F*CK YOU Friday- Covid-19 Edition

I’ve been working on this for 13 weeks now.

  • F*ck you, China. Thousands and thousands of deaths could have been prevented if you were just up front with the rest of the world.
  • F*ck you to all the asshats who are driving stupid fast on the nearly empty streets and highways. If you get into an accident, you have to go to the hospital, do you realize that? A hospital is no place to be right now, so slow the f*ck down.
  • F*ck you to all the entitled people who aren’t wearing masks when the whole world is. I don’t care to discuss the science behind them, whether or not they work- the store has a policy, please comply. If you’re going to be in my 6-foot radius space, please comply.
  • F*ck you to the stimulus package. Yes, thank you, we got our stimulus checks (which went right to paying our 2019 taxes) but people like Zombiegirl, who is working (deemed essential) and going to school and is over 21 doesn’t get a thing because we claim her on our taxes. Her demographic is the forgotten one.
  • F*ck you to everyone who traveled somewhere else during this pandemic. I don’t care if you “quarantined” for two weeks once you got there, you came in contact with so many people on your way there. I unfollowed a few bloggers who got out of Dodge (NYC) because the thought of being in their apartment with their kids was too much for them (but okay for the rest of us) .
  • Not exactly a F*ck you, and I’m going to get shit for this but I’m tired of everyone praising the “front line workers”. Doctors and nurses- I get it, you were out there working in the hospitals, you risked getting infected and you’ve seen things. It was a rough few months. BUT YOU SIGNED UP FOR THIS. This is your job. You are trained for this and you are getting a paycheck when so many others aren’t. And please don’t use your job for privilege. Just because you work in a hospital and/or wear scrubs does not make you an “essential worker” and doesn’t entitle you to move to the front of the line in the store or let you buy more than two hand sanitizers at Harmon. “Healthcare worker” does not equal freebies and priority. Tell me how an obstetric sonogram technician is “saving lives on the front line”? SMH.
  • Also, just because you work in the Healthcare industry does not make you an expert in all things Coronavirus. Sit the f*ck down if you do not have MD or RN (or any medical degree initials) after your name. And watching the news or reading the government websites doesn’t make you an expert either. Mine and my family’s experience with the medical profession is our own, don’t tell me I’m wrong. You make me want to not talk to humans ever again.
  • F*CK YOU to the hospitals who were woefully unprepared for this kind of pandemic. The mere fact that you were unable to provide basic personal protection to your staff (laundry staff included) was/is disgraceful. Isn’t a hospital supposed to be prepared for the worst? Where is that money allocated to?(Board of Trustees pockets, I’m sure). The healthcare system got caught with their pants down and I hope they stockpile the basic needs to such an emergency in the future. America shouldn’t be “sewing for the cause” to provide your employees with face masks. Healthcare is expensive, follow the money- why is Suzy homemaker doling out dollars to keep your employees safe?
  • F*ck you, Cathleen. You made me quit working at Stop and Shop. I get that you have mental health issues (weren’t you fired from the Dollar Tree?) but you need some serious help. My last two run ins with you were because you panicked about the pandemic and became unhinged. There was no reason to go off on me when I was just doing my job. And the fact that you KEPT coming at me, even after you left the store twice and returned to spit hatred at me just proves to everyone that you really shouldn’t be working with others. A huge F*CK YOU to management who is aware of your outbursts and how badly you treat the customers and your coworkers and they do nothing to stop you. Cashiers are replaceable and expendable, yet they don’t have the balls to fire you. But I’m not surprised- they didn’t even have the balls to discuss the incident with me, so why should I expect them to that the balls to deal with you?
  • F*CK YOU to all the people who jumped at the chance to get out of the house and hang out/go shopping/go drinking. Memorial Day. Fourth of July. We’re now experiencing a surge of cases and there are new restrictions on travel and socializing and it will not stop until you Stay. The. Fuck. Home.

Happy Birthday, Pop-Pop, I Mean, Grandpa

June 8. 06/08/10. Isn’t that a great day for a birthday? It’s one that’s not easy to forget. MR was labeling the egg box and asked the date and I automatically said 6,8,10, and realized it was my Grandfather’s birthday. Does anyone else have trouble with “year math”? I was correct when I said he would have been 110 years old if he had lived.

