Thursday, August 2, 2012

Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 21 Vacation Pt. 2

Valrae's Journal:

It's not as hot at Twikkii in autumn so Daddy is not running the air conditioner at night and we just leave the windows open. It's better 'cause then you can hear the waves really clear. But Gray and I still get a little hot so we sleep in our underwear like we do all summer.

It seems like we always wake up earlier than Mumma and Daddy when we're at the beach. That's the same as on Saturdays at home. Grownups always want to sleep in and we aren't allowed to swim unless one of them is out there with us. Luckily, they don't sleep real late. So me and Gray just play on the beach, making sandcastles and looking for treasure but other times we play inside up in our room where we have a lot of toys and games.

We went to Whitesand Mineral Springs yesterday. Mumma got a hot stone massage which Daddy always calls it a "boiling boulder back rub". He makes a lot of weird jokes but we love him. Gray played on the hammock but me and Daddy went in the mineral spring right away. It's almost like being in a hot tub only not so many bubbles; at least not at Whitesand.


When we got home Mumma made lunch and me and Gray played our video games. Then we went swimming.

All the time Mumma says Daddy falls asleep when she's talking to him. But Daddy falls asleep a lot anyway, every time he lays down on the bed or the couch or the recliner or the floor or the rug... She said he loves his naps. So anyway they were sitting on the lounge chairs on our beach and Mumma was telling him about how cute Aunt Grace's new baby is and what words Sherrilyn knows now when she looked over at him and there was Daddy, asleep again. She got this pinched look on her face and then it suddenly started raining. So she got up right away and called me and Gray to come inside but she left Daddy lying there asleep. He jumped up in after a minute--before we even got in the house--I guess because of the rain falling on his face, and when he came in he was joking about it and Mumma wrinkled her nose and said in a hoity-toity voice "we are not amused". But I don't know why she said "we" because Gray and me were giggling; of course then we had to stop. Daddy winked at us, though. I really thinking Mumma wanted to laugh, too, or at least smile, because Daddy usually makes her giggle all the time.

I hate it when it rains when we are at Twikkii Island. But we went to the game room and I always like to play games. So does Daddy and he can beat anyone at any game, even his best friend, Gareth. Sometimes it makes Mumma kind of snippy when he wins all the time. Snippy is the word she says about me when she or Daddy say I can't do something and I get kind of mad. So I always guessed that snippy just meant mad. Once I asked Daddy what snippy meant, though, and he said I needed to look it up in the dictionary. Parents always says that; I don't know why I asked. So I looked it up in the thesaurus because I like the thesaurus much better than the dictionary and it said, “impertinent especially in a supercilious or haughty way”, also “disdainful”, “curt”, “rude” and “sharp”. The trouble is I had to look up impertinent,disdainful, supercilious and haughty then. This is always what happens when I use the dictionary or thesaurus. It just goes on and on and that’s if you even know how to spell the word.

Noble Narrator:

After a couple days of relaxation Harvey and Lori were feeling romantic--in spite of Harvey falling asleep while Lori talked about family. This was the place they'd spent their honeymoon and they had fond memories of the pre-child time. The kids slept hard every night with the amount of exercise they got swimming and playing outdoors as well as often walking to the local tourist sites. So the couple took advantage of it.

Early the next morning Gray and Valrae woke up and contemplated getting themselves cereal. They usually ate cereal or pop tarts when they first woke up and then joined their parents for a second big breakfast a little later, gobbling down pancakes, omelets or ham and eggs. They would burn it off soon enough. This time Harvey and Lori didn't sleep in as long as usual,

"Oh, what a gorgeous morning," Lori stretched and yawned, her mood buoyant, "I always have so much more energy when we're here!"

Harvey groaned as he headed for the shower, massaging his lower back with one hand,

"Oh, honey, I can vouch for that."

She giggled and Harvey said over his shoulder,

"You're not going to start singing about the 'corn being as high as an elephant's eye' or anything like that, are you? I don't think I can stand that much cheerfulness this early."

"Aw, Harvey, why can't you be romantic in the mornings?," she teased then she cupped her hands around her mouth and said loudly, "You sure were last night, man of my dreams!"

He peeked back around the door a moment and grinned,

"You inspired me, Brat."

 Valrae's Journal:

Some days we don't go anywhere, just mess around at home; digging for shells and treasure, wave watching, building sandcastles, sunbathing and swimming. Sometimes Mumma paints. Daddy paints at home but he never paints at Brickstone. I think the days at home are my favorite days although I hope we get to go see the pirate ship. Most of all I want to go to the new park.


So yesterday Gray made a sandcastle and I was lying on a towel, the sun felt good and I was almost asleep. Then he turned on the radio and was dancing around like a weirdo. Mumma said what a good dancer he was but if you ask me nobody is going to ask him to be on "Dancing With the Stars" (or even "Dancing with the Normals"). That is for sure.

