yesterday's activities


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Thursday: travel day to Houston
Arrive at Modern B&B, which plays a large part in the weekend:
Quick trip to Whole Foods for survival food and water
Phone conversation with coach/teacher/friend
Surprise invite to go swing dancing, which I can't take b/c of previous commitment to go...
Blues dancing in low-down dive with a great blues band; this bites me in the knat b/c it turns out to have morphed into a Westie night and my WCS is iffy at best; I end up doing two things I dislike: breaking into a dance clique; accidentally kicking someone, hard; put a bad taste in my mouth for the night; but the band was wonderful


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Morning brekkie at b&b is fun b/c of other guests, two of whom are partners in the Oil Biz; one man lives in Canada and Latvia, the other in Dubai, but I think they really live in airports; turns out Mr. Dubai lived in my area when he first came to the US and we have a grand time talking about the neighborhood; Dubai invites me to join him, partner, B&B owner, her BF, a friend of theirs, and another biz partner, for dinner that night in the b&b; Dubai is cooking; color me happy that I can go late to my Friday dance night (more blues)
To Houston Museum of Natural Science; see exhibits on prehistoric cave painting; dinosaurs; Ancient Egypt; gems and minerals
Back to b&b to get glasses (sigh; squinting to read museum info gave me small headache)
Lunch with Houston friend A
Errands, which take much of the afternoon and I still forget stuff
Wow, when it rains in Houston, it really effing rains
Back to b&b; have a glass of old-vine Zinfandel while watching Dubai cook; he is making shellfish with tomatoes and garlic, pasta, a clear potato soup with chicken, salad, and mussels marinara; swooooooon
Dinner is late, later, latest, b/c last guest is TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATE; Dubai dishes out food along the way, very smart; he also breaks out the arak; JA has never had arak before; JA is surprised she can walk after the wine and the arak; so much for going dancing; more like passing out


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Bake pecan pie and pumpkin pie in "guest kitchen" of b&b
Meet A&L, my Houston friends, in their apartment, and we have a pre-thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, dressing, candied yams, greens, salad, pie; this is HUGE fun
Drink coffee at 9pm so I can stay awake long enough to...
Go swing dancing
Try to sleep; not working
Hmmm...that sounds remarkably similar to my Saturday from last weekend. ;)

6:15pm - Walk through doors of church hall. This is my second encounter ever with folk dancing. I plan to make it a brief encounter (say, till 8pm), as I have to wake up at 5am the next day. Friend/hostess/birthyear-celebrator spots me immediately and makes a beeline towards me. :hug: It's been too long; we haven't danced ballroom since we took dgarstang out dancing. She invites me (me!) to dance the opening set with her. Wow! Feel *incredibly* honored. A few minutes later, she comes back over with her DH and an unsuspecting, but very forgiving, lady in tow. Music begins. We lock arms in a circle and begin to circle in one direction. It's a 4-person fleckerl! We alternate splitting apart, coming together, and circling in the opposite direction. Like a pre-pre-bronze newbie, my eyes are glued to the feet of my partners. I also get a major case of the dizzies.

Next part of the dance begins and we split into couples. Friend continues to dance (very patiently!) with me. We take up a hold which has our heads to the right of each other's. Am *very* disturbed. May be the first time I have had my head oriented this way in 7 or 8 years. For hugging, too, I *always* go left. Eventually start to get used to it. My world does not come to an end. It actually turns out to be pretty comfy! Dance ends, thank friend, and sit down to watch.

Am very intrigued by music which ranges widely in meter. With my fingers, I start counting the beats to a lively song. I get lost. Start over counting. Get lost and start again. Get lost several more times. Then realize that I am running out of fingers...because song is in 11-meter!

Join in some of the traveling line dances that snake through the hall. They're like...sideways moving conga lines...with a leader at the head of the line, who is improvising steps to the rhythm of the music. A few minutes into one song, when I am finally starting to match the leader's steps, I start counting again. 15-meter!