On a phone conversation with a new friend, we were throwing out facts about each other and discussing her COPD and she asked me if I ever smoked. Well, there was that one time Kathy and I almost burned my bed when we put an illicit cigarette out in a plastic cup and it melted through and singed my quilt and those other few times I smoked cigars with the work boys but really, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve tried a cigarette. It’s a slight miracle that I never picked up the habit considering how many in my family did.

I remember my Nana smoking, but I didn’t remember Grandpa smoking. A quick call to Dad confirmed that he did, in fact smoke (Chesterfields, unfiltered) and stopped when he was about 65 years old. That’s 15 years before he passed, on June 24, 1991. He was diagnosed with COPD, so he quit (Nana didn’t. That tells me something…) and Dad said he had anxiety which made his breathing worse.

Grandpa having anxiety is a strange thought to me. He was so quiet, so reserved that I can’t imagine him having panic attacks, but Dad said he got a call in the middle of the night several times and had to take him to the hospital, even though he seemed fine halfway there and when Dad offered to take him home because it seemed the panic attack had subsided and he became a back-seat driver. It seems like he just liked the hospital. Dad said they knew him there and greeted him by name when they saw him.

It’s weird that I don’t recall him being in the hospital a lot.

I asked Dad what he passed away from, at 81, and he said that he wanted to die so he did. Dad was going on a business trip to Connecticut and he saw his parents the day before. Grandpa gave him a hug and told him that he loved him (which is also weird because Grandpa was not the demonstrative type). Dad went home and told Mom that something was up (see? He was not the huggy type.) and he got a call from Nana the next day that Grandpa was dead. I asked what the official cause of death was and he told me it was pulmonary failure.

I always liked my Grandpa. He was sarcastic and coarse and grumbly and slightly scary. There was that day when I was 12? 13? when he took me aside and said I was too old to call him Pop-pop, I was to call him Grandpa. That day, his words stung my heart. It was one of the things I talked to my therapist about, abandonment issues from someone I loved.

As I got older though, I was able to tease him about it. Your relationship with him did best when you were able to stand up to him gently and snark back at him. As an adult, I would call him “old man” and he would utter a “hey!” and turn away smiling that smile that was passed down to his son and his grandson. I felt sorry for him for the way Nana and Aunt Jean treated him and talked about him so I fiercely defended him on a couple of occasions. He was my one of my favorite Old Persons and I’m fondly reminded of him when I look at his chair sitting in my living room and today, 6.8.10.

Picture to be inserted shortly…

A Day in the Life- Covid 19 2020

It’s day 39 of self-isolation due to the pandemic. Most of my days are the same these days so for posterity, I’m doing a DITL post.

-Woke up at 5:39 am, which is a little on the early side these days. If it were a commuting day, the alarm would be set for 5:00 am and I’d snooze for a half an hour to and hour. Lately though, working from home every day, my normal time was around 7:30.

-Got out of bed at 6:05. Grabbed my phone and went to the bathroom and started this blog post. Don’t judge me.

-Showered. It’s been a couple of days. With a choice between yoga pants and lounge wear, I put on comfy pajamas because it’s a little nippy out.

-6:44 am, start my first cup of coffee of the day and drink it while checking emails, Facebook, Reddit and Instagram. Unsubscribed 5, liked 10 Facebook, heart 10 Instagram and uplike 10 Reddit. I’m trying to limit the number of emails I receive and engage more on Social Media. Read through two Atlas Obscura articles sent via email. From Atlas Obscura, started going through The Rescued Film Project website.

7:11 am, finished coffee. Towel dried hair and headed downstairs. Threw yesterday’s (and the day before) clothes in the washer and start the 567th load of laundry this week. Filled the chicken waterer and scooped chicken feed into the feeder. Fed the Chicalettas and gave them each a “good morning” pat.

7:22 am, started second cup of coffee. Finished the row I left off last night on the baby blanket I’m crocheting.

7:43 am, Mark’s up so I can do stuff without waking him up. He’s sleeping later because he’s not working at all- his clients canceled because they’re either not going to work or they’re not allowed out of the senior care facilities. I cleaned off the dining room table and changed the tablecloth from the birthday one leftover from Zombie girl’s 21st birthday to the every day one. I dusted the hutch (Monday’s chore) and dusted the base and door moldings, ceilings, radiator and light fixture (Tuesday’s chore).

