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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Past Weekend Visit to NC

This weekend, the JunkFamily was in Charlotte, North Carolina visiting Harmony's maternal grandmother. This grandmother is getting up there in the age category (currently she's 86), so we are trying to spend more quality time with her whenever possible. We left Thursday after my mandatory cultural awareness training and returned the following Tuesday.

G-ma, stylin'Although she may be 86 (this picture's from a few years ago), she's still going strong. This is the woman who bought herself a chainsaw and sawed down her own Christmas tree a few years ago. She claims that she is scaling back her activities a bit, but no activities this weekend seemed very scaled back. She and I went out together multiple times during the visit, sawed down maple trees, and hauled the remains into a secluded area. I asked her about this purported "scaling back," to which she basically said that she still does the same things, but just not as much in one day. She did seem quite content to let Harmony take care of household chores (cooking, laundry, etc.) while we took care of outdoor "manly" chores. So maybe she has scaled back her indoor activities ;)

Word was that granny was not going to have a garden this year (she's been gardening ever since time began), which was sort of a shocker...or not, considering her age and energy. But the day we left, we got a phone call from Harmony's mom, asking us to bring our electric tiller and help G-ma get her plot ready. We worked on the garden Friday morning. We attached a plow to one of her riding mowers and plowed up the plot. Then I went over the whole thing with the tiller twice.

Luna continues to be a good carpet (car-pet). Every now and then she tries to crawl into my lap while I'm driving, but otherwise she is as ideal as a traveling dog gets. The terror comes when we get to our destination. She spends the first few hours constantly lurking around and sniffing. She barks much more than usual, for whatever reason. Harmony theorizes that she is trying to establish her presence in unfamiliar territory. The worst part was at night. The aunt that lives with the Charlotte grandma cares for and trains horses and is very much a night person. I don't know if caring for horses means you become a night person, but that's the way it is with her. So you can imagine that Luna would be barking up a storm when said aunt comes in at night.

Luna did have a blast while we were there though. 19 acres is certainly quite a bit more than our tiny 0.146 acre lot. She got absolutely filthy muddy on Friday when we plowed up the garden. She also ran into the horse paddock once, which was a bit of a concern because 1) she ran under an electric fence to get in there, 2) there were horses in there which could squash her, and 3) she wouldn't listen when we called her back!

Darn dog. Apparently all of our efforts to train her have gone down the drain. In dire situations, we use two tactics to recall her. The first method is maybe 70% reliable; we say "Luna, bye bye." She has learned that "bye bye" means that her people are leaving and are going to shut her in/out and that she is going to be distressingly separated from her people. This method is about 70% reliable. However, sometimes something wraps up her attention so much that even the dreadful thought of separation doesn't recall her. In this situation, there is one absolutely sure-fire way to get her to come to us. We say "Luna, I have food!" She will stop dead in her tracks and dash back to us. We do not have to use this tactic much, and we prefer not to, because we don't want to overfeed her. To my knowledge, this has never not-worked.

Oh right, back on subject. The visit to grandma. Well, there wasn't much that would interest most of you. Chopping down maple trees on beautiful 19 acre NC country property, ripping up garden plots, indulging in a bit of satellite television (a guilty pleasure, we guiltily admit), and snacking on those junk foods that grandmothers always seem to have around. That about sums up the trip for me. If the junk food thing was bad this time, it will undoubtedly be worse when we visit the other grandma next month, who always has more of these foods which we would never buy for ourselves, but used to enjoy in our previous lives (pre-healthy-eating).

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3 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Alan

    I'll do my best to diminish grandma #2's inventory of goodies this weekend so you won't be at such a "risk" when you go.

    Yeah right. "Fat" chance. (pun intentional)

  • Ginny

    LOL! That's what Grandma's are for! :-D At least that is what my Grandma thinks... ;-)

  • Thehotrod5

    I am so glad you had a great time! That is such a blessing to have a grandma that is so spry :)

    Angela