Visiting Grandmom

29 October Sunday

We’re about an hour and a half out from Thor. A woman in a turn lane to our right just flagged us down to tell us one of our doors was open!! It’s the propane tank door which doesn’t lock, it just has latches to keep the door closed. I think that may mean we’re on the bumpiest roads we’ve ever been on if it knocked those knobs loose during this drive!

We’re almost to the Thor factory in IN and have now seen two Amish(?) horse-and-buggies crossing this 4-land divided highway! It’s a funny sight.

30 October Monday

Today we’re driving to Harrisburg PA. We had plans to stop at a Wal-Mart along the way and buy DVD players for the boys for this stupid-long drive, but we forgot we’d be on turnpikes the whole way and wouldn’t be able to easily get off and on again. Max is doing 2 days of school, though, so maybe it’s a moot point.

We stopped at a service plaza to gas up and get food. As we sat there eating a woman was cleaning nearby and Jack said, “Good job sweep up food off floor lady!” Heh. She didn’t hear him but it made all of us chuckle.

We checked in at the hotel and then had supper at a nearby Arby’s. We went back to the hotel and Tj took a shower, and then we took him to the airport.

31 October Tuesday

I thought I had 3 hours to drive today, but Google says it’s only 2!! Woot! We leisurely got up, ate the hotel breakfast and headed out. I called Grandmom after we got on the turnpike, but my call wouldn’t go through! I tried her several times, and then tried to call Papa just to test it out, but I couldn’t make an outgoing call. The recording kept talking about reconnecting my service. I didn’t want to wake Tj up so I figured we’d wait till we saw Grandmom.

We got to her house just fine and then I had her call me. Come to find out Tj didn’t pay our phone bill! At least that’s what I kept telling everyone. Heh. Actually our credit card changed and he forgot to change it over. Fortunately it was a simple fix.

That night we handed out candy to trick-or-treaters while we waited for Amanda to bring her kids so we could all trick-or-treat together. When she finally got there we could see that her mom had already taken them trick-or-treating without us! That was rotten. Amanda brought pizza so we all scarfed down a piece and headed out. Amanda was so cute with Jack; when I wasn’t right there with him she walked him to the door. Jack said ‘trick-or treating’ every time. Heh.

After a while Grandmom was ready to go back so Nicki and Eddie walked back with her and their new baby. Amanda, Justin, Dominic, Max, Jack and I kept on. After another little while I told Amanda I was fine to go back when her boys were tired out. My boys were getting tired, but also not begging to go on. Amanda kept us going on.

1 November Wednesday

Today at breakfast I had to chuckle. There was a woman with some special needs, but she was at breakfast by herself. She must have had at least one of everything for breakfast! There were 3 full plates of food, 2 full bowls, a yogurt and a banana, and I don’t even know what all else. I can totally imagine Jack doing that when he gets old enough to go to breakfast by himself!

After we were all ready we headed over to Grandmom’s…it was probably about 10am. We headed out to Wal-Mart and I got my oil changed there. Grandmom wanted to buy both the boys toys so we spent a good bit of time in the toy aisle. We had lunch at Subway while we waited for the truck to be ready.

We went back to Grandmom’s then and the two of us snoozed on the couch and chair while the boys played with their new toys. Then we took the dogs for a walk. Grandmom complained that she’d never taken all 3 dogs for a walk before…so why was she taking them all now? She gave me one to walk, but she didn’t like how I walked him. I was trying to use some of the dog whisper’s techniques on him (ha!), and Grandmom didn’t like that he was straining at the leash so hard. So she gave me a different dog, but I treated him the same way. I’m a bad daughter-in-law.

Grandmom and Max went to the school after-care program and got the boys so all 4 boys could play together. After a while inside we moved out the stuff in the back of my truck and all piled in to head off to a nearby park. It was closed! Ugh. We missed it by about 30 minutes.

My boys and I headed off to the hotel, but stopped at WaWa on the way and got supper. I got the Thanksgiving bowl Grandmom suggested and Max had a buffalo chicken sandwich. Jack and I split the bowl which had a base of mashed potatoes and stuffing, then turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce on it. It was pretty good!