8:15 am, logged into work, heated coffee in microwave.

(from this point, please rest assured that I am working from the couch. I run reports and routines that allow me to do other things around the house 😉 I won’t bore you with the minutiae of my job)

9:00 am, bathroom break (coffee kicked in). Checked Memories on FB and wished a couple of friends a “Happy Birthday”.  Put clothes into the dryer or hung on the line.  Brought some stuff upstairs to put away.9:37 am, gave chickens two old apples and a stale bagel because they were squawking and getting loud.  Checked for eggs in garage, nope. (Mark already brought two eggs in this morning from the new girls).  Looked up the spelling of “squawking” because I forgot there was a “Q” in there.

9:55 am, texted with a coworker about his baby.  

10:31 am, let the dog out, bathroom break.  Used the last of the toilet paper, so replaced the roll.  Went downstairs to get another for spare roll holder, brought up laundry room garbage which didn’t fit into the bag, so put everything into the kitchen garbage and took it out.  Let dog back in.

10:55 am, got a stupid request at work, so I decided to put it on hold and went to search for my high school graduation picture since everyone is posting them on Facebook to support the 2020 graduates.  Honestly, if I was a 2020 graduate, I would get depressed seeing all these old photos since I probably won’t be walking in a graduation procession this year. Anyway, I looked in my office and in the basement and I couldn’t find my yearbook or my grad photo so I organized some yard sale boxes in front of the bookcase.

11:05 am, let dog out again, grabbed some more grapes.1

11:39 am, daily call with Dad.  We check in every day now due to our isolation orders.  It’s nice talking to him for a few minutes a day.

12:06 pm, stopped for lunch because the requests at work are getting stupider.  Queued up the movie “The Kitchen” to watch while eating. 

1:00 pm, worked on cross stitch while on conference call.

1:51 pm, raided the pantry for a snack.  Settled on chocolate macaroons.  Started “The Kitchen” again.

2:34 pm, bathroom break, collected two eggs, fed the Chicalettas some Grubblies and played fetch with Archie for a bit.

3:07 pm, Beena sends us a group text of the grandkids cleaning the yard, literally.  Washing the house and the fence and the chairs with wipes.  Whatever keeps them busy, she says.  I send a picture of my pajamas because Elena is wearing the same ones, the ones we got for Utah’s wedding.  Utah sends a picture of her legs wearing them too.  Same, she says.

3:30 pm, working on my SAL blackwork cross stitch from Peppermint Purple while running plans.  My team has “do not disturb” on their Skype, I’m about to do the same.

4:05 pm, took time from working on my cross stitch to make another cup of coffee.  I’m feeling like I need a nap, but I have another conference call at 4:30 and closing my eyes is not an option. While I’m up, I wash up the few dishes in the sink, including my coffee cup from this morning.

4:30 pm, get ready for my conference call, can’t find the information.  I look in the deleted folder and my boss made it- today- for Monday, April 13th.  He’s so bad at remoting in. I emailed asking if we were going to have a meeting, I waited until 5:00 pm.  He never got back to me so I logged off.  The whole time I was working on my cross stitching.

5:00 pm, went downstairs and lifted weights (arms).  Tried to ride the bike but my butt was sore from riding 5 miles yesterday.

5:14 pm, took a half hour nap.

5:46 pm, took venison cutlets out of the fridge.  Mark breaded and fried them while I made broccoli and rice.  Finished eating and loading the dishwasher and putting the food away at 7:00.

7:06 pm, took the dog for a walk.

7:40 pm, took out everything I did on the baby blanket out and started over.

11:10 pm, went to bed. 

 

Happy New Hair!

It’s Day 1, 2020. Happy New Year! No, I don’t have new hair, my niece Lily said that once a few years ago and it kind of stuck with me. This year we celebrated at Beena and John’s house with the grandkids. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to celebrate!

I’ve been on vacation from job #1 for a week and I’ve done absolutely nothing and it was wonderful. Today we started moving Utah and KevKev to their new place and I did all the laundry in the house. Starting the new year on a clean note, lol.

