
And Cissy Palmer herself was an unusual and strong woman. Born and married into wealth, she was among the first to see the connection between wealth and philanthropy. Yes, her husband gave generously to various causes, but Cissy was the one who attended women's meetings, supported women's causes, traveled among the shanties of West Chicago to distribute help, worked at Hull House, Jane Addams' famous community shelter for immigrant women. The crowning glory of Cissy's career came whens she was elected President of the Lady Managers of the Exposition, responsible for the design, decoration, maintenance, and operation of the Women's Building.
I've turned the entire story into fiction, invented scenes and dialog and characters while sticking with the people who were really there. Most notably, I've injected a note of decorous romantic attraction, which I'm sure never existed. It all comes to a head the last night of the exposition.
The manuscript is with an editor and the idea with a cover designer. All plans can go awry of course,, but I hope to publish in October--so make your list of Christmas gifts. It will be in e-book and trade paper simultaneously.
And I'm equally excited about the book that Texas Tech Press is publishing in November: Texas is
Chili Country. I absolutely love the cover they've designed for it. The book is a light-hearted but documented look at the history of chili and the popularity of chili cook-offs today, with the granddaddy of them all at Terlingua each November. There are photos and recipes galore, along with chapters on beans and beer. Yes, I know--purists will not stand for beans in their chili, but they're often a side dish. And who can have chili without beer? I was lucky to have the cooperation of several good people in the compilation of this book, and I really look forward to some chili cook-off signing parties.
For those of you who like Kelly O'Connell and her Fairmount neighborhood or Kate and the Blue Plate Café, don't despair. There will be a third Blue Plate mystery in March or April 2016. Kelly will be back sometime, and so will Susan Hogan of The Perfect Coed.
As I said, plans can go awry, but there are my goals. Over the summer, I'll be blogging about Chicago history and chili recipes. Nothing like diversity in your writing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Touring Ireland: Sit Back and Enjoy Your Trip


Please welcome my Wednesday guest, Maggie King, a lover of all things Irish. Maggie is the author of Murder at the Book Group, published in 2014 by Simon and Schuster Pocket Books. She contributed the short story, “A Not So Genteel Murder,” to the Sisters in Crime anthology Virginia is for Mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the American Association of University Women and has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor.

Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.


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Ireland. This verdant and magical land with its charming people and troubled history has been described countless times in literature and film. You’ve probably seen more movies and television shows with Irish settings than you realize: Angela’s Ashes, The Boxer, Circle of Friends, The Commitments, The Crying Game, Michael Collins, My Left Foot, Ryan’s Daughter, and The Snapper, to name a few.

When I’m planning a trip I enjoy watching movies and shows produced by my potential hosts and set in their homeland. By the time I visited Ireland in 2007, I’d seen the above films plus a few more.

And when I returned home, I continued my tour of the Emerald Isle as an armchair traveler. For your own tour, I recommend the following:

Father Ted follows the hilarious adventures of three Roman Catholic priests who, due to “improprieties” in their pasts, have been banished to a parish on the fictional Craggy Island, off Ireland’s west coast. The show is laugh-out-loud funny but sometimes crosses the line into poor taste. If you tend to be refined, you may want to skip this one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Ted.

Ballykissangel, filmed in Avoca, a picturesque Irish village in County Wicklow, revolves around a young English Roman Catholic priest as he becomes part of a rural community. The show captures the delightful Irish spirit and the stories, with their ensemble cast of well-drawn characters who captivate viewers from the get-go. http://visitwicklow.ie/attractions/ballykissangel/

Single-Handed is a gritty police drama set and filmed in the west of Ireland. It features Sergeant Jack Driscoll, a member of the Garda (police) and one of the grimmest characters in the history of television anywhere. The breathtaking scenery in Single-Handed belies the darkness of the stories and the evil they evoke. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-Handed_%28TV_series%29

Once, a film set in Dublin, is based on the true story of musical collaborators Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. What makes this delightful film extra special for me is that I can spot the restaurant Kafka is the background of one of the scenes. My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Kafka (in fact, we enjoyed great dinners all over Ireland, especially at the pubs). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_%28film%29

The Irish R.M. is set at the turn of the 20th century and filmed in Kildare, Wicklow, and various locations in the West of Ireland. This comedy-drama series stars Peter Bowles and is based on stories written by Anglo-Irish novelists E. Somerville and M.Ross. If you’re knowledgeable of Ireland’s history with England, you’re sure to enjoy this one.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Irish_R.M.