2 November Thursday

Max slept hard so Jack and I got ready to go to breakfast. Max woke up while we were sneaking out so I told him where we were going and that I’d bring him some breakfast. As we were right at the dining room Max came running up in his pj’s! He’d locked himself out of the room to come ask me if he could watch some TV while we were eating. Cheeky! On our way back to the room I asked Jack to hold my water bottle and halfway there he said, “I drinked your water!”!!!! That boy is using more and more full sentences!

Before leaving the hotel I called Jo to see if she had more info on Momee and the memorial service than I had. It seems like the service won’t be this weekend no matter what, so that makes my life easier. I was a little stressed about leaving the boys with Grandmom and flying down to LA for that, so I can relax a little now.

Grandmom wanted the boys to go to a park today so I set up the GPS to take us there. I didn’t check the weather before we set out, and it was hot! We stopped by WM to return some stuff and bought Jack a short sleeved shirt. While at the park a reporter asked if he could take the boys’ pictures and put them in the paper! Famous boys!

When it came time for supper we decided to have Mexican, but Grandmom said we shouldn’t got to the place I found on Yelp because it was in Camden. I told her (I’d spoken to Tj about it) that it was on Camden Ave not in Camden and she seemed ok with that. She’d found another place but it had all kinds of food, the one I found only had Mexican, and purported to be authentic. From our conversation I thought we agreed to skip her restaurant and go to mine. When Ryan came in she told him we were going to her restaurant. When I corrected her she got annoyed. Now we’re not having Mexican. Ok then.

Grandmom rummaged around and found mac and cheese, hot dogs and Red Lobster cheese biscuits, so that’s what we had. I made the biscuits while she made the other things. Max slept over tonight.

3 November Friday

On the way to Grandmom’s today I stopped to get gas. I forgot until I was pulling in that I can’t pump my own gas in NJ. Man, that’s a strange feeling just sitting there while watching a guy do what I’m perfectly capable of doing. He was kinda snotty when I asked if I needed to go in to swipe my card. Whatever, jerk. He didn’t have any newspapers so I went to WaWa to get 2 papers with the boys’ pictures in them.

While we hung out at Grandmom’s for a while I started cleaning out a closet for her. Dianne and the girls seem to buy so much stuff and then leave it and buy more. This closet was chock full of scrapbooking and other art supplies. It was fun to take whatever I wanted…within reason, of course. Not living in a house does have some disadvantages. The other day I shopped in Grandmom’s basement and found a Swiffer steam mop that Grandmom let me have.

Today we went to Chuck E Cheese and the boys were in heaven. We snoozed again at Grandmom’s, and then went to Ken’s store to pick up supper. I’m so amazed…it’s an awesome looking store! We went on Sam’s house after. We had an enjoyable time at Sam’s until Max lost my keys!!!!!!!!!! Ugh. At least I have Tj’s spare keys, but I tore Sam’s house up! I did find an old iPhone that Sam let me keep, but no keys. I wasn’t good company after that. The crazy thing (to me) is that while I was outside looking for the keys Sam and Grandmom were inside setting up a game! Whatever.

4 November Saturday

Grandmom came to the hotel today to hang out. When I had her and the boys set up at the pool I went out to the truck to tear it apart to find my keys. No luck. But I did find the stretchy fence that came with the truck that will keep stuff from falling out when we open the back. Why haven’t I been using this all this time???!!!

We had lunch at the hotel of stuff from Ken’s: cheese lasagne, chicken pot pie and chicken coconut soup. They were all amazing, but my favorite was the lasagne. Then we drove to Sam’s to do more looking. I found their rake and sent Max to rake the whole front yard. After about 10 minutes, as I was praying, I looked up in the tree and there they were!! When I exclaimed Max said oh yeah, now I remember hanging them there!!! Oh my word. Sadly that sounds exactly like something I would have done. Exactly. This family is doomed.