January is going to be “Spruce Up the Laundry Room” month. Since I designated January also as a “no-spend” month, I may have to get creative. I’ll paint using up paint we already have, everything gets a good scrubbing, expired food gets tossed, freezer will be defrosted and I’ll start patching the floor to prep for a new floor.

Putting it here makes me accountable, lmao.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things- Grandkid Edition; Part 2

  • when they sing our made up songs weeks later: Pee Pee in the Potty (conga line), I Play Bongos (using the kids as bongos, courtesy of Big Bang Theory) are two that come up a lot.  When i use them as bongos, Jackson always asks to see the BBT clip of Sheldon playing bongos.  He laughs as if he understands.
  • when I’m in the bathroom on the potty and they all crowd in (including Archer) and have conversations with me while I’m doing my business.  Jackson comments on my big butt and Elena flushes the potty.
  • Elena looks up at you with those big blue eyes and you’re ready to give her anything and everything.
  • Jackson looks up at you with those big blue eyes and you’re ready to give him anything and everything.
  • when Elena says yes, her head nods and also her eyebrows.
  • you can never hear “I love you, Ammaw” too many times.
  • the blue glasses Jackson just got.
  • how much he loves school.
  • how Elena says “Pashta” and loves her pasta.
  • when Jackson wakes his mommy up at 5 am and says he has to bring the dwarf (Sleepy) to Ammaw’s house.
  • when Elena gets upset when she can’t go to Ammaw’s house.
  • how they are so helpful and independent.

 

…to be continued.

I Smell Like My Grandmother

I was sitting on the couch next to @archietheboy when he farted.  His farts come from a place inside his body where old rubber bones and balls go to die.  I thrust my nose into my shirt to avoid the stench and I was hit with another kind of smell.

Nana Frances, is that you?

Visiting Nana Frances, who is my Dad’s mother, was always fun.  She was an artist, painting portraits and houses and horses and dogs on placemats, of all things.  Commissioned from the mysterious “Mrs. Lowenstein”, she would be given a picture that she would have to recreate several times to make a complete set of placements.  Sometimes I helped her cut the placements out, scalloping the edges with my small scissor.  I loved watching her paint and when I was old enough, she taught me how to draw- quick and easy steps to make vases and how to shade it.

Artistic talent runs in my family- my dad is an artist, I can create and draw stuff when necessary and Zombiegirl inherited her talent from my lineage and from her dad.  I was always impressed with Nana’s talent mostly because she painted in OILS.  Those were (and still are) such a mystery to me that my many tubes of oils I’ve acquired over the years have dried up because I couldn’t bring myself to experiment with them.  But Nana painted paintings and placemats with oils and drew pictures with charcoal and watercolors.  And they were all good.

Except for that damn clown.  That’s a story for another time.

Yeah, when I was younger and my Nana was the same age I am now (mind: blown) I loved her and looked up to her and loved visiting with her and my Grandpa.  It wasn’t until my pre-teen years that I started noticing that she didn’t exactly love me back as much.

My dad has a sister, who has two kids, the oldest the same age as my brother and the younger two years younger than that.  I guess because my Aunt was the daughter (the baby) it was only natural that her kids would be the favorites.  We lived in the same neighborhood as Nana and Pop-pop-turned-Grandpa (again, another day) we saw them often, going to their house for Trick-or-Treat, visiting for birthdays and other minor holidays.  The cousins lived further out on the island and didn’t see them as often, but damn, they were brought up every time we saw Nana.  We were told of accomplishment, big or small, my cousins made.  They sneezed, we heard about it.  They farted, my Nana told us.  When we got together at Thanksgiving or Christmas, we already knew all the news in that household.  And if it was more recent, Nana made sure we knew about it- telling us in front of the cousins what they had done.

It was all very uncomfortable.  For everyone.

I put up with it for years, until I was about 14 and feeling sassy one day, I asked Nana if she told our cousins all about what we were doing.  I know my mom talked to her almost every day and filled her in on news of her other grand kids, did she talk about us to them?

-No, what are you talking about?

-You are always telling us about what our cousins are doing.  Do you talk about me and Robbie to them?

-No.  I don’t do that.  I don’t talk about them to you.

-Yes you do.  A LOT.

-Well, I talk about you to them too.