I also like to read books, especially mysteries, set in other places. So it’s no surprise that my fictitious characters share my passion. The Murder on Tour book group is the travel-themed group featured in Murder at the Book Group, my debut mystery. The members each read a different mystery based on a geographical setting, and gather to “booktalk” their selections—a fancy way of saying they give oral book reports, reminiscent of grade school.

When the group becomes skittish about reading murder mysteries after one of its members is killed, they transition to a film group, also with a travel theme—and no murders!

Here is a list of Irish films in chronological order: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_films

Irish films and shows from Netflix: http://www.irishcentral.com/culture/entertainment/the-top-ten-irish-tv-shows-and-movies-to-watch-on-netflix-this-christmas-videos-237122711-237793501.html

Do you enjoy movies and TV shows set in other lands? Please share  your favorites.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Poor Waco...and poor Texas

The city of Waco seems doomed to bad publicity. Over a century ago, they had journalist William Cowper Brann in their midst, publishing his Iconoclast newspaper and savagely attacking Baptists, Episcopalians, the British and black people. The city, home of Baylor, the state's most revered Baptist university, could hardly stand it. Then Brann published evidence that Baylor officials had been importing young South American girls as house maids and that one young girl had been impregnated by someone from a prominent Baylor family. Scandal! Brann was silenced when a Baylor supporter shot him in the back. Fort Worth's own Jerry Flemmons wrote a one-man play featuring Brann.
Waco probably had other scandals in between but the one that really caught national attention was the raid on the Branch Davidian compound. David Koresh, a charismatic self-anointed leader of the sect, was accused of child abuse and statutory rape. When an attempt was made to serve warrants, federal agents were fired upon. Ultimately ATF agents raided the compound, losing four of their own men and killing several Branch Davidians. Ultimately they burned the compound, killing men, women and children. It's a blot on Waco, a blot on US law enforcement, and a cautionary tale about extreme religious sects.
Then they had the Western White House in nearby Crawford, which was a blessing, a tourist attraction, and a source of pride--except it drew many protestors of the war in Iraq until the Bush ranch was nearly besieged. I'm not sure the protestors were dealt any compassion, but the whole thing blew over. And today you rarely hear of the Bush family going to the ranch.
And now--Waco has the biker rumble, which has made national headlines. While police described it as one of the worst bloodbaths they've ever seen, some complain that the bikers were treated leniently--not handcuffed, allowed to keep their cell phones. That apparently ended when 170-some were indicted for organized crime activity and murder and were put under a million-dollar bond.
The question is what will happen next. Apparently rumors are flying that there will be a retaliatory rumble, and law enforcement is readying all its resources. Wouldn't surprise me if the rumble took place somewhere totally different. But meanwhile the fight that took nine lives, wounded I don't know how many others, gives Waco (and Texas) yet another black eye.
Just when things in Texas aren't going well--depending on your point of view. If current legislature passes--and apparently it will--even unconvicted criminals (how do you tell the difference?) will be able to walk the streets carrying any manner of guns they want, and police can't question them until they catch them in a criminal act. Is that locking the barn after the horse is gone? There will be a ban on banning fracking--cities can no longer determine the policy for their own boundaries--just when all scientific evidence points to the dangers of fracking and its part in causing earthquakes. And clergy cannot be forced to perform same-sex marriages--which looks like it's headed for a national law.
Texas is and always had been a nation onto itself. But our national reputation is getting ludicrous. I need to re-study the glorious history of this state to remind myself why I stay here...and hope good times will be here again. Meantime I'm not moving to Waco.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dogs on my mind