Make my way over to friend, ready to make my apologies for leaving so early. She points out that her celebration is, in fact, going to end in half an hour. I look at my watch in surprise. She adds that the band will be playing her favorite set at the end. I decide to stay.

Band begins last set. Friend and her DH have been dancing almost all night. I watch in amazement as they *leap* across the floor. Attempt a little mental math, subtracting their birthyear from 2013. Hmmm...that can't be right. Try again. And again. Same answer. Confirm their age. :astonished: Proof indeed that folk-dancing keeps one young.

Music ends (it's 11:30!). I make my final farewells and glide out the door with some Hungarian chanting still echoing in my mind. I'm certain there will be many more milestone celebrations in friend and her DH's future.


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A slew thrown together
Cook, delicious stuff all day long on Sunday. Early Thanksgiving in DD Austin home. She let's me cook...
We all chat and discuss, this is the first Thanksgiving she is not leaving at midnight to set up for Target Black Friday, opening doors, sleeping for 3 hours, going back, not seeing her kids,,,etc etc. Get the picture.
And she is SAVORING every minute of these days.
Stuffing, Turkey, Gravy, Acorn Squash Vegan Stuffing (5 star hit with entire family,,,color it GONE in a flash), brussel sprouts, dinner rolls, grilled fresh green beans, cranberry sauce,,,,
DD comes into her kitchen and sets table,,,looks at me,,,,and her tears are sitting in her eyes.
"mom I miss you"....heart strings tug...I try really hard not to cry....blame it on the onions.
Three little ones who are growing up so fast decorate the table with their drawings,
Grandpa starts another HallMark Snowball fight...and now I'm involved. LOTS of running around house, dogs, all the adults are involved...screaming, laughing, ambush from stairs. I love these hurting, soft, fuzzy, and gets the energy out.
Artwork with kiddos, Grandpa does not let GS#1 get away without chores done,,,although GS#1 spends an enormous amount of time trying to get out of the chores. AHHHHH HAAAAAA,,,not today buddy, you may be a good baseball player but you have chores to do. and WE are here get with it.
Dogs. I love this crazy Austrailan dog/puppy - he's a big goof.
Kids, settle in for the evenings with a game of Twister, another snowball fight, the movie Planes, and concerns about their mommy's kneecap surgery. The little one cannot stop crying...HERE WEEEEEE GO!.
Grandpa saves the evening, shows his knee,,,,kids are more settled but they are really worried and scared.
We go to school yesterday with the kids. See the assembly and watch one of the twins hold the Texas Flag and recite the Texas Pledge! lots of pictures.
COLD, wet, windy, chilly, rainy....ahhhhh THanksgiving!
DAughter calls, surprised charges for her surgery for which she has no money. ahhhh, sigh, there goes my dance money. Any parent would do this....she breaks down...hold her while she crys...assure DD somehow this is going to be ok.
Reassure kids, mom is going to be able to roller skate, ride a bike, run again and dance...Somehow they do not believe us.
Keep reassuring.
long night.
Read bedtime stories, kids draw artwork for us and what they are thankful for. ahhhh....these ARE the times of our lives. DD informs us as much as she loved Target, she's blissfully happy that she left retail and is now teaching 3rd grade.
Brush the girls hair, kisses goodnight, hide Elf On The Shelf.
These are the moments, the memories, the minutes,,,that I would have missed, not been a part of...if I had gone to Ohio Star Ball, I love dancing...but there are other roads of life...and the growth of grandkids, the hunt for bugs in the yard, the cookie making, the reassuring in live person,,,,that cannot be substituted, ever. Preparing for trip to hospital with daughter, fingers crossed for a good outcome!


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So I'm like a week behind, but for sort of good reasons.

TUESDAY: Individual appointments, grading, first year team meeting, took Child to dance.

WEDNESDAY: ENG 1101 oral presentations Day 1, individual appointments...and then my day blew up.
Received information about a student in crisis which required me to take action, in the form of referring it to Counseling.
Oh, and also taught my 20th C Brit Lit class. Office hours.
Talked with Counseling.
Took Child to dance. Worked out and read Marie Lu's Champion on the treadmill., but only got to do 4 miles, as they were going to do costume fittings back at the studio...and then they didn't let parents in to talk about alterations after all, but said they would send an e-mail.
Talked with Counseling again.