I found out at the next holiday that she never did.  Something big that I did (First class Girl Scout?) was not relayed to the family- they were surprised when my mom announced it during dinner.  Maybe they were told and they didn’t remember, it’s possible.  But I remember that this was the second time my grandparents betrayed me.  And it hurt.

Over the years, I realized that my Nana wasn’t really a nice person.  I feel like she didn’t care for my mom and as an extension, me and my brother.  My Aunt fueled the fire (they would point out dirty spots in my mom’s kitchen, or catch each other’s eye when my mom said something at the dinner table).  I noticed and I was heartbroken over it. It wasn’t until after she died that we found out that it was always her that wanted to leave (she blamed Grandpa) or that it was her that said hurtful things, not Grandpa.  Nana blamed Grandpa for such much when they were alive.  Poor Grandpa. And poor Nana.  I feel sorry for her as an adult.

I digress, as usual.

Sitting next to Nana, I knew her smell.  It definitely wasn’t a sweet perfume, and it wasn’t the tangy oils she painted with.  It was her own smell and you would get hit with it when she pulled you into a hug.  I know now it was body odor- not a chicken-soup kind of BO that you get a whiff of on the subway- but an underarm/breast/fat sweat that a body gets when they’re going through the changes.  I got a whiff of Nana when I pulled my sweater up over my nose.  My deodorant obviously isn’t working if I’m channeling my grandmother in my pits.

I’m going shopping later for a heavy duty deodorant and powder so that my grand kids don’t tell me I stink.

Hullabaloo

(Disclaimer: I’m cleaning out my drafts and this was originally written in August 2017. It was 90% done, so now it’s finished and published.)

I don’t socialize with my coworkers anymore.  I used to. There used to be a time when we’d go out for drinks and dinner after work and I would help them move and drive them to airports and loan them money and listen to them complain about (insert relationship here) and go to their kids Christenings and bake for them and fix their hems and all other sorts of things a coworker-turned-friend would do.  But then I always got too close. And I always got screwed.

“June” though, is different.  She doesn’t work with me directly on a day to day basis (she’s on of my business contacts).  We see each other outside of the office every six months or so, or when either of us has a life crisis and needs to cry/bitch/wallow to the other.  We can shut down a restaurant (we will tip you very well to leave us alone) and talk for hours.  There is no judging, no taking advantage of and tons of laughter in this friendship.

The way it should be, right?

So this summer, it really took a lot for me to finally accept the invitation to the Out East Hullabaloo from one of my coworkers, Magee.  I’ve been getting this annual invite for 10 years or so and I always turned it down even though it was only 15 minutes from our beach house.  Magee and I get along (despite him almost killing me- a story for another day) but I just couldn’t bring myself to go to his house and socialize with the all the other people in my department that he invited.

Enter my wing man, June.  She couldn’t go to the Hullabaloo last year, but this year she really wanted to go-she wanted to step out of her comfort zone after ending her 13 year relationship and have a good time. I was doubtful about the good time, but I agreed to go.  If it was unbearable, at least we’d be drinking.

Surprise, surprise- it was one of the best times I’ve had in a very, very long time.

MR, June and I showed up very early and paid our $2 each to compete in the Horseshoe Tournament.  We slapped our name tags on, grabbed some beers and sat down under one of the umbrella tables next to the pool.

I wasn’t expecting this.  His house was nice, the grounds and pool were beautiful and his family was so kind and so welcoming.  We chatted with relatives, family friends and long-time attendees of the Hullabaloo (this was the 20th year).  We made a few connections, exchanged a few email addresses, cooed over babies and dipped our feet in the pool.  June the Mermaid eventually jumped in while I hovered over her hoping she wouldn’t drown (it was deep and she is short and not an experienced swimmer).  Then MR and I were called for our round of horseshoes.

Horseshoes are awesome.

Let’s just say that I am now called The Ringer.  All those years of bowling league and all those years of dart tournaments certainly helped my aim, stance and arm in horseshoes.  I took off my sandals, hiked up my skirt and MR and I made it to the final four round.  The hardcore throwers couldn’t believe I was keeping up with them (MR was a natural, of course- he was really the backbone of our team) and soon the trash-talk began.  I don’t play that so I was glad we were finally beaten and that opposing team went on to win.  After the tournament, these big, gruff guys came over to us and gave me a big hug and complimented me on my game and didn’t believe us when we said I had never played before.