Today was Sophie's birthday, which I totally forgot about until I woke up this morning (that's okay, I also totally forgot that if I'd stayed married, Saturday would have marked 51 years--oh good gracious!). By coincidence, I made an appointment for Sophie's annual checkup today, and I'm pleased to report that she's in excellent health--a little dry skin and a little tartar on her teeth, nothing to worry about--I should have such minor problems.
But somehow tonight I got to thinking about the dogs I've owned and loved over the years. There have been a lot of them, and I loved them all but a few stand out. When I was quite young and terrified of dogs, my parents bought my brother a collie mix named Timmy--a female, no doubt a rescue dog. Someplace I have a wonderful picture of Timmy and me, sitting on a dune in the Indiana Dunes State Park, looking out over Lake Michigan. That particular spot is where I often go in my mind when I want to go to a place of calm and peace--and I take Timmy with me.
And then there was Shea, a beautiful mahogany tri-color male collie. When we were in Kirksville, Missouri, friends were going abroad for a year and asked us to keep him. Ever after when they came back, Shea would run away to our house. When we were moving to Texas, we gathered our nerves and asked if we could take him. The owner said, "Thank God. I thought you'd never ask." Shea was a magnificent, dignified gentleman.
At the same time my brother had a German Shepherd who would follow him to class. The professor would order him to take the dog outside; the next time someone opened the door, King was back upstairs at John's feet. Finally after this went on for a while, John said, "Sir, if you'll let him stay, he'll sit quietly at my feet." And he did.
Jacob with Scooby
We had all kinds of dogs when the children were little, but I think they most remember Claudine, the Irish Wolfhound and the most gentle giant I ever knew. A true sweetheart who had a litter while she was with us and had one limp puppy--she knew better than me and kept trying to bury it in sofa cushions or something because she knew it would die. I wore it on my chest so the motion and heat would revive it. It didn't work. The bigger the dog, the shorter the life--we lost Claudine at nine to cancer.
Along the way there were Cairns (the only other small dogs I ever owned) and Bearded Collies but the other dog who holds a special place in my heart is Scooby, my rescue Aussie. So gentle, so grateful for love. He'd been a junkyard dog and abused, and he had a lot of baggage, but he was a love.
I've always had big dogs, so Sophie is a bit of shock to me--she's medium, weighs 32 lbs. as of today--but in some ways she has a small dog temperament. Excitability, high-pitched barking when she feels it's called for. But I adore her and I think it's mutual (she's asleep at my feet right now) and I wouldn't trade for her. She has a long line of beloved dogs behind her.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Distant thunder

I just heard, I think, distant thunder. We're supposed to get storms tonight, with the greatest likelihood between 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. Jacob is here, and I'm going to try to get him asleep before that--we both tend to stay up late when it's not a school night. But if he's asleep he won't be frightened by the storms. I on the other hand may stand at the front door and watch in fascination.
There's a nice companionship about having Jacob here. He ate his dinner at the coffee table, and I ate at my desk. We don't talk much--his conversation consists of "Is there anything more to eat?" and "I'm hungry." I surprised him with three Girl Scout thin mint cookies, and his eyes widened, "Three?" He sorely misses the Blue Bell ice cream that came in individual servings. But even if we don't talk much, we each know the other is there.
There was a video on Facebook of my Austin grandson, Sawyer, playing guitar with a band. Jacob decided Sawyer was really good, the singer not so much. We also decided we can see Sawyer's future, and Jacob insisted on adding "To be continued" to the message I sent. My grandchildren are all so different. Morgan in Tomball just skipped a level and advanced in her karate training, and her eight-year-old brother, small for his age, tried out at the coach's suggestion and made the 11-year-old soccer team. He's a killer on the soccer field, and that coach knows it. Jacob's baseball team lost last night but aren't out of the playoffs yet--at least one more game to go.
I fixed his kind of dinner tonight--corn on the cob and broccoli, and he ate two helpings of each. Our meat was Taylor's Pork Roll. I recently rediscovered it. Colin used it for eggs Benedict (instead of Canadian bacon) over Mother's Day, and it was delicious. I had some one evening later, sautéed. So I thought I'd try it on Jacob--fixed two pieces for each of us. He ate one and said he liked it okay, but he didn't want any more. I ate his other one. Somewhere in my past I've had Taylor's Pork Roll, but I can't put my finger on it. I want to say in graduate school in Missouri, but my brother doesn't remember it, and we were in the same small town in those days.
Which brings me to a coincidence: at the postal station in the local hardware today, the clerk was complaining her plants were drowning. "I'm from Missouri, and this is Missouri weather, not Texas." So I said I'd gone to school in Missouri, and it turns out we were about thirty miles--and a lot of years--apart. I told her the one thing I remember about her town of Macon, a restaurant, and she said it had re-opened after a fire. Small world.
It's been a lazy day, and I've enjoyed it. Some work, but not much. A grocery trip plus post office plus cleaners. Long nap. I love weekends, which strikes me as funny since I'm retired and theoretically weekends are no different than weekdays. Doesn't work out that way.
And that, my friends, is enough trivia about my life. Hope you all have a good weekend. Stay safe, those of you in the path of storms.