Talked with my Dad about plans for Thanksgiving week.
Worked out.
Boring meeting with assessment guru. Meeting with Academic Planning Committee.
And a chat with an investigator from Campus Safety. :(
A little more last minute packing, then off to Columbus for OSB!

FRIDAY: Watching an amazing amount of Am Latin.
Dinner at North Market (Fidous Express).
Wrote in diary.
Evening session featuring Am Latin final, Pro Rhythm, Pro Standard.

SATURDAY: Worked out.
Graded papers.
Received elaborate e-mail from Child's dance studio about costume pieces we need to buy and alterations we need to make in the next 2 weeks.
Tried on probably 15 dresses at the Dore booth. I came reasonably close to buying one, but decided I needed to sleep on it.
Dinner at North Market (Flavors of India).
Evening session featuring Am Standard final, Pro Smooth, Pro Latin.

SUNDAY: Woke up really unfortunately early and could not fall back to sleep. Graded papers. Packed. Flew home. Bumpy landing left me feeling sick. Drove home and took a nap. In a little bit of a funk, emotionally, both about the stuff which preceded OSB and about one thing that happened there. Graded some more.

MONDAY: ENG 1101 oral reports.
GLC class on best practices for oral reports, which they will do next week.
Long talk with peer mentor.
FB post by Child's dance studio about things we need to buy for holiday parade on SATURDAY. Um...lead time could be better here. Also, they seem to assume that asking you to get something at Walmart is perfectly reasonable. I asked if another retail establishment would be acceptable, and they said they wanted everyone's to be the same. Ugh. Sometimes I feel like I live on a different planet than the rest of my community.
20th Brit Lit.
Took Child to dance.
Put Child to bed and to bed on the early side.


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TUESDAY: Office hours, wrote up oral reports.
Left work early to go to Thanksgiving Feast at Child's school...which is followed by a game of student-parent dodgeball. Child is joyous all day.
Take Child to dance...only to discover there is no ballet. Supposedly we were sent an e-mail. Notably, fully 5 kids are there who did not get this e-mail, and all of them are non-company: either performance team or recreational dancers. I'll bet the e-mail was only sent to the company, which is rehearsing.

Omg, had an epic, great night of sleep. SO needed it. (I was running on fumes after OSB, then managed to have a bad night's sleep Sunday-Monday which compounded the problem.)
Dentist, Part 2.
Target, Michaels, grocery store.
1st night Chanukah!
8.25 miles on treadmill.

Graded 4 research papers.
Read with Child.
Made Child's favorite bean salad.
Small family Thanksgiving-ish event with non-traditional foods: spinach lasagna, bean salad. (Husband had traditional Tgiving foods at lunch...and I may need to make sweet potato latkes from this recipe I saw in the NYTimes before the week is out because I'm curious how that would come out...and it's not every year that Thanksgiving and Chanukah overlap.) Really, really enjoyed having a low key event with just the 3 of us. I wouldn't want to do it every holiday, but it is nice to do it sometimes. I think this actually might have been a first!
Made a chicken and broccoli stir fry for sister's house tomorrow, a triple batch!
Watched part of "Licensed to Kill." Not exactly the best Bond movie, though it does have Carey Lowell in it who was later on "Law and Order." Child was mystified by the CD-ROM in one scene. Husband: "It's like an early version of a flash drive." Wow, nothing dates fast than technology, huh? Child was also unimpressed by the idea that the bad guys would have unencrypted, unprotected info on the CD ROM.
Chanukah, night 2!