It’s nice when you’re good at something, even if it is a fluke, and people recognize that.  It doesn’t happen often, lol.  It’s also nice to find a group of people you enjoy hanging around with.  The Hullabaloo will be something we’ll be going to again.

If we’re invited back.  Nobody likes a ringer.

The World Would Be a Better Place If Everyone Just Did This.

Read the fucking email/text before replying back.  Then read it again for good measure.  It will save a lot of hair-pulling and excess emailing/texting if one reads and comprehends first.

Case in point: at work, we have a sign-off system for business managers.  It’s basically a CYA deal- they are responsible for their space and who sits in it, so we send them an email from our group- a detailed, easy-to-read email- how to review their space, who to ask for information and when the deadlines are.  We’ve dumbed this email down yet the responses we get back are incredibly stupid.  Need info on NY, it says to contact me.  Not the group that sent out the email, not the NJ guy you always deal with, not anyone else we sent the email to.  Need floor plans?  We give you a link- please use it.  The floor plans are up to date-don’t send me that floor plan I gave you six weeks ago and say it’s all wrong. And apparently, deadlines only mean something when you need information, please ignore all our deadlines.

I wasted an hour with this one business manager this morning.  The deadline for changes was last Friday.  She didn’t contact me for any changes, so I uploaded her final space inventory onto our site and started her approval process.  OF COURSE she came back with changes- someone moved out of NJ into NY.  Okay, I can make that change, what’s the desk location?  She emails me back with the building location.  <eyeroll> I email her back asking for her DESK location.  She finally sends it, I make the change, run the spreadsheet and try to upload an updated spreadsheet to our site but it was too late, I couldn’t update the final.  I told her- TOLD HER- I was going to make the changes in the database and send her an updated inventory and if she gave me a “verbal” approval, I would approve her final space inventory with a note that the changes were made.  She emailed me back her approval after I sent the spreadsheet and I went in and approved the final.  Not the solution we strive for, but it works.

After about an hour, she emails me again and says the link to the final spreadsheet doesn’t show the changes.

Wut?

No, sweetie, it doesn’t.  I couldn’t change the final spreadsheet.  I sent her the updates as “proof” that I did it.  She emails me again and said she’s that’s fine, but the file is not updated when she clicks on the link.

<now I’m banging my head on the keyboard>

I send her my original email, and tell her we’re good and it’s approved verbally and that the final is closed and approved.  I refrain from telling her that this all could be avoided if she had bothered to look at the space during the two weeks we gave them to review.  Eighteen emails were exchanged, and about an hour of my time was wasted.

Of course she makes double what I make…

 

Dreamscape

February 17, 2019, on the couch at 5:00 am because of a headache:

February 17, 2019, on the couch at my parent’s house at 5:00 am because of a headache, which is weird because Dad doesn’t have a couch. The smell of something burning woke me up so I got up and walked into the kitchen where I found all four gas burners turned all the way up.  On the back right burner was a large skillet filled with water, boiling away. The left burners had small empty pans, smoking furiously.  The right front burner’s flame was licking at the grease that was spattered everywhere.

I reached with one hand to the back of the stove for the knobs, trying to avoid being burned while I held a kitchen towel over my mouth to avoid the fumes and smoke.  I managed to turn all the burners off, then turned and ran to wake up my parents.

As I approached their room, I met my mother coming out of the bedroom dressed only in her nightgown.  She wildly asked me, “Why is the stove on?”.

How did she know that the stove had been on?  I passed their bedroom on the way to the kitchen and they were sleeping.  The only way she would have know the stove was on was if she had been the one to turn it on.  I told her this and she took a swing at me.

Since we were in the hallway in front of the bathroom, I pushed her inside.  She was like a wild animal, teeth bared and attacking me- pulling my hair, pushing me into the walls.  I tried to fend her off, but we clashed and crashed into the shower, the sink and over to the toilet.  That’s when I grabbed the tissue box (?) and smacked her in the head with it.

She let go of me and fell to the floor.  I ran out of the bathroom and shut the door.  As I ran for my parent’s bedroom I was yelling for my dad, who was still sleeping.  I got to his side of the bed and shook him awake.