Friday, May 15, 2015

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen—a book review

I wanted to read this book because the blurb billed it as about a search for the Lochness monster. As many of you know, I am fascinated by Scotland, all things Scottish (okay, even haggis), and particularly Lochness. The ancestral lands of the MacBean clan (of which I am a member) lie in the hills above Lochness, and I’ve been there.
Nessie is almost a deus ex machina in this excellent novel, with its hints of the paranormal. The story features Ellis and Maddie Hyde and Ellis’ best friend, Hank. Ellis and Hank could be straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel moved into the 1940s and WWII. Both 4-F. Ellis has disgraced himself in his father’s eyes and been cut off from family funds, so he decides the thing to do is go to Scotland and solve the mystery of the Lochness monster, a mystery his father tried desperately to solve years earlier, failed, and made enemies among the locals. Ellis has no trouble convincing his wife and Hank to go along with the scheme and the three carefree partiers set off for Scotland.
But this is less a novel about Nessie, than it is about Maddie, who tells it in her own voice. It’s about her growth in maturity, compassion, and understanding of other worlds than that of privilege which she married into, about discovering a world beyond that she has known in her marriage. Ellis and Hank have no comprehension of the horrors of the war that rages on continents near them, although there are occasional air raid alerts in the small Highlands village. They stay in an inn which is clearly not up to their standards—either in accommodations or service. But while the “boys” are off chasing monsters, Maddie gradually comes to know the villagers and the starkly beautiful land around her and becomes fast friends with two young women who work at the inn. The story unfolds from there—one of love, and growth contrasted with selfish self-interest. I was drawn into its world, stealing every minute I could to read. Maddie almost become my alter ego.
Not so the “boys,” who remained spoiled, petulant and deceiving. They still referred to the innkeeper at “the help” and urged Maddie not to become too friendly. Gradually Maddie grows away from her two companions and closer to the Scottish people around her.
No spoilers. It’s a story with tragedy, passionate love, war, danger, and intrigue. But it held me spellbound. My only complaint is that while the war was always omnipresent, in the conclusion suddenly too much focus is on the details of the end of the war and the discovery of concentration camps--really removed from the world of the novel--and there is too much afterstory—but that would be another spoiler.
Nessie? Maybe she’s real, maybe not. It’s enigmatic. But strange things happen at the water’s edge of Lochness. I’d give this one four stars and recommend it highly.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Playing like an executive