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ok, where did I leave off? Let's start.
Go to kids school. See assembly, Monday, watch one grand-daughter hold Texas Flag,,,,very cute.
Kids excited we are in the assembly viewing benches, Kids not excited later - when we were not there for Diversity was pouring cats and dogs...DD car was on a weird mode so had to drive that to dealership,,,couldn't stay, had to get that into dealership.
Reassure kids, mom will be ok, kids are noticeably upset about this knee surgery to their mommy. Ok, LOTS AND LOTS of reassurance going on.
Drop kids off at school Tuesday morning.
DD complains about "I cannot eat or drink anything yet I have an afternoon surgery" We, as in DH and myself, give her such a look, she stops! THANK you very much.
Drive to Bee Cave Surgery Center. Meet with Doctor. I immediately realize why DD feels quite comfortable with him, he knows his stuff!!
Doctor informs us, DD is in the top 2% of patients that have EVERYTHING wrong with their kneecap. And that SHE should be in his teaching textbook for his students at UT. uhhhhhhhhh, hmmmmm.
Switch up with DD, SO, and DH driving, getting food, picking up kids, waiting, waiting waiting.
Doctor comes out,,,3 hours later and 6 procedures on DD. Go over after-care, therapy, knee machine, appointments, meds.
Doctor is very pleased with his repair work, clean up, insertion of metal sleeve into re-created "v" groove to hold knee cap in place, two screws, repositioning muscles, tendons, etc. He tells us, DD will be able to trust her knee again but not be a racquetball player. ok,,,,GOT IT...WHEW, Thank Goodness.
Yes, I'm out of my dance money, but this is a no-brainer....after 17 years DD will be able to do things that many of us take for granted
DH and I and her SO, get her around house, movement machine, lots of pillows, no stairs, deal with her two nutty dogs (Austrailian is still a big goofy puppy). All of us trade off so someone can do household things, deal with car, take care of DD, and still sleep...sorta.
Kids call. Happy their mom is ok, upset mom sounds so weird on phone (she is still sleepy talking).
DH does not let DD put off movement machine. He's a good coach, having been there and done that several years ago.
DD and I spent time on-line doing Black Friday with Free Shipping for her Xmas shopping for kids. PERFECT!!!
Dogs know something is out of whack, the Australian stays under the bench where DD is doing her therapy and does not budge until he sees her moving around. hmmmm.
DD and I have a lot of fun doing Black Friday on-line with Kohl's while watching the UT game and note that our other family members who are attending this game...are FREEZING cold even through their layers.
The final comment of last night, "thank you soooo much" before she passes out after her dad, my DH, gets that last little bit of machine knee movement to complete the 4 hours she needs.
ahhhhh, life. A thank you goes a long long way.


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wow....I really did take a whole week off of df...other than a few posts...

last sunday; I don't remember much except having to see engaged clients, being exhausted, and having another epic fued with dh....this is rare for us to be something that happens more than quarterly...but we have both been wildly busy and so were not our best . little. sleep

therefore, monday, I was exhausted and had to teach four classes then drive to indy for 4 lessons...I was dreading that as I was tired and we are just barely out of critical condition there...blessedly, mercifully, while sore and underwhelming in new shoes that caused several very painful blisters, it was an improvement upon previous lessons...marinade in tequila, didn't even bring my lap top as I felt a need to get away for real....sleep soundly

tuesday; lance huge blood blister on left ball of foot....soak in tub....apply, bengay, advil, liquid skin, and bandages....head to bank and gas station, then lunch where I have salad and wine....and lessons go better...I also think a bit of underlying frustration got aired out in friendly ways...home to teach spin...collapse in heap even though I know I have to clean house because company arrives for holidays next day

wed..up at 6 to clean house b/c I have to work 4 classes ...and expect company by noon...also hit grocery store...spend rest of day cooking

thurs; thanksgiving at brother's house...also brief stop at to see many folks...but had to do a bunch of cooking at home, then more at brother' fairly fatigued...get home late....out cold

fri....teach fitness, then we go to cut down of our favorite rituals of the year...was a lovely time... and rest of evening is spent decorating, eating tacos, and playing cards...pretty near perfect

sat (today)...thusfar, taught a class and got to skype cutest baby in the all is perfect ...nap immanent


