just had the most wonderful November

as Elisabeth and her family visited from 31st Oct – 25 Nov. This was one happy Nan 🙂  Juniper is growing so fast and even in the 3.5 wks she was with us, we noticed so many changes.

At first Elisabeth was a little worried about us babysitting as she has been breast feeding all this time and Juniper was not use to a bottle. But she’s a smart baby and realised quick enough that if that is the only to get food, what the heck?   Elisabeth also uses cloth diapers so that was concern at first (probably on my part, more than her) but as I was saying to Gordon the other night, if we had cloth nappies like when our kids were small, life would have so much easier. No large pins to stab the wiggling baby, just poppers. No liners and no plastic pants to cover nappy.  Best of all, in the 3 wks, not one leak!

She is such an easy baby to look after. Obviously she had her periods of squawking but that is the only way of communicating at the moment.  Most of the time though, she was happy gabbling away on her play mat and being held by various adults.

The highlight of the month was a visit by Alan and his girlfriend Shelbie. Originally they planned to stay in Denver for Thanksgiving but Shelbie’s Mum has a health issue which would preclude her visiting Denver as planned at Christmas.  As Shelbie is an only child, she naturally wanted to see her Mum before the planned medical procedure.

So on Thanksgiving Day, we had our first ever ‘Turkey Meal’ in the 12.5 yrs we have lived here.  We resisted the temptation to say ‘thanks’ as it was not a thanksgiving meal and we restrained from pulling Christmas Crackers even though in spirit it was more Christmas than Thanksgiving.

It was a lovely and all too soon it was time for Alan and Shelbie to leave to have a thanksgiving meal with Shelbie’s family (not on the same day, not sure their stomachs could have stood that).  We will not see them again in the Spring 😦

I started writing this on Monday and it now Friday.  The house has been very quite without everyone around and as normal, I have struggled to get back to normality. The internet is my refuge and I spend way too much time on it. However, the internet is also my saviour as it means I get to skype with the kids and see Juniper as she grows.

I am so lucky to have the love of my three children and now the joy of the being a grandparent.

Emily, Elisabeth, Juniper and Alan

Emily, Elisabeth, Juniper and Alan

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Back home

after our yearly trip to Europe to visit family and friends.   Seems more of a blur this year than ever as our time went so fast. I love our visits back to Scotland and France. To be honest, each year it gets harder to come back to Texas, I feel so more relaxed over there, despite the language difficulties (in both countries, LOL).   Thankfully, Emily has moved back home so we had the joy of seeing her when we arrived home. If she wasn’t here, I admit I think I would be quite depressed about coming ‘home’.

So that’s a depressing way to start a blog post about a brilliant 2 wks in Scotland and France. We started off  in Scotland and immediately appreciated the brisk cool weather that greeted us after our nearly 24 hr journey.  Such a pleasant change from the 100f weather we had the day before we left Pflugerville.  The weather didn’t change much from then on, with a bit of rain, lots of wind and cooler but not too cold temperatures.

A stormy Ayrshire coast

The highlight of our trip this year was seeing Gordon’s brother, Brian, for the first time in nearly 14 years.  He lives in Perth, Australia,  so Scotland is basically a mid way point for us, these days. He hasn’t changed much since we last saw him apart from age, of course.

Brian and Me. First time I have worn a coat in a year!

All to soon it was time to say good bye to Scotland for another year and on to Paris  to visit with my parents who live near Baud, Brittany.

cider press outside my parents house.

I must admit it was with a heavy heart that we were visiting this year, as its becoming clear that Mum’s health is deteriorating and to be honest, we are very concerned about them living in such a remote location.  As Mum is the only one who speaks French and is the only one who drives, Dad is very much dependant on her.  Trying to to get them to talk about this, is like talking to a brick wall.  To be honest, Mum should not be driving at all as she had issues with balance and walking.  Her left hand is very weak as a result of a bad fall a few years ago and her reactive abilities are very diminished.  She also has issues with her speech as well but I think this is mainly due to the fact she barely sees people plus she has think in French/English depending on who she is speaking to. I can’t do it and I can imagine at 74, it takes even more brain power.  Whenever we try to talk about what happens if the worse comes about and Mum can no longer drive them about (which it will, sooner rather than later) my Dad puts up the blinkers and refuses to even discuss it.

Their house is in a beautiful location so I can understand why he is reluctant to talk about it.  The funny thing is that he says he wants to stay because he loves the French way of life but he has barely any contact with that life as he cannot drive or speak the language.  Most of the time, he sits in a chair, watching which ever sport is currently in season and drinks wine. The closest he comes to knowing about life in France are trips to the supermarket and his favourite restaurants locally.   Anyway, yet another year has passed with no resolution to the problem and no doubt will only be resolved by a crisis. Hopefully that will be not too soon and maybe they will see reason before that happens but I am not hopeful.

However, despite all these concerns we had probably one of our best visit with them as we didn’t go any long trips and the only day we went sightseeing was a visit to the Quiberon coast line which is the most southerly point of Brittany.

 

Le Château Turpault

Of course, the best thing about both countries was shopping for gifts for little Juniper.  She is going to be one spoilt little baby come Christmas.

So its back to Pflugerville for another year.  At the end of the month we get a visit from Elisabeth and her little family.  After the dodgy start to Motherhood, Elisabeth is doing brilliantly and Juniper is growing up so fast.  I must admit, having a grandchild is one of the best things in life, all the joys of having your own children but without the worry of bringing them up.  So until next month and an update on Juniper (with lots of pics LOL,) adieu.

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