Monday, December 29, 2008


Mid-holiday here. Christmas has come and gone and New Year's is just a few days away. Papa headed to the country yesterday; FS left for the cactus state in the early morning (after some flight cancellations and being rerouted through Denver vs. Chicago) and I'm staying at the city house to await the arrival of the trash man tomorrow. Such a task have I.

Papa and I are usually one can people and can afford to miss a trash day here and there (we only get one pickup a week). But after the holiday and having family around for days, we have three overflowing cans out there right now. Too much to ask the neighbors to take care of for us. Snoopy has been having a hard time patroling the grounds and keeping the squirrels out of the trash because we had to put into service our yard waste can which has no lid. Oh the trials and tribulations...

Our holiday was enjoyable. We finally ended the work week with a successful happy hour with co-workers and a very nice dinner with Lana and Mr. Fun. The first few days off work we spent in the country wrapping up loose ends and shopping and resting.

After a few days in the country, I headed back to the city to get ready for the onslaught. Darling Daughter and I took the P's to see Santa,,,not really a failure....they were both crying and screaming but we got that all important picture we wanted of them and Santa. We also started a new tradition of going to Build-a-Bear and getting them Christmas Bears (although Precious picked out a bunny and Perfect picked out a dog). It's now a tradition because I joined some sort of money-saving club and have a membership card to show. Yes, we'll be back.

Then Christmas Eve was here and Fantastic Son arrived a little less tornadic than usual. He arrived sick and exhausted. They (him and Serious Girlfriend) just moved into a new house literally the week before. But he left in good health and pretty well rested and well fed. I have so much food here still that it's shameful. He's one person, I don't know why I cook so much. DD, SIL and the P's were over Christmas Eve and Day but Precious stills eats baby food and Perfect eats like a bird (although he did enjoy several dozen cookies). While I cooked enough for a small army not to mention a few meals out and we added some to-go boxes to the mix in the refrigerator.

Cookies, pies, puddings and leftovers from Christmas Day. Yes, I purchased a huge turkey for Christmas and we had all the fixings and everyone seemed to enjoy our "belated Thanksgiving meal".

Everyone also enjoyed their presents. FS actually thinks I met Ben R. (the Steelers QB) because of the autographed picture I gave him--"Nate, Be Your Best...Ben". Aw, the secrets I keep.

Perfect still doesn't understand Christmas and the gobs of presents yet. He arrived and immediately got a Blues Clues DVD from the rack and went to the bedroom to watch it (because we told him he couldn't watch it in the living room---there are just some days I can do without Steve, Joe, Blue and the gang). When we tried to coax him out to open presents, he kept saying "no thanks". (The same comment he made when we took him to see Santa on Tuesday.) He finally did open some presents and got more into the holiday spirit. Precious on the other hand was all about ripping paper left and right. She didn't care whose present she was opening, she had to rip that paper.

Papa and I got our Wii and several packages with it so we'll be improving both our brains and bodies now. And I got an upgraded Ipod that can hold 30,000 songs so I've been downloading music right and left to hurry and get it filled! All in all, it was a nice holiday with our small group.

I spoke to Gulliver (my brother) and The Professor on Christmas Day and they are both doing fine. Papa found out Almost Step-Daughter is pregnant again...not such a fine thing. Oh and I won a prize from the scavenger hunt I told you about a few blogs ago. So Tiny Sun and I have a date to lunch and do some shopping with our winnings (I'm sharing).

But now it's just Snoopy and I all alone at home waiting on the trashman....with two tons of food scattered about on tables and cabinets and in the refrigerator. I should possibly be filling more bags of trash in the form of leftovers before tomorrow arrives. But I think I'll have a snack first and go visit the Mii's I've made.


Monday, December 15, 2008


Hi readers. Don't really have a topic today. The big ice storm didn't pan out....yet and we are in the final countdown week at work before our two week holiday break. I feel a little better----healthwise, and a little better---Christmas-wise.

Tonight we are going to put up the last tree in the basement. I'm mailing my last package tomorrow to Serious Girlfriend and the bonus kids. My shopping is all done except for Papa and I'm taking him out Saturday to pick out some specific items of clothing he has requested. Tomorrow we have a holiday luncheon at work and Thursday night we have the Holiday Happy Hour. And, of course, Wednesday, the P's will be over.

Then Friday night, Lana and Mr. Fun and Papa and I are having dinner in a little village close to the country house. We started doing this 3 years ago and have made it a tradition that we all would drive out to this quaint area with this marvelous restaurant and we would start our long holiday by having dinner together. The food is spectacular and there is always a nice holiday motiff and a roaring fire in the fireplace. It's all very nice so it's a very fine tradition that I hope lasts for years. Last year FS joined us but he's not coming into town until Christmas Eve this year.