Mumma told us the story of the golden crab, she brought the book with her from home. It is very old and I love that about it. I like the way old books and clothes smell. That's why I love to shop with Mumma at Fantastic Finds. This time she told us what the Genie told her way back when she was 16.

So now Gray is all the time looking for Gilda the magic crab who transports children to faraway adventures. Actually, I would like to find her, too. But when he found a crab it wasn't the golden one. It was fastened to his finger and Gray was so surprised he just looked at it like "duhh?" And then he felt it pinching his finger off and yelled and shook it off onto the sand. The crab just dug into the sand and covered itself back up. Daddy came hurrying to check out Gray's finger which, luckily, was still on his hand. He told Gray that the same thing happened to him on his honeymoon with Mumma. Gray ran and put it under cold water in the kitchen and then he came back and was fooling with the telescope. I don't think he'll be looking for Gilda the golden crab again--at least, not for a while.

Daddy takes pictures of Mumma all the time and she usually just smiles. Except when she's in her swimsuit. She thinks she has something called "sell you light" and also that she's a little bit, you know, fat. But she isn't fat. I don't know if she has "sell you light" or not because I don't know what it is but Daddy always says "No you don't, honey" about that and takes the picture anyway. And then he tells her to stop giving him the "hairy eyeball". That means she's giving him one of her looks. The one where she pretends she doesn't care but secretly she's furious. Usually when she does that face she also says "Fine."

She has different looks. One is her "I mean business" look (which that is sometimes what she says) and she makes her eyes all skinny and pinches up her mouth and when she gives that look to Gray or me we don't argue. When she gives that look to Daddy he mostly just ignores it. She also has a look that says "I'm disappointed in you". That one kills me cause it makes me feel BAD. Actually Daddy has a look like that, too, but he doesn't use it very often. When he does you know you've really goofed up. I don't see them give each other the disappointed look though. But Mumma has happy looks too and she also makes crazy faces to make us laugh. I've learned a lot of them. My favorite is to stick my tongue out the side of my mouth (like pretending I'm dead) and cross my eyes. It works even better if you put toy eyeglasses on ("the doctor is in") but put them on crooked. (smile)

Daddy made dinner last night. It was jumbo shrimp and some other stuff like broccoli and carrots, also pasta. He bought the shrimp at the market here and he said it was really fresh right out of the sea here at Twikkii. It was so good!

After supper we hung out on the beach again, but Mumma said no ghost stories this time. I think that was because the last time we told scary stories a few days ago I woke up in the middle of the night and crawled in with her and Daddy. But it's not like I snore or anything and there's lots of room in their bed if you ask me. I was too scared to stay in my bedroom and Gray was no help because when he sleeps you can't even wake him up and if you do and you tell him you think you heard something or that maybe there are alligators under the bed he always says, "oh, don't be such a twerp, Val" and falls back asleep. A robber could come in and steal all our toys and I could be screaming and Gray would just keep sleeping as usual. Besides, I love to sleep right between Mumma and Daddy during thunderstorms and after scary dreams. It feels really safe, you know?  

Anyway, since there were no ghost stories, we played Twenty Questions. The ocean looks so beautiful at night, it does in the daytime too, but in a different way. I hope when I grow up I can live on the ocean all the time. The only way I can think of to do that is be either 1. a lighthouse keeper 2. an oceanographer or 3. a lifeguard.

When Daddy kept winning at the 20 questions, me and Gray decided to sit on the beach; he was counting stars and picking out constellations and I was just watching the waves. Mumma and Daddy were laughing and kissing like they do. And I slept good that night; no nightmares so I didn't have to sleep with Mumma and Daddy (unfortunately).

Well, that's all I have to say for now.

I love you and you love me,

Valrae Melora Ferguson

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 21 Vacation Pt. 1

Valrae's Journal

We are here on the island! Our shuttle left so early that we still had plenty of time to unpack, change into summer clothes and go to the boardwalk. We always go to the boardwalk right away on the first day.

There's lots to do there, we always watch the fire dancing and Daddy said he would take the Masters' course in fire dancing this time. He learned it right away. Every time we're at the boardwalk Gray always plays at the arcade and then we go swimming. Daddy's a good swimmer, but Mumma gets nervous sometimes if the surf is rough. Gray and me took swimming lessons the last two summers so we are fine. Mumma says we look like little otters when we are in the pool or the ocean.


After that we came home and Gray and Mumma went in the water on our beach. Daddy loves the hammock and he was just reading a new book he bought. He said it was about thrilling politics. Or maybe it was a politics thriller, I can't remember. I started making a sandcastle. We love the beach at the boardwalk or anywhere else we go, but, really, we like our little beach at home the very best.

