grandmas

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ransom of Red Chief

Cael showing his sword to the Chick-Fil-A cow earlier

I can see where it certainly looked like a kidnapping.
You had Marc, a grey-haired old man manhandling this fiesty little kid all the way down the sidewalk and into the backseat of an SUV.
The child was screaming and kicking and hollering for moma.
Marc was just trying to keep hold of him and avoid the flailing feet.
We were leaving the annual Renaissance Academy fund-raiser carnival where there were hundreds of loose children.
Cael was tired and hungry and thirsty. He'd been bouncing in the bounce houses and trailing the Chick-Fil-A cow for hours.
And he really wanted his mother who had to stay another hour to man the booth for Adell's fifth-grade class.
We were headed to Pizza Pie Cafe for something to eat, one of our good deeds for the afternoon.
But Cael just knew we were leaving without his mom.
I didn't have any water with me.
We were treated out.
I couldn't explain to him that it would all be fine.
And I couldn't hold onto this whirling dervish once he got going.
I handed him off to Marc who's a lot better at hanging onto children having meltdowns.
I went ahead with the three older sisters and got into my car while Marc headed to our other car with Cael.
I watched as Marc tried to buckle Cael in. All I could see were flying feet. All I could hear was yelling.
That's when I noticed this concerned-looking lady walking over to see what the fuss was all about.
She approached slowly and carefully.
She had her phone out.
I think she was ready to dial 911.
That's when I pulled up to the side of Marc to offer support, and, if necessary, to corroborate his story. Adell got out to help.
The lady looked relieved to see us.
"I'm sorry. I thought he was being kidnapped," she said to Marc. "He's so upset."
"It's Ok," I told her. "He's our grandson. He's all right."
She smiled and walked away still looking uneasy.
I guess it's good that well-meaning people get involved, huh?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Harry Potter lottery

Marc and I aren't big gamblers.
If and when we find ourselves in Vegas, we only rarely lose a few quarters in the slot machines.
We don't do Blackjack or Texas Hold'em or the roulette wheel.
Neither of us is particularly lucky with dice or cards and we don't like to throw money away so we just don't bet on anything but death and taxes.
Except where Harry Potter is concerned.
Our interest in this wizard and his world is a little over the top.
We're going to throw in for a pair of tickets to the newest J.K. Rowling release, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," that's going to be on stage when we're in England next.
The play is already sold out months in advance so the only chance we have of getting tickets is to be online the week prior and hope we are lucky enough to win the opportunity to buy some of the 40 tickets they'll release that day.
The tickets are 40 pounds each and will give us seats for two sittings, either two on the same day or one each night for two consecutive nights.
We're watching the countdown clock already (at: http://www.harrypottertheplay.com/ticket-information/#tickets-bottom-section).
We are going to be in London for four nights of our "Traditions of Christ in Ancient Britain" tour and figure we have nothing to lose by trying.
We just have to be online at exactly the right time, get chosen and get options for the days we will actually be in the city.
It can't hurt to hope, right?
I've already bought and read the script for this new "book" which is actually not a bound book.
It's a script with stage notes and it comes with an admonition from Rowling to keep the secrets.
So I can't tell you the plotline or reveal any of the surprises.
But it does have Harry and Ron and Hermione and Snape and Dumbledore and Draco in it.
It made for a quick read and I, for one, don't mind making Rowling a bit richer by paying for her book and hopefully paying for tickets to the play.
Especially when I had resigned myself to nevermore any Pottermore.
This is a welcome story.
It has a nice amount of magic and it's interesting. Rowling has a gift for creating a world that looks fun and dangerous to live in.
I would love to see the actual play.
I'll just cross my fingers, rub my lucky rabbit's foot and click my heels together.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Wave that wand!

