what i did on my summer vacation, part 3

after visiting Gramma, we went back to the Tougas's for dinner, pizza and wings as it turned out. i think once you've had pizza in NY you're pretty much spoiled for pizza everywhere else. and buffalo wings? fugeddabahdit. add a little beer, and the Yankees game on TV....a definite NY flavor to the evening. they lost, by the way. i was beat, having flown all the previous night; i mighta caught a couple Zs on the plane but not much. Loren was too, he only slept a few hours on the plane. we crashed out like big dogs on the sofa in the room where Wayne's bar used to be.

in the morning my cousin Brad came by. he has a painting business called Ultimate Painting, and his brother Scott works for him. Brad and Uncle Wayne showed me some pictures of a job Brad completed recently, a nice property, and a job well done. painting businesses go gangbusters in the summer and Brad's is no exception; he was busy that day and he had to get back to work, so he couldn't stick around too long. still he looked good and it was great to see him.

Dad, Loren, Mom, Brad and Aunt Susie under the same big ol' maple from earlier. it was 10am and already plenty warm- gotta like that. Loren earned the right to look like he just woke up....because he just did.

a few minutes later i got this one of everyone enduring the morning glare. Loren looks like he's getting about the worst of it:

another meeting of the Painfully Glaring White Shirt Society, and their mascot:
Uncle Wayne, Aunt Sue, Brad, Loren, Mom and Dad

the next one Brad took and sent to me. nice job, Brad! i cropped out the watermarked date stamp because it was wrong. personally i hate watermarks on original pictures (don't mind them on copies). the 'date picture taken' information is usually stored as part of the actual file nowadays (with digital cameras) and is easily accessible using windows XP anyway. in my own filing system i use the date/time info as the beginning of the actual file names, which is a layer of redundancy that allows me to do things like correct for jumping time zones and forgetting to change the time on my camera (like on this last trip) and correcting erroneous information from other peoples' cameras (which i find all the time, by the way). my fears concerning jumping camera brands were confirmed when i figured out that Kodak's camera firmware doesn't store the time information down to the second (necessary to keep files in chronological order in a folder in my filing scheme). it's a good thing i'd also developed a redundant system to take care of that too- usually used when people send me pictures which have no date/time info stored in the files themselves, or for scanned images for which no clear date exists.....i shoulda been a librarian or a secretary or something, i spend so much time filing.

....now that's a big ramble for a small payoff. plenty good payoff for me, though- i love to see Mom this happy. it's the Return of The Painfully Glaring White Shirt Society, and their mascot, and a conscientious objector.

Dad, Mom, Loren, Aunt Sue and me

we went to see Gramma again, one more time before we left. Aunt Sue and Mom were both concerned very soon after we arrived at the nursing home, since Gramma was cold and not breathing right, obviously not feeling well. she was very congested and the Douillet women wasted no time getting someone to come and take a look at her. it's a hard fact that people who work in nursing homes aren't as vigilant as family when it comes to looking after someone. soon they had the attendants checking her out, and finally the nurse came. it was a little busy and Gramma was obviously in some distress so i didn't take pictures in her room- i didn't want to make things worse for her. they checked her out and it seemed there definitely was something abnormally wrong with her, she was having a hard time getting air. i couldn't help but wonder if we'd precipitated her turn with our visit, maybe carried in a new bug or stressed her out with our presence or something, but Mom and Dad had been there for a week, and i'm betting they visited Gramma every day, so it's hard to tell. Mom was pretty sad when it was time to go that day, i think we all were.

when we got back to Aunt Sue and Uncle Wayne's, my cousin Scott was there. it was great to get to see him too, glad he made it out to shake my hand, and he looks good as well. this is a shot of him setting up a Kerplunk game for his son and daughter (i'm ashamed i can't remember their names, though this was the first time i met them), and Loren, who took to them right off. Loren's pretty much built for new family- as far as he's concerned, the more the merrier. can't imagine a healthier attitude, and it makes me proud that no one had to teach him to be open and accepting like that. so: anyone wanna email me Scott's kids' names so i can give 'em their due? while you're at it you can re-clue me in on the dog in the background's name too- mind like a steel sieve on me. i must be getting old. they told me that dog was wary of everyone, but she came right to me. oh, and that was the first electronic Kerplunk game i've ever seen....not sure that makes it better for the kids, but i bet it makes it more expensive, which is better for the toy company hehehehe. always liked that game :)

clockwise from top left: Scott, his son, Loren, and his daughter, setting up a little Kerplunk.

before i move forward into the pictures from camp, i suppose i'll end our tour of Tougas Palace with the last shot i took before we headed out.

Uncle Wayne, right before we did the big bear-hug-g'bye thing.

next post begins the pics from camp!


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