Tuesday, July 5, 2011

short stories 9: the grandboy

the movie

Heading back to the city this week to do a quick job, a fireplace screen. We'll stay a couple of days, have a beer with a friend and then head home.

We're also returning the grandboy who has been with us all week. I enjoy spending time with him when he's not in the midst of his siblings and he likes getting away from all the girls. Too much estrogen in his tiny little house.

I rousted him up early Tuesday to help my sister and me move all those pot plants and small yard art over to her new house, 8 truck loads, then turned him loose to go hang out with his buds here in the country.

After moving my sister, we went to the movie, went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It wouldn't have been my first choice, nor my second or third. In fact it would show up somewhere near the bottom of the list, but his visit isn't about me and that's what he wanted to see. Not much of a plot and in fact I only caught one word out of about 20 of the dialog, but, it turned out, I didn't need to hear the dialog to understand what was going on. It was entertaining just for the sheer amount of explosive destructive power it exhibited. Whoa. They totally trash Chicago, that alone was worth the price of admission.

the storm

Later, the boy spent a lot of time in the afternoons swimming in the collapsable pool we have, round and round and round.

oops, wrong picture

Sitting there reading, keeping him company while he circled the pool I watched this storm move in.

I had high hopes of getting some rain out of it, it was very rumbly and I could see the rain in the distance. But no such luck. It was just south enough of us that we didn't get any. Town did though.

We did get this nice sunset out of it however.

the lake

Sunday we thought we would check out Lake Texana which has a small state park on it. It's close, about a 45 minute drive and it was a very nice little park. I wouldn't mind camping out there in the fall, sometime when it is not so hot.

The grandboy was going to go swimming but the sign said 'swim at your own risk' and no one else was in the water.

This might have been why.

We rented a canoe but only stayed out on the lake for about 30 minutes. Just too damn hot. The seats were so hot, we couldn't sit on them right away, had to slowly inch our way onto them. It was his first time in a canoe. Wah wah wah. The boat is rocking, the seat is hot, my arm is tired.

the turtle

Yesterday I took Big Mama (our 21 year old red ear slider turtle) out of her pond and put her on the ground. Her pond is in the fenced little back yard and I'm reasonably sure that I have shored up all the places where she might get out. Reasonably sure. You have to remember that she is quite the escape artist. Considering all the times she has gotten out and been well down the block, I'm surprised we still have her.

She gets rangy every year. You could just see it in her little pea brain...gotta go, gotta go...so I scooped her out of the pond and put her down. In the city, she had a much smaller pond but she could get out and roam her little yard too. Now that we have moved her to the country, she has a much bigger pond but no yard. I'm working on that. Can't sink the pond because of the tree roots so somehow I have to provide her access.

Anyway, she wanted to dig. When she needs to lay eggs she digs a hole in the ground with her back legs, drops the eggs and then covers them up again, all with her back legs. I don't think she has any fertile eggs, it's been about 8 years since we had a male though they can stay fertile for years after mating. But she will still lay an egg or two I think. One year after we first gave her her yard, thinking it would be cool to get baby turtles, I inadvertently dug into two clutches of eggs, but I don't think the surviving eggs ever hatched. At least I never saw any baby turtles.

She moved all around the yard, stopping to dig now and then. Because of the drought, the ground is about as hard as a rock. No way that turtle is going to dig a hole in that. I tried putting her on a patch that I knew was mostly sand, or in the flower bed where it was more friable. Nope. Wasn't having it.

The grandboy decided that he would loosen a patch of dirt for her with the 'garden claw', a pronged device for loosening up packed dirt. Basically he followed her around and she ignored every patch he loosened. We would pick her up and put her on them. She'd sit there for a minute and then charge off for the next hard-as-concrete spot.

We finally left her alone for long enough that she dug, I hope, for long enough to satisfy whatever urge she was under. After leaving her alone for several hours, she had moved on and so I put her back in her pond.


  1. Nice pix!!! Holy cow: swim at your own risk is right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Well at first I thought it was a bottle in the water.. and I figured the risk was pollution.. then I saw the eyes! Yikes!

  3. And now I would like everybody to leave me alone, because I want to go dig my own damn hole, thank you very much. humpf.