Incendio!
Ollivander checks through the many boxes for the right wand
We knew we would be happy in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood at Universal Studios.
We've been to the opening of the Wizarding World in Orlando and traveled by floo powder to England to the Harry Potter studios where you get to see all the props, costumes, wigs and paraphernalia used in the movies.
We've enjoyed each of them.
We are all Harry Potter fans. We've read all of the books, seen all of the movies. I own a Hedwig and my husband owns a nice wand.
A sweet visit
Grandpa and his girl
Now my granddaughter has a wand too — because she and her mom finished the Harry Potter series and she turned 11 at just the right time, she got a golden ticket to Hollywood with us — and her wand actually works...at least in the park it does. She can make treats twirl on their plates, trunks full of bludgers open and close, chocolate frogs croak and a party dress rise up and down. There are magic spots all over the park where something happens if you wave your wand just right.
Adell can do that.
She can drink Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice and share a chocolate cauldron.
$million-dollar home
We bought Pgymy Puffs, All-flavor Beans, a chocolate frog, a T-shirt with a Phoenix on the front and an owl friend for Hedwig.
Adell bought the wand that chose her at Ollivander's Wand Shop after she tried a few tricks with it. (Never mind that she killed the flowers. She brought them right back to life!)
This new Wizarding World in Hollywood is a duplicate of the world in Florida with the snow-topped roof, the grandeur of slightly off-kilter spires high in the sky, and the HogWart's Express engine waiting and puffing at the station.
It doesn't include (yet?) the additional park with Gringott's Bank and a moving train but I bet that's not far off because people love this imaginary world, this clever, magical world with never-ending surprises.
It is immersive and transformative from the joke shop with its slightly disgusting wares to the Forbidden Journey with Harry dramatically leading you through the castle on his broom.
(While the Forbidden Journey ride is breathtaking, it's also nice to take a little longer walking through the castle rooms and halls to see the sights.)
A ride on the Hippogriff is short and sweet. You might want to plan on taking that flight several times over.
There are lots of muggles in the land so start early and plan to stay late if you go.
The lines get long even with a Front-of-the-Line pass. It can be easy to spill your Butter Beer.
Magical times
If you haven't visited yet, now's a good time.
The park has been open since April so it's more possible to get in and do more than wait in line. It's well-managed with friendly wizards and witches close by on nearly every turn to help get a locker open, make a wand work, or find the Owl Post.
It's clean and elegant, beautifully done.
It's a unique experience and a truly fun way to make money disappear!





Smiling faces...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bandito hits the target in "Ready, Fire, Aim," "Hairspray" is hilarious

The Pickleville Playhouse is a Garden City/Bear Lake tradition and success story that's truly remarkable.
Three and a half hours away from Salt Lake, up and running only a few months of the year, this theater, run by Andrea Davis and her family, pulls in sell-out, sun-burned, crowds year after year — mostly because of a lanky, overly-confident, mustachioed character who goes by the name of Juanito Bandito.
He's the heart of these shows.
And although the shows that run alongside the Bandito productions are wonderful on their own, (Hairspray with Kenzie Davis as Tracy and Kurt Haaker as Edna is non-stop funny), it's the Bandito who drives the train.
He's plucky, proud to be the fastest gun and rapper in the West and not a bit ashamed of being a heartless bank robber though he's not nearly as tough as he talks.
The Bandito (left) with his sidekicks.
In the latest show (written by the Bandito who is T.J. Davis in real life) he's tied up and awaiting execution — yet again.
"Have you ever had one of those days?" he asks the audience.
He isn't cowed or even sorry for anything he's done. But he is still trying to talk his way out of trouble.
He's hysterically funny as a blind bandito even with moldy-oldy, blind man jokes: "I'm part-time blind, 20 hours a week!"
"You know! You speak Dumb!" He tells Freddie (Kenzie Davis), thinking she can help understand a finer point and "There's no crying in Cowboyland!" to Troy Boone who is Gator in "Ready, Fire, Aim."
The rewinds and slow-motion action are crazy fun and must have taken hours of rehearsal. (Watch for how the Bandito defuses the other guy's gun.)
The references to things like the upcoming presidential election, Russian athlete doping at the Rio Olympics with Bolt T-shirts and the Bolt stance make the show timely as well as comic.
The spooky, white rabbit on stage from a post production is now a Pokeman Go! creature.
It's all funny and it's all so well done.
The humor is fresh and handled so well that whole families enjoy it (even the little girl invited to try and stare down the show's pianist).
There really is nothing quite like it anywhere.
And it won't last forever. I'm quite sure at some point, someone will come along and take away the Bandito to a national forum.
In the meantime, we make it a point to attend every show that we can at Pickleville.
It's part of our Bear Lake tradition.
One year, I'll even wear a mustache!
(It's been extended through Sept. 10. See a promo video at: http://www.picklevilleplayhouse.com/2016-shows.html)