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Black Friday, done and done...on-line with Kohl's cash back, free shipping. Give Cash DD and they can finish on-line shopping for kiddos and each other.
Daughter pushes herself in her movement machine...and eventually the sealed bandage...does not stretch. She peels it off...uhhhhh, big ol' incision, on old incision and many inches more. Lots of bruises. Not a picture for the faint of heart. DS calls and Facetimes with his sister. We hear the banter and he suggests that she put Christmas bows on her incision...ahhhh, siblings,,,some things will always stay the same no matter how old they get.
We hear the word "proposal planning to girlfriend" out of DS's mouth to his sister...and DH and I stare at each other....fingers crossed!!!! I hope, I hope, I hope. DS does not know we can hear him...but I'm happy...just hope it happens.
At end of call we note she is on Alleve once a day,,,and movement is quite good at this point.
Discuss with DD, us - as in DH and myself heading home. I make plans to fly back on Dec. 20th as she has the kids for Christmas! YIPPEEEE.
DH and I note another new experience, being with grandkids at their home on Christmas Morning. This will be a first time! We are excited but I'm flying back and DH is driving.
DH has announced quite loudly that he WILL outwit the little escape artist dog,,,as the big goofy puppy cannot escape but the little one does.
DH comes back from store with fencing. Rolled Chicken Wire. and proceeds to nail the entire fenceline. We laugh and laugh and laugh.
He is one determined Norwegian, I'll give him that much.
Help DD with Christmas Decorations that the kids cannot do. We talk about some of them that I gave her when she left us for her own life...memory lane starts happening and DH joins in.
DD, SO says on the side that DD talks about Christmas in our home - a lot, the memories, the baking, the friends/family, the little house that was filled with laughter and how no one found themselves alone.
I find myself stunned yesterday. I had no clue. This was the teenager/young college student who FOUND REASONS not to be home. ok, wait, let me take a breath.
DH hugs me.
Talk to DD about lots of things, she is feeling cabin fever-ish,,,we grab Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons and Long Horn Steakhouse gift cards.
It's a family kind of night...reliving the things we use to do.
Late night return, I cruise through LiveSteam of California Star Ball and see lots of friends dancing away during this Thanksgiving Holiday.
Then I find a 3,000 sq ft, 5 bed/3 bath, 2007 built single level home for sale - here. hmmmm and hmmmm dreamland starts once more.


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sunday, spend entire day writing bills, cleaning house, breaks our computer ...not a good situation....2 of the three 20 somethings return from a brief trek to dtr's BF's house....wonderful visits continue, but I am exhausted and go to bed at 8:30 even though I had a nap previously...and I sleep for 9 glorious hours


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-Graded papers.
-Worked out.
-Made a cake for Dad's birthday. Child decorated it.
-SISTER'S HOUSE for post-Thanksgiving dinner! Had a great time with my 3 week old nephew. Child read him several books. I danced the samba with him when he got a little fussy. He really likes that bouncing movement.

Wrote up 10 oral presentations.
Child danced in the local holiday parade with her dance team!
Husband fell HARD on the sidewalk during the parade. (Tripped on an irregularity in the sidewalk...probably while trying to take photos and walk at the same time.) Really bloodied up his knee, ripped through the pants at the knee and through long underwear, hurt his neck. Child had a great time, though.

-Graded last few papers of break.
-Went to Jo-Ann's fabrics...very out of my league in this place. Bought snaps.
-Sewed snaps onto bra and Child's costume so they can snap together per instructions. Not playing to my greatest strength here.
-Watched the end of the James Bond film we started on Tgiving. One of the worst ones. Too gory.
-8 miles on treadmill.


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Speak with DD about caring for her post-surgery Knee.
Speak with DD's SO as well.
Hang Xmas lights with her SO as dh and dd have a heart to heart inside.
Prepare for the 4 a.m. wake up to hit the road. Silent prayer, "please let the crazy weather be soooo much better than when we drove here".
Receive terrible news about DD car. Literally we should bury it according to repair shop.
Go to sleep on that one.