One night we sat outside under the gazebo and Mumma told us ghost stories. So Gray told the one about a girl at a high school dance and a boy falls in love with her. Then he walks her home and gives her his Letterman sweater to wear when it gets colder. She doesn't talk much except to tell him where she lives. Suddenly he looks over and she has disappeared! When he can't find her he goes to her house and asks to see her and her mother says are you crazy? She died TEN YEARS AGO. And he goes to the cemetery and finds her grave and guess what? There is his Letterman sweater on the gravestone! Finally Daddy told the last ghost story and it was the scariest of all. I can't even write it down because it's so creepy. I held his hand when we walked up to the house because I was looking around just in case ghosts might be there. But Gray wasn't scared at all. He never is. Anyway, since I was kind of nervous Mumma said we could stay up a little later and play games for a while.

We eat at home most of the time. Mumma says it saves money and, anyway, she loves to cook, even on vacation. But that night she ordered pizza since it was so late. Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham which I love. Well, that's all for now.

I love you and you love me,

Valrae Melora Ferguson

(even though I don't call you "Diary" or "Dear Diary" that's the way I sign all my letters and I have decided this is kind of like a letter to the world so I'm signing it like that. See, I have this feeling I might be famous some day and then my journal will be important to history.)


Narrator (Omniscient and impartial...)

Over the thirty some years they'd owned the Brickstone Chateau improvements, inside and out, had been made. A few years past Lori and her mother, Melora, got into a decorating spree that resulted in changes in almost every room and the hiring of a landscape artist as well.

What was previously a second living room became a game room with a table for poker and one for "Don't Wake the Llama'.

Almost as soon as they arrived Harvey could see Lori beginning to relax. She had contributed to the choices of color and style in the master bedroom. Actually the furniture was set up the same way, even though it was new and still included an area for a massage table. She wanted it to be a soothing, yet cheerful room.

The second bedroom had been decorated specifically for kids since Gray and Valrae were the one using it the most now. The truth was that while Lori's parents, John and Melora had stayed at the house from time in the last few years, it was mainly Harvey and Lori who used it. And since John and Melora's separation Melora was not planning on staying there together for the foreseeable future. Of course, John hoped to change that because he was still trying to convince Melora to reconcile and let him move back in to their home. She was seeing him but remained unconvinced of his sincerity.

At one time John had rented out the chateau whenever they were not using it but since money was no object and frequently he'd wanted to use it when there were renters there he no longer did that. It saved wear and tear on the place as well with no renters. A real estate company that he owned kept tabs on the property and hired a gardener to come three times a week, year in and year out and a cleaning service to come every two weeks. When Harvey and Lori stayed there they did their own cleaning every day.

As for Lori's sisters and two brothers, David, when he was single, was more interested in vacations in Las Vegas and he always had hit New Orleans during Mardi Gras. He'd rarely used Brickstone. Now that he was married he and Barbara preferred to go different places with each vacation although their favorites were cruises to various ports of call. 

Grace, Lori's older sister, and her husband, Devon, liked touring vacations where they could learn something as well as enjoy themselves. Until they'd had their new baby girl, Sherrilyn, they took trips to the New England area, specifically Nantucket, Washington D.C., and several times they went to various places out west including South Dakota and Colorado.

Lori's twin brother Trey had always loved the beach, but he and his wife, Chelsea, had been so caught up with their respective businesses, both the Galaxy Arcade and Chelsea's Flowers, that they'd taken precious few vacations until recently. However; even if they decided to stay at Brickstone they had no children yet and would not need the second bedroom anyway. That is, unless they invited friends and then they would just have to live with the very colorful Tiki decor of the kids' room.

The living room was still pink and was still dominated by Lori's beloved white baby grand piano. The furniture was original but the cushions on the chairs and loveseat had been reupholstered and new flooring installed.

The kitchen had new flooring,  too, as well as new paint and beadboard and new cupboards and counters. Lori loved working in the bright and airy room.

The upstairs hall was spacious and Harvey surmised that if they had any  more children--which was certainly not on the agenda at the moment--they would need to convert the room to a third bedroom somehow.

The master bathroom was something Lori and her mother had fun with, putting in new wallpaper that actual was as close as possible to the old one while adding a sumptuous old-fashioned pink tub, sink, toilet and bidet, but keeping the modern shower at the other end of the room.

Outside the old stucco downstairs had been replaced with a multi-color brick, but the upper level was still stucco that they gave a lighter beige wash.

The landscaper changed a lot of things and even ordered new patio furniture for the decks. The wood deck on the beach had been resurfaced every fall, but last summer they'd rebuilt it using different wood and adding steps. New shrubs and flowers bloomed everywhere and that had mostly been accomplished after the family had been in the summer. Lori had asked for a lot of color and was not disappointed.