I don't like to fly--I do it when I really really want to be someplace, but it makes me anxious days in advance. I don't like to drive on the highway. I don't do it. Period. So travel by myself is limited. Yet I have kids in Houston, Austin and Frisco that I'd like to see. Okay, Frisco is close enough that Jamie comes to get me or, as he did the other day, comes to visit. But Houston and Austin are problems.
So, I was delighted that a company named Vonlane has instituted "executive" bus service between Dallas and Houston and Dallas and Austin. Sixteen very comfortable seats that adjust however you want them, complimentary drinks (including wine) and snacks and, if you're traveling at mealtime, a sandwich. Wifi connections and all kinds of other complimentary service, all provided by a solicitous attendant.
There was much discussion in my living room over proper attired for an executive bus. No, I could not wear jeans. No, I could not wear leggings (I did--an outfit with leggings). I saw no men in suits, two that looked like businessmen in slacks and dress shirts. Other than that, all kinds of garb. I needn't have worried.
I took the bus to Houston last Friday. Had a couple glasses of wine, read, napped and the three-and-a-half hours went by quickly. Only problem was my own fault--I went to the restroom in Houston Friday evening stop-and-go traffic, came out and was chatting with the attendant, probably talking with my hands instead of holding on, and when the bus stopped suddenly I fell backward, landing like a turtle on my back. The attendant hovered over me, while a  young man tried to put his arms under my shoulders and pull me up. I said I needed to get on my knees, which I did in spite of the crowded space. Then I could pull myself up, putting one hand in the sink in the service station. My head was a little tender, and for a couple of days my ribs were sore. But I wasn't hurt. A bit embarrassed however.
Jordan, my travel agent daughter, told me an executive with the company called and told her I'd fallen, wanted to know if I was all right. Obviously, he was warding off a lawsuit, but I still thought it was nice attention to detail.
Coming back the bus wasn't full, and I had a double seat to myself. Took a nap, with my shawl wrapped around me--and the attendant came and put a blanket over my lap. Lunch was delicious chicken salad on a croissant. And the bus was really early getting into Dallas.
Did I feel like an executive? No, but I felt luxurious and pampered. I'm a Vonlane fan from now on.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mothering - part two

I've always said what goes around comes around, and that was certainly true for me and motherhood this Mother's Day. I had wonderful visits with both my sons. Took an "executive" bus from Dallas to Houston Friday (that is in itself an experience that deserves a separate post) to spend a long weekend with my oldest, Colin, his wife, Lisa and nine-year-old Morgan and eight-year-old Kegan. Had a great time--good family time, sleeping late, allowing myself to be lazy, pampering myself by not helping with dishes, etc--read two good books, had happy hour by the lake (which is really high), fiddled with email but no serious work.
And ate. Lisa had written to ask what I wanted her to have on hand--my serious answer was green tea and cottage cheese. But then I added a tongue-in-cheek list: caviar, eggs Benedict, smoked salmon, and Cakebread chardonnay. And they got it all except the caviar! We had eggs Benedict Saturday morning, smoked salmon and cream cheese for Sunday brunch, grilled and baked salmon for Sunday supper (with the Cakebread, which really is several cuts above my usual box wine). Colin warned me Friday to be prepared to ignore my diet.
Friday night we went to a popular Mexican restaurant near their house, ate on the patio and laughed a lot. Lisa told me to lean in close to Colin for a picture; when I turned toward him, he was truly "in my face" and startled me so I jumped back, resulting in the two pictures above. Another wonderful photo opp came on Saturday when we went for ice cream cones in "old" Tomball--really charming part of town. I haven't eaten an ice cream cone in forever, but it was fun with grandkids.
Monday I spoke about writing and being an author to four groups of fourth-graders, beginning with Morgan's class. My granddaughter was an excellent escort, taking me from room to room, setting up a display of books, sitting patiently through each presentation. Lunch in the cafeteria with Kegan, and I was ready to go home for a long nap.
Tuesday Colin drove me to the bus, and Jamie met me in Dallas. He brought me to Fort Worth, stayed all afternoon, alternately playing with Jacob and working on his computer. About six he took me to dinner, and we had such good, in-depth conversations that we didn't leave the restaurant until 8:30. Then he came in and we kept talking until I finally said, "You better head back to Dallas." I love those long visits with him--sometimes we relive the kids' childhood, doing lots of "Remember when....?"
Now I need a daughter weekend. But I do feel like maybe I was a good mother after all.