I have mostly acclimated to the time zone but the heat is still a bit much. The lows have still been in the high 80s or the low 90s and so everything stays hot. When you come to Arizona in July, it isn’t for the weather.

I have always been the lark to my sisters’ night owls and so I am up first even when I sleep in. This works out well since I then have time to write this blog before they get up. It is working again today. I am the only person awake so far.

On Monday, we had a plan for going out to lunch. That meant the morning was relatively quiet with us talking and laughing. Jen brought kids over to us and went off to work. Ryan doesn’t eat at the place we were going and he was not going to stay here with a bunch of girls doing crafts. Smart man.

We did do lots of crafts. Hannah is learning to use the plastic webbing stuff with yarn woven through to make a pretty decorative item. Aunt Cheri is using squares to make a tote that is like the two or three that Nana (Pam) already has. Hannah is making Christmas tree decorations.

We went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. Pam and I were both seniors there. Kids eat free on Mondays in July but not with an old fart. So Hannah was with Cheri, our only adult. Quinn had her own tray. Jen said she could have peas and corn, rotini noodles but not chicken soup noodles, strings of zucchini, and cucumber slices. She ate the peas and corn. She played with the cucumber. She did not believe that zucchini strings were food and she whipped them around tossing them hither and yon with many decorating the area around us all. The cucumber slices were simply toys that ripped apart and made a mess. The noodles were tried, chewed, spit out, repeat. But those peas, those peas. All her life she’s been searching for peas such as these (sorry, Dr. Seuss and the Lorax). Quinn ate at least 17 bazillion peas. I’m glad I’m not in charge of diapers.

Quinn and Gned communing and sharing food thoughts.

Quinn and Gned communing and sharing food thoughts.

Hannah and I chose carefully and we both had only things we really liked on our plates and in our bowls. Pam and Cheri each selected one thing that was not really to their liking. Fortunately, this is a cafeteria with a one price for as much as you can eat. It is fresh food from local farmers brought in. The salad bar is full of some prepared salads and many, many ingredients for making our own. Then there are soups and other taste treats and of course, a dessert bar. Some things are standard and always there, but a few different prepared salads, soups, and desserts are interspersed with the regulars making each visit a bit different. We all ate too much.

Hannah and Gned enjoying Sweet Tomatoes.

Hannah and Gned enjoying Sweet Tomatoes.

The restaurant is part of a strip mall area. Hannah, Cheri, and I walked over to World Market. Pam and Quinn came over in the car so Quinn would have her stroller and all baby accoutrements close at hand. There are times when I spend lots and lots of cash at World Market, but not when I have to cart the stuff back across the country. But we had a good time browsing. Up until Quinn got tired of the store, so we quit. Then we went to another Michael’s.

Before I got here, Pam purchased yarn so that the cute little two hexagon sweater she was making for Quinn could be made for Hannah as well. It is easy to make and uses five different colors of yarn. But it doesn’t use very much and so there was lots of yarn left to make one for Hannah. Not really enough to make a whole one, but perhaps one of the two hexagons could be made from the scraps. It took three different craft stores for Pam and Cheri to find the five colors but they were eventually successful, except that they weren’t. The green is something called perhaps (I’m making this partly up here) Fiesta. And that is the color they purchased. But the green already used was Electric Fiesta (the green needed some modifier of some sort) and so it doesn’t really quite match. We have now been to two more craft stores since discovering the error and we still don’t have the right green.

Pam has been talking about making a matching one for herself if Hannah’s turns out, but she will again need more yarn. She will then have leftover yarn again. I think before she makes her own, she needs to know if Jen wants one, too, so that she can have the right amount of yarn already tracked down and in her possession before moving forward.

I have the pattern to make one for Morgan and one for Frankie. If I think I like it enough, I might do one for me and the two mothers. We can all have these really easy, fun, sweaters and made with a bunch of different colors or all the same colors, depending on my mood. I have some spare yarn … she says with a touch of irony.

Cheri’s beading project was only half done and she hated the silver beads she already had because they were totally round and something something something. Who knows? Pam understood her complaint but I don’t do beading so I have no idea what it was. Apparently horrible, regardless of my understanding. Cheri found her better silver beads; Quinn was DONE with the entire shopping experience and ready for some well-deserved rest and not in any damn stroller you ninny adults. We finished our shopping and headed home.

Quinn took a nap and Pam went to grade papers. Cheri and I played some Candy Crush and then Cheri was sprawled on the floor sleeping. That looked wonderful so I took the couch and took a nap. Hannah was still working on her Christmas decoration.

Eventually we were all awake again, Jen came for the kids, the house got quiet.

This was the opportune time for beginning that complicated beaded scarf project – at least for Pam. Cheri continued, for the third day and God alone knows how many attempts, to beat level 181 on Candy Crush. She was over in the red chair cussing under her breath, sometimes over, and having “fun” playing her game.

Pam was on the couch trying to figure out this pattern and not being totally successful. After many tries and much cussing under her breath, Cheri noted that the crocheting seemed nearly as fun as the video game. Pam eventually figured out the pattern and got the first row completed, but the second row was just as complicated in the execution and she opted to not continue.

We had supper without any spitting or the resulting laughing catastrophes, but still lots of laughing and fun.

Before I arrived, Cheri purchased an MP3 player so she could listen to audio books while walking or exercising. The book she had reserved had become available. It wouldn’t work on the computer she brought here with her because of something with Overdrive. It would work only on Pam’s big computer. However, even though it would work, it wasn’t easy. It took them about 45 minutes to finally get the book onto Cheri’s MP3 player. It was successful and she now knows how to do it, should she be able to get Overdrive to work.

Pam, amazingly enough, was the first to head off to bed. Cheri stayed up to listen to her new book having finished the one she was reading at 2 AM.

Somehow I slept through the night and woke up first anyway, even though it was almost 6 AM. Now the day is beginning and all is well and I should have some tales to share for the next blog tomorrow morning.