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4 fitness classes (one in which a member gets dizzy, also diabetic, also grieving), brief stop at home to eat and feed animals, forget to turn off tree...hope house doesn't burn down...lessons which are, wait for it, pleasant....take pros wife and son home, nice chat...but get lost in their neighborhood...finally to restuarant....I love that place....awesome food and new hotel and chat with a dance acquaintance from my home area about some distressing developments in the local dance scene...sigh....not bed after midnight worrying about that


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Drive, drive and drive. The homeward road instinct is upon both of us.
Round Rock, through Fredricksberg (fog is horrible stuff) to Deming New Mexico. Hit up Best Western (ahhh thank you lovely bed!).
Go to WalMart for essentials,
We decide not to stay for free breakfast, I want to get going by 5a.m. to bypass any work related traffic.
I love driving in the early morning before the sun comes up.
DH and I decide, yep, there is something very pleasant about watching the stars and moon disappear and the sun come up.
Much better weather. THANK You, whew.
Head for home.
Brain storm about DD mini-van after the service manager said "we've never seen metal shavings swimming in the transmission fluid,,,,ever".
GREAT, just GREAT...there goes our personal budget out the door, there goes bringing the family to So. California this summer.
Ain't this just a joy.
Tapped out. Come up with more brain storming.
How to get back on track in a hurry. ARRGGHHHHH,,,,
It's a good thing the road is dark,,,so no one can hear my blood curling scream of frustration!!!!! Drive dear, just DRIVE...


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lessons...and they were; improved....teach spin...hear through the grapevine os some interesting trouble brewing....grateful to the good soul who saw fit to warn me...home late...somewhat disillusioned, but happy with the lessons


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@3wishes--Sorry to hear about your DD's vehicle. Does your DD definitely need a mini-van? Might there be a more economical car with a better repair record in her future? Is she able to pay for part of it herself or does her economic situation not allow that?

@fascination--Glad to hear the lessons were great! (And hope that the trouble brewing is not too serious.)

9:10--ENG 1101. Oral presentations. Hand back the work I graded over break.
10:20--GLC. Back together again!!!! Oral presentations--Day 1. A little sad, though, that we are down one member due to pending disciplinary charges.
Lunch break. Grade stuff.
12:40--20th C Brit. Emma Donoghue's Room. Hand back the work I graded over break.
2-4--Office hours. Lengthy chat with student who is having to deal with some seriously tough stuff. Wind up making several recommendations, including that the student check out Al-Anon (the one for family members, not AA).
Then two students want me to read drafts. In one case, I *just* read a draft of this same paper on the weekend...but I do it anyway.

Home, get Child ready for dance.
5:15--Child has rehearsal. I watch a little, grade a little.
Home. Eat everything in sight.

Decompress with secretary. I'm very stressed about something going down later in the day.
9-10--Office hours.

10:10-11:10--GLC-Oral Presentations Day 2. Some fantastic ones!!!! One girl is doing The Evolution of Gender Roles in Disney and, after doing her Powerpoint, ends her presentation by pulling out a ukelele and singing an original song she wrote on the subject. Another girl picks out just the best examples in her critique of gender roles in self-help manuals. She also made a connection to one of Monday's oral reports, which really made the seminar feel seminar-y. She stepped her game for this project and I just LOVE to see that. Another girl ends with a peroration pulling together stuff from pretty much the whole course.

Lunch, grading.

2--Met with a student of mine who has been suspended and goes before the disciplinary board at 3. Really good kid. Hard life. Bad situation. We strategize.
3--Disciplinary hearing.
Outcome was reasonably good, all things considered. HUGE weight off my shoulders.

5:30--Head home. Quick dinner. (Thank goodness we still have some of the spinach lasagna Husband made over Thanksgiving break. Yum!)
6--Get Child ready for ballet.
7-8:15--She takes ballet. I write in diary.
Home. Snacks. Child was having baby carrots and ranch, and I had some too. Yum! Also had some fun-sized candies.
Child to bed.


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it was impressive...he was on top of it and used his hind legs like he was pushing off of the edge of the pool...and he sent it rocking just enough for it to topple over the edge

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