Sunday, November 2, 2008

So this baby walks into a pet shop...

The only thing Tina enjoys more than telling corny jokes
to little kids is making them laugh until milk comes out of their nose.

Just couldn't resist doing that. Now that I've got your attention, let me tell you about the weekend. Halloween was fairly uneventful. The usual gangs of kids fighting with me over mini-sized Snickers bars and me trying convince parents that I really didn't take any candy out their kids' bags. I'm not too worried, the best lawyer in town has retired and I've been practicing putting an ill-fitting glove on. And then on Saturday (couldn't come up with a smooth transition here), We (Grandma Jo) had to opportunity to babysit little Saffron while Derek and Jeanna went out for a belated birthday "celebration" (Dinner and a movie). Grandma had a great time holding, feeding, changing and making weird gurgling noises with the baby. Conversely (I don't know what that means. I think it has something to do with a tennis shoe) Grandpa Ron enjoyed snoozing on the sofa pretending to be watching the BIG plasma TV. I understand that the picture is even more vivid if you're awake. In gratitude for the babysitting stint, Jeanna gave Grandma and Grandpa a certificate for an overnight stay at the Marriott Hotel on Madison's Westside. I have to go off on a sidetrack for a minute. Have you ever tried to go to a Red Lobster Restaurant? It may just be us, but, over the years we have tried on numerous occasions to eat there because, one, JoAnne really likes Lobster and it's realively affordable there. Two, their commercials do such a great job of making the food look appetizing that even a "non seafood lover" like me starts to drool just a little. And, three, those Cheddar biscuits are SOOOOO good.
Every time we tried to enjoy some of those delicious looking dishes there was a waiting line that stretched into another county. This time we'll fox them and go real early. Jo had thumbed through her cache of gift cards and came up with one for that Lobster place. She convinced me that eating lobster would give her the necessary fortification for a tough evening of Grandmothering and our arriving early would insure prompt seating and an on time arrival at that baby's house. No! No! Au Contraire Mon Amie. There was still a waiting line but for our efforts we received a little machine that would explode when the next shrimp boat anchored in the parking lot. I have since found out that there are people ("Seafood Lovers") who actually live in the waiting areas of every Red Lobster in the Free World. We laughed , we cried, JoAnne ate lobster and I ate as many biscuits as they would bring to our table. Back off of the sidetrack. After the babysitting stint we retired to our hotel. The bar in the lobby looked very inviting and I could imagine the cool taste of that flavorless O'Douls washing down the six dozen Red Lobster biscuits I had consumed. Once again may I say, "Au Contraire Mon Amie!". The bartender told us in no uncertain terms that he was closed and we should go away. Huh? A bar in Wisconsin closing on a Saturday night when there was still a living breathing, red blooded person willing to belly up to it? Not only that, it was "Fall Back" night which usually gives these places an opportunity to stay open an extra hour. Needless to say, eating and drinking establishments didn't get very high marks for service that night. Sunday morning brought still more, "there's no room a the inn" (except it was restuarant this time). After visiting two "really good" breakfast places which undoubtedly were well known to be "really good", we opted for the safe haven of funny named breakfast dishes, Denny's. Service was good (we got a seat right away because everyone else was at the "really good" places) food was tasty and it was realatively inexpensive. For our trip home we decided to take the "scenic" route. This really paid off. The route takes you through a valley between the Wisconsin River and the high bluffs that border it. The color was very nice (not quite as brilliant as last week but good for November) and the road was fairly free of traffic. As we drove by one of the recently harvested corn fields that lined the road, Some thing caught my eye. then another and a whole lot of others. In the field were dozens of Sandhill Cranes who were stopping for lunch as they traveled somewhere south. A quick U-turn and out came my trusty digital. They posed and pranched for the camera as though they knew that I could make them famous. After we (the cranes and I) had exhasted every possible pose and prance, it was back in the car and off to home. As we continued North and West we encountered still more of these lovely birds. All in all I'd guess we must seen several million of them. (Could have been a billion but who's counting?) Hey, this post has gone considerably longer than intended so I'll close with a few fun fotos.

Saffron seems to enjoy a "Good Night" kiss
no matter where it comes from.

The Sandhill Crane version of the "We be cool" strut.

Either a "Dancing with the Stars" rehearsal
or a scene from "West Side Story".

These two hens seem pretty impressed with
his "Hop on one foot" come on.

You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out . . .

I gotta quit. I'm having way too much fun. see ya!