FS's visits are always like a tornado coming through that lasts for several days. This visit, however, we don't have alot planned, so may be a little more relaxed and lowkey, we'll see.

Signing off for now.....Grammy

Saturday, December 13, 2008

So I'm a Year Older!

And also older again than our new president! (Don't know why that is so important to me.)

First, I must apologize for any typos and/or grammical errors in this blog. I was reading through some older posts and saw some things and after changing some, I thought what the hell, you can figure out what I'm saying. Maybe if this post-retirement gig pans out, I'll have an editor in the future.

Papa was sick last weekend and into the week and I picked up when he left off mid-week. I'm not as sick, only a 4-5 on the sick scale whereas Papa was a full blown 10, but I feel just as crappy at times.

So I turned 48 on Thursday, a routine day as I was feeling sick on Wednesday and then again on Friday. Thursday, I felt a tad bit ill but attributed it to the tavern pizza I had for lunch. (Polly, our friend "Blue" said hi!)

DD took me out on Thursday night (for my birthday) to her hair stylist who proceeded to give me a hair makeover---cut, highlights, etc. DD says it took ten years off my looks...hum? And I was thinking I didn't look my age yet. Definitely not as old as the new Treasurer Secretary and possibly the new President! But I must say I do like the new look. Papa hasn't really weighed in on it yet. The only time he has ever commented on my looks was when I was contemplating lasik surgery and he said something about he liked me in glasses and didn't know if he could get used to me not wearing any. I didn't really know what to make of that. I ended up not getting lasik but his comment had no effect in my decision, my eyes were just too far gone.

We kind of take each other as we are and are very comfortable around each other. Being sick it was comical one night this week when he walked through the hall and commented on his sexy look....boxers, t-shirt and socks (what he had worn all that day). I laughed and looked down at myself. I'm wearing pj pants that are too small on me that have rainbows and sunshines (yellow) on them, a black t-shirt from some function, and navy blue socks. Oh, how attractive we both were that night but that's what makes our relationship work. We are very comfortable with each other no matter what we look like (in sickness and health, eh!).

For my birthday, Papa took me out to see The Rockettes Friday night. As I mentioned above, I was sick Friday but was going to go to this show come hell or high water. I enjoyed myself until about 3/4's through the show and got real nauseous again. When looking at the person sitting directly in front of me, a young girl about 11-12 in her Christmas finest, all I could think of was I was going to ruin her Christmas experience when I threw up all over her head. So I told Papa we had to leave....NOW.

Feeling better today but not 100% yet. Maybe by the start of the workweek. I hope. It's a busy week for me, the last before a two week holiday break. And, of course, we have doom and disaster forecast in the form of an ice storm starting tomorrow until Tuesday morning. So I can't really be sick and have weather to deal with at the same time. And several Christmas activities scheduled.

And lastly, some good thoughts go to Aunt Cracker's husband, The Weatherman. He is home from the hospital after receiving a new hip this past week and learning how to get about again. Hope your recovery doesn't take too long and please stay inside if the ice comes this week!

Until next time.....Grammy

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I have been feeling a little freaked out by the idea that I am the same age today as our new President is. We are both 47. I didn't realize this until he announced his new Treasurer Secretary and they said "he was 47 the same age as Obama".... and ME. Unnerving, huh?

At least the Treasurer Secretary (I've forgotten his name) looks like an older person and that makes me feel a little more confident but being the same age as everyone is still freaky to me.

Can you imagine the people that actually attended grade school with Obama? It's funny, my birthday is tomorrow, December 11 and I remember two kids I attended grade school with. Scott, whose birthday is November 10 and Darrin, whose birthday is October 11. Why in the world do these birth dates stick in my head. We were all in the 3rd grade together and birthdays were a big deal. I remember these two boys, one my babysitter's son and the other a neighbor were in my little grade school world and we all thought it was cool that our birthdays were pretty much one month apart.

For some reason these dates have stuck with me all these years and still to this day on October 11 and November 10, I always send out a silent Happy Birthday to them both. Wonder if they remember my birthday? Wonder what little grade school oddity that Obama's classmates remember about him?

So tomorrow I'll turn 48 and then I'll actually be older than the President, not as freaky to me for some reason, until, of course, he turns 48---anyone know when that is?

Swifty Aging Grammy

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beginning of the Holiday Festivities

Hello readers. We're now in the countdown to Christmas and the end of the year festivities and a hectic time for all. I have really been trying to get things done earlier this year but I swear, Christmas is coming sooner than it has in the past.