We headed to the trampoline place, but when we found out we’d have to wait 2 hours I balked. We went next to get Jack’s glasses repaired (a screw fell out of them last night), and then we went back to the hotel. The boys were happy to play with their things. It surprised me that when I asked Jack if he wanted to go swim he said no.

For supper we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. We drove separate cars so after supper the boys and I went home for showers and bed.

5 November Sunday

We went to church with Grandmom, and the music was rocking! I wish I had made Max stay with us…the speaker was wonderful! He was a missionary in Muslim countries and had several stories of how the faith of him and his wife had been tested. Max went with Jack to be his helper. After church we had lunch at Cherry Hill Diner. The waitress was a real pill…she was in a mood and let us know it! Max got hot wings and Grandmom, Jack and I split a special with crab cakes that were wonderful. With our meal we also got a salad, two sides (beets and fries) and a dessert. Yum! Grandmom went on home and the boys and I split a piece of German Chocolate cake that was pretty good.

We went back to the room to nap after I bought tickets for the Alton Brown show!! Tj arrived while we were napping…it’s so good to have him back! When Jack woke up we headed over to Grandmom’s. We ordered cheesesteak for supper and visited a while. We brought clothes for the boys and they spent the night there.

Alton Brown’s show wasn’t at all what I expected. Although, honestly I had no idea what to expect. He sang and told jokes, bantered with the crew and the audience a bit too. One of the guys made him a drink and then he brought out a Price Is Right wheel and choose someone out of the audience. She spun 3 wheels to choose 3 ingredients of her drink, and it was nasty! All 3 ingredients were on the bitter side. AB said he would add 1 ingredient that would change the taste of the drink…nitrogen. He turned the table top upside and the supports made channels the length of the table. He poured the nitrogen into those channels to cool the metal. Then they sprayed the drink into those channels and it froze…now she basically had a slushy. Fun!

The second half of the show he talked about popcorn. He came out with a huge light, probably at least 4′ in diameter, with popcorn kernels all over it. He and 2 of his guys sang while it popped all over the stage. More happened, but overall it was a good show. It was nigh on to midnight when we made it back. Grandmom said we needed to be at her house by 9am to get the boys. Heh.

6 November Monday

We got up early to bring breakfast to the boys but Grandmom said no need. Tj made himself a breakfast sandwich and we headed over there. We just hung around a while and then found out that Ken’s shelves were in. Grandmom and Ken insisted that we needed to rent a truck to pick up the shelves but we unloaded the back of our truck and I drove it to FMP following everyone else in Grandmom’s car there. The shelves fit with a lot of room to spare, and we shopped a little too! We got a replacement thermometer and 2 pizza screens.

When we got to the store we offered to put the shelves together, and so we did. They weren’t hard, and it was fun to be in the back. Grandmom and the boys ate while Tj and I did that. When we were finished we nibbled on the unwanted half of Grandmom’s sandwich. I talked to the lady behind the counter, and she offered to make us an anti pasto plate, and boy was it awesome! We also shopped a good bit and got everything at half off. I told her I wanted to pay full price and she said that even the employees got half off, so that’s what we paid.

We hung out at Grandmom’s house for a bit and then she went to pick up the boys again to play with our boys. Before their mom came we left to go to the Iron Hill Brewery for supper. Grandmom was whipped, but she said Amanda didn’t come get the boys until after 7pm.

7 November Tuesday

I washed 2 loads of clothes here already. I didn’t mean to, but the first time Jack wet the bed slightly. I washed the second load because Grandmom was washing her things but had plenty of room for our stuff so we threw them in. But then this morning Tj spilled coffee on 1 of his 3 shirts so we did a 3rd load.

We went to the bank for Ken today, and then went to a super WM to get a sewing machine for Grandmom. On the way she needed to send a text to Ken saying she had his meds. Since she didn’t have her glasses handy I offered to text him for her. I sent: Yo Dawg! I got your drugs! Hit me up when you want them. Heh. I laughed a lot more than that warranted. I don’t think he laughed, though. He went home to get them but we weren’t home! So we went to the store to hand them over.