  4. Great photos- love them all- especially going round and round the little pool, really cute!
    Thanks for the advice to give Jacqui fruit- she did bite into a cherry a couple of times and then just looked like it was the biggest trick of all time- At least she got a little bit of juice. Can't wait till her people come back, maybe she misses them.

  5. It's often the case that you can't help animals, I guess there is more to what they want than we know about. I know what you mean about the seat in the canoe, The seat on my garden tractor gets the same way if I leave it in the sun.

  6. There was a sign at one of the golf clubs Sean and the kids visited by the water hazard - "Beware Crocodiles!" "Send Mum in to get that ball" was the standard joke.

    Lovely pics and I'm glad you enjoyed his visit - respect to you for going to see that movie!

  7. Anybody who uses a snorkel in a paddling pool is wayyyyy cool in my book :)

  8. Whoa, he better stay in that pool, where it's safe. I'll bet he had a fun week with you :)

  9. Loved this post. I discovered you over at Gail's farm site. Anyway, loved the post and loved the photos.
    I write but don't do the photos to illustrate.
    Thanks for letting me come and visit.
    I'll be back.
    Blessings, Barb

  10. i wanna know what the grandboy saw when he was in the little pool. 'cause you know he saw stuff. steven

  11. I was just talking the other day about getting a little wading pool for our back yard. I'm pretty sure The Mowing Man would nix the idea though...

    Love the turtle stories :)

  12. I am so impressed that you can sense what your turtle needs, then give her a chance to express her instincts. Wow.

    Hey was that an ALLIGATOR in the water? Krikey!

    Beautiful pics of the storm that never materialized. May the storms and rains come to you sooner rather than later!

  13. I can imagine that my boys would enjoy a good explore around your house. They would have been hopping up and down over that gator.

  14. Great pics! Looks like the grandboy was enjoying himself. He sure has grown since last summer. Funny about Big Mama.

  15. My Gawwwd, swim at your own risk? Talk about an understatement! Loved the pic's, especially the one with the frog in the pool - too funny. It also brought back memories for me, we had a pool just like that when the kids were younger. Looks like you've been keeping busy - I'd have put my feet up after shifting all those truck-loads, but you are obviously made of sterner stuff!

  16. Oh, great, so here I am trying to settle down with my medical...well, YOU know what I mean, and you also know that I'm not doing the news anymore BECAUSE of my medical _____, yet you put on your blog the news about Chicago being destroyed by someone who looks like, well, like Satan (there I've said it), And so right away, I naturally conclude that Chicago perished BECAUSE I stopped listening to the news. So, all those years that I thought it was worse than a waste of my time to learn about all the horrible things that I can't do anything about anyway, it turns out that I was wrong. I mean, all I have to do is to miss the news for a week and Chicago is annihilated! I feel SO responsible for that.

  17. It looks like he had the best time [Which makes sense - He has a great Grandma. :)] The pool pic' just warms my heart.

    Now is the time to throw your feet up and say "Whew", right? :)

  18. I love the "oops wrong picture"

    and I love that the grandboy had the patience to try and help the turtle, sweet boy

  19. Jilda has done turtle rescues before. She was going on a back road that has high traffic.
    A huge snapping turtle was in the middle of the road. She stopped her car and then stopped oncoming traffic. A coal truck driver jumped out to assist and to menace drivers that were tooting their horns and trying to run the turtle blockade.
    She has a shovel in the back of her car and she and the coal trucker lugged the turtle to safety. Before releasing traffic.

  20. Y'all don't swim with gators? We do it here all the time. Why do you think they call me nubby?

  21. Great entertaining post! I shared with my Hubby and we agree not to go swimming there!
    Looks like it was a wonderful visit w/ the Grand.
    What a Blessing♥
    BTW~ I have watched the Transformer movies (well the earlier ones) my youngest (she is 20) is in love with Shia LaBeouf. Has been since his earlier days in Holes & the Disney Series Even Stevens.

  22. Transformers? Brave soul. I just can't do it :)!

  23. oh, this is so sweet. we have lots of red-eared sliders in our pond. i throw scratch feed down at the shore for the ducks and the turtles come to eat it, so i started tossing some into the water to make it easier for them to eat (without being scooped up by our dogs!) and i always feel like they work so hard to come up into the yard and lay their eggs! poor things...

  24. oh, and thank you for finding my blog so i could follow you home!


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