Last year I remember I was still decorating things on Christmas Eve and just trying to catch up. Now it's over two weeks until the day and I already feel like time is running out. Maybe it's because Christmas day falls during the week, I feel like I'm being cheated out of some weekends. Who knows. I've just decided that no matter how early I start, I'll never feel like I'm ahead at this time of year.

I have 2/3's of the trees up (still need to get the basement tree up). I have most of my shopping done (thank God for online shopping), and I started my cards last night in a panic that they won't get sent on time. But I still feel like I'm scurrying to catch up. Deep breaths.....

And I decided that I want to have fun this year and enjoy the holiday instead of being overwhelmed by stress. That's the big goal this year. Deep breaths....

Friday night we did something different. A small village close to the country home has a Christmas Candlelight Walk every year on the first two Friday's in December. Every year, I try to go to this but every year, we have a snowstorm, an ice storm, frigid temps, or some other weather calamity that stops me from going. But this year, the weather cooperated (in the 30's and dry) and me, Papa, and Tiny Sun all met in one of the village parks to go on the Candlelight Walk.

We weren't sure what to expect and so we walked around a bit and started going in some of the small shops/antique stores to look around and then we went to a historic church where they were serving hot chocolate, chili, and roast beef sandwiches.

We believe this walk is a ruse to get people shopping and buying in these stores which is partly true but while we were taking a break in the church, we read a flyer and discovered they were having a scavenger hunt. Two wineries, a brewery, a restaurant, and 12 of the shops were participating. You had to answer their respective Christmas question thereby getting an item to prove you were at the store and answered their question.

A game to play!! What fun, and off we went. Along the way, we did buy some things but that wasn't the sole purpose of going to the shops, we now had a mission. Every place we went offered hot chocoloate, wine, cider, wine, cookies, wine, candy, cheese, etc., so we ate and drank our way through the Village and really had a fun time.

Papa left after about an hour (he had eaten enough for his dinner and was tired and not so fond of boutique shopping) and that was fine. Tiny and I continued on until the bitter end answering questions and drinking and eating. And we were actually the first and second to turn in the completed scavenger sheet. (and Polly and Cracker, you will be happy to hear that we only had to cheat for one question...asking someone else but we traded an answer to them so it all worked out...we knew all the others on our own!!)

Now we have to wait another week to see what prize (if any) we may have won. They had a whole list of various prizes but the hunt continues this coming Friday before they start doling out prizes. Wish us luck.


Friday, December 5, 2008


Figured I'd better write something about Thanksgiving before Christmas goes speeding by. We had a real different holiday this year as it was the first time I didn't cook a big turkey dinner. Darling Daughter and family were heading to SIL's grandparents in Iowa and Fantastic Son and Serious Girlfriend were hanging in the cactus state and it was actually just Papa and I. I couldn't see cooking massive quantities of food for the two of us, especially since I'm trying to cut down on my food intake, so we went to Plan B.

After calling around in the city and country, I finally found a church close to the country house that was having a big turkey dinner. So Papa and I drove over there Thanksgiving afternoon and stood in line for quite some time to buy dinner "tickets". While standing in this line, we noticed the buffet line was not moving at all. So when it came our turn at the ticket table, we opted for carry-out dinners and trotted across the courtyard to the carry out building, stood in a line of 5 and took our large bags of food home with us to eat. Food was good....things tasted different from the way that I make it (stuffing & cranberries) but we had enough for leftovers the next day. All in all, I thought our turkey dinner was success but don't know if we'll repeat that, it just seemed somewhat unnatural.

We had a restful holiday weekend but it was also melancholy thinking about Thanksgivings past. Wednesday night as we were headed to the country house, I couldn't help but think about Thanksgivings at my grandparents house because we take the same highway, although we get off it after an hour versus the 9 more hours to the grandparents.

But it was restful. We were sleeping 12 hours every night which is unheard of but this caused me to miss the Macy's Parade. By the time I woke up it was already football time, so I was disappointed I didn't get to see the parade and new floats and, of course, Santa at the end. (What a big kid I am!)

A positive thought I keep for this time of year is that by the time Thanksgiving arrives, deer season is over. Papa hasn't hunted in years so deer season isn't a big thing in our house. However, we have the country house and lots of deer share our territory.

The first few years we were at the country house were pretty terrifying because the hunters seemed to be so close. I had to make sure FS (when he was still at home) wore orange outside so he wouldn't get shot roaming the woods. I had to keep Snoopy and another dog we had at the time, close to the house so they wouldn't get shot roaming the woods and if I could have, I would have outfitted my neighborhood deer with orange sock hats to protect them as well. As it was, we always rejoiced in the evening when we got home from work and would see our neighborhood deer in the