“Mom’s crazy!  She’s trying to set the house on fire and she just attacked me.”  To my dad’s credit, he didn’t stop to question me or tell me I was imagining things- he grabbed a baseball bat (?), ran to the bathroom and opened the door.

My mom was standing there with a can of lighter fluid.

She sprayed a stream of viscous fluid all over me.  I looked down and could see the strings of fluid on myself. I was too stunned to move.  Then she clicked the BBQ lighter (?) and set me on fire.

I had the sense to run outside and roll on the lawn to extinguish the flames. After I was put out, I just sat on the grass, panting and wondering why my mother would do something like this.

Then I woke up.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things- Grandkid Edition; Part 1

  • when Jackson comes to talk to me and he wraps his arm around my leg/arm/waist and pats me with his hand.  Or he just leans on me, making contact with me.
  • when I’m standing and Elena ducks her head and positions herself in the space between my legs and grabs my knees with her hands and makes me walk around the house.
  • afternoon dance parties with Alexa.
  • Hokey Pokey cookie time in the kitchen when they need a snack.
  • seeing their little faces at the side door looking out for me to get back from feeding the chickens.  And that one time I caught them licking the storm door glass, lol.
  • anytime they call out “Ammaw?” my heart melts.
  • whenever Jackson gets all mushy with his sister and spontaneously hugs her, or kisses her or holds her “baby foot”
  • when they put my sweatshirt strings in my mouth and laugh when I blow them out.
  • rocking them when they’re hurt or sad or tired.  And when I stop, they put their feet out and push to continue rocking.
  • when they make me “castles” and “puppies” and “trains” out of their blocks.  Just for me. And then they ask me to take pictures of them.
  • that time Jackson crawled up into my lap when I was working on the computer and fell asleep.  It’s obvious he needed some Ammaw love.
  • whenever I ask Elena something (diaper change, night-night time, lunch) and she answers “nien” (NO in Laney-speak).
  • when we do the Chicken Dance and hold hands to circle.  If Laney is not there, Jackson calls to her to “come spin!”
  • speaking of spinning, when they ask me to spin them in the 70’s p*orn chair. “Faster, Ammaw, faster!”
  • playing modified Hide and Seek in the house.  Archie is on their team and he always leads them to me.
  • how helpful Elena is.  She unloads the dishwasher, shuts every door and cabinet, cleans up without asking, brings Jackson his juice cup, puts the dishes in the sink and sets the table.
  • motorcycle rides on my lap.  Those turns are doozies!
  • more lap time fun- SeeSaw with Elena, horsey rides for both and sliding down my legs.
  • when they share their toys on a timer system, thanks to Alexa.  There are no fights if they each have the toy for three minutes and listen for Alexa chiming or the owls hooting on my phone.  And today Jackson told Alexa to stop the alarm and she listened!
  • bath time.  No explanations needed.
  • how they play upstairs in “their” room (our spare bedroom has a Thomas train set and toys and it’s where Elena takes a nap.)  They’re not allowed in my sewing room upstairs so when they come down (by themselves) with something from my room I tell them they’re not allowed in that room.  He reasons “but we wuv your room so much!”
  • when Laney asks me to pick her up to look at all the pictures on the rails in the living room.  Or steals my Groovebooks and spends time flipping through them.
  • watching Jackson just stand next to Ampaw while he’s on the computer, paying him no mind.  The kid is content just to be in the same room as him.
  • how Laney asks if something is “ready?” “Pizza ready?” “Archie ready!” (to come in), “nuggets ready?”
  • the way they love Archie and will feed him and give him water and Bone Toy (his rubber toy with a treat inside) and throw balls to him.  Elena has become fearless around Archie the Boy and will put her hand in his mouth to get his ball. To quote Jackson, “Him is a good boy”.
  • the way Jackson calls his sister “Yayo”, “E-I-O”, “Yaney”, “Baby”, “Ewena Kate”.
  • when Beena tells me Jackson told her all about his day here.
  • seeing them look out the window of a cardboard house box Ampaw built for them.
  • the look on his face when he first sees me.  Please let it never go away.

 

For those not in the know, Jackson is 3-1/2 and Elena is 2. And this Ammaw is one lucky lady.