Monday, August 8, 2016

My coat's gone to China

In the interest in saving money and in supporting local businesses, I decided to have the lining on my travel-weary trench coast replaced.
Rather than spend money on a new coat, I thought if I had a tailor fix the shredded pieces it would give me back what I needed at half the cost.
I've loved my London Fog trench coat and it's protected me in rain and snow and sleet.
It's served as a warm blanket on the plane and and extra layer when the bedsheets in various hotels were not enough.
I've practically worn it to death.
But London Fog stores are hard to find and usually located across the ocean from where we live.
So I decided to take it down to the local tailor.
That was in mid-May.
I explained my needs and the owner of the shop gave me a ticket for pick-up.
I left thinking I was looking at a couple of weeks and maybe a $100 charge?
When I came back, it wasn't done but the fabric for the lining had arrived.
I was excited to see it come together.
I checked back in another week. In fact, I started making it a habit to stop in whenever I went to town.
"The girl working on that quit on me!" said the owner.
"It won't be long now," she said. "I know you need it."
"The girl working on that was in a terrible car wreck," she said the next time I came in.
"I don't know where it is. It must be at home," she told me next.
"I know I saw it come through here. I'll look again," she said at the end of June after she and I searched the racks and piles.
The last time, she saw me coming.
"I know what happened," she exclaimed. "I think it's in China."
China?
Seems a customer who had a bunch of coats relined might have picked mine up by accident and taken it with him to China.
She is going to try and contact him to get it back.
Sigh.
I think I'll start shopping for a new coat.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pokeman stop and go...

Marc and I aren't really into Pokeman Go!
We're just doing research.
We feel we owe it to our grandkids and to the public to know what's hip.
It's important as news people to keep up.
So when Marc came home dancing because he'd been playing Pokeman at work, I made fun of him at first and then persuaded him to take me with him to find some virtual creatures.
(Our daughter and son-in-law had come to dinner and showed us that we have a Pokeman stop right by our house. The wagon wheel post box owned by the guy next door gives you Pokeman balls just for checking in.)
(Then our grandson came over to tell us the playground nearby looked very profitable. He and Marc went searching.)
This is obviously something worth investigating. So we headed out to see what this is all about.
I had briefly signed up for the app and then deleted it because it was sucking the power from my phone and I didn't want to have to worry about it.
Besides, I can go along for free on Marc's phone.
We headed out.
Turns out the American Fork Library grounds are littered with Pokeman creatures and people walking around like zombies trying to catch them.
On the way to and from, the phone was making the crashing sound that tells us we're near something.
It's very addictive.
I love surprises and treasure even if they're odd-looking, fantastical creatures with no real purpose in life.
This is fun!
Now we've introduced Pokeman Go! to two other grandkids.
Marc took them down and showed them the sights and raised his Pokeman Go! level by two levels.
They had a great time and came back all enthused.
They were fascinated by the sport and by all the people walking around with their phones out and their heads down.
They made new friends.
They scored a lot of captures.
Now their parents will probably have to get the app and share their iPhones with them.
We apologize.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Shooting from the hip

I thought it a little odd that there were guys in the parade pretending to have a shoot-out, especially since we are all reeling from the killings of police officers in Dallas.
I was sitting in my camp chair watching from the shade, expecting to see a typical, Americana-style,  Steel Days Parade with the bands and floats and such.
For 26 years, Marc and I have come to the parade.
In the beginning, we were packing our cameras and notebooks. We were looking for cute little kids in wagons and pretty girls waving from city floats.
We were high-fiving city council and county commissioner and governor candidates.
We had years surrounded by children and grandchildren scrambling for the candy tossed our way.
We waved to Mayors Savage, Beck, Durfey and now Hadfield.
We applauded wildly for the American Fork Marching Band.
It's been a tradition the last few years to ride down on our bikes to the band breakfast and hang around for the parade.
This year, I was on my own as Marc had a dress rehearsal for his current stage play.
I was comfortable in my chair and happy, expecting the usual.
So I was surprised when these guys came along with golf carts decorated with flags, one of them a Confederate one.
They piled out, pulled out pistols and aimed at each other.
The guys in back fired.
The guy in front fired back (fortunately with blanks).
It had all the earmarks of an old-fashioned street gunfight, an in-your-face gunfight.
The parade watchers — me included — were all dumbstruck.
It didn't seem to fit in, this scene.
I thought at the very least it was way insensitive, given recent events and raw emotions. At the most, it was profane.
It wasn't until afterward that I realized it was probably unauthorized as well.
American Fork City has since issued an apology and insist the entry was NOT blessed by the parade committee.
How it got in there is a mystery.
Why it got in there is another.
The only thing I know for sure is it didn't belong.
Here's the video: http://kutv.com/news/local/american-fork-calls-confederate-flag-at-steel-day-parade-troubling-display-of-hate