We were starving by this time, but we drove back near Grandmom’s house and ate at the Mexican restaurant I’d found a few days ago. The people working there were Mexican, and the 2 tables of people eating there were all Mexican, too. I think that’s the sign of an authentic ethnic place…when the customers are the same ethnicity as the place. It was awesome food, too. Tj, Jack and I split 2 plates with carne asada, chorizo, chicken, shrimp etc.

We went to Grandmom’s and messed around. Tj looked at Ken’s computer and is hoping to help Ken design and print his menus. After a bit Ken asked Grandmom if we’d go to BJ’s and get him some flour. We left Max behind so he could get a ride in Ryan’s Charger. Jack, Tj, Grandmom and I perused BJ’s and we bought some mints, brownies and cookies. Yum!

We brought Grandmom back to her house and then said our goodbyes!

8 November Wednesday

Today was our 13 hour drive from NJ to IN. At our first stop 4 hours in I got a text from Papa that Momee had just died. Mom has been with her in LA for at least 2 weeks so we knew this was coming, but….you know how it is. I know she’s better off now. I know now she’s not disoriented or in pain, but I’m still a little sad. She hasn’t been the Momee I knew for many years, but that’s the Momee I miss. I’m thankful that we had many years of assurances that she was saved, so we don’t have that to worry about. But it’s still a little sad when your grandmother dies.

When we got off the highway and were on our last 30 minutes we stopped at a convenience store and bought a gallon of milk and some doughnuts. We’re hoping to not have to unhook the truck for the next two or three days…however long we take to get to GA.

The Thor guys had set up the bus with the front tires off the ground, so we releveled. They also left the heat on at 72. Heh. This place was warm! We quickly turned that way down and set up. They’d shut off the water but filled up our fresh water tank. The crazy thing was that this was the first time that the back bedroom stayed cold all night. Usually, even in almost freezing temps, we crack the windows back there. But not tonight!

9 November Thursday

We had our walk-through with the Thor guy early this morning, and then we hit the road. We didn’t have a definite stopping point in mind, so I called a place while we were on the road and the guy said they had plenty of spots so he didn’t take a reservation.

We saw that our mid-day gas stop had a Denney’s so we made the most of that. We were surprised that we were there almost 2 hours! Tj gassed up, then we moved to a parking place, and then we had a nice, sit-down meal. My chicken fried steak with white gravy was awesome, and the mashed potatoes with white gravy were also awesome! Honestly, we’re all so tired from these last few days, this was a nice break.

We set up at the campground while the boys played at the playground. Tj ordered us a pizza and we got into bed early tonight. I think we were both asleep at 9:30!!

10 November Friday

Jack woke us up this morning around 4:30 coughing violently. I thought maybe he slept so hard with his mouth open and it had all dried out. He was thrashing around and not making eye contact, but didn’t seem like he needed to throw up…I figured all that coughing would make him throw up, though. I got the dish towel and held it to his mouth. After he didn’t quit Max jumped out of bed and got me a bowl, and when Jack still didn’t settle down I called Tj to come. I couldn’t hug Jack and keep that towel at his mouth so I thought Tj could hug him. It didn’t help much, though. In the end he did manage to spit up a bit, but I don’t think he vomited. We brought him back to our bed with a towel, but he didn’t settle down to sleep. Tj got him a Tums and I let him have a little water. When he still didn’t settle down I made him go to the bathroom though he kept saying he didn’t want to. He laid on the floor while I went, and then I kinda forced him onto the toilet. He went to the bathroom and then he really threw up. I feel kinda bad that I forced him, but at least now it was over! We changed his clothes and wiped him off, Tj threw everything in the washer (a nice perk of living in a tiny space is that it’s all right there), and then we went to bed. He took just a few minutes and then he slept, and we all slept.

Now we’re on the road to GA. We slept last night at Dad’s Bluegrass Campground, and hopefully tonight we’ll set up our spot for the next month and a half! This last month or so has been so tiring…we’ll all be glad to settle down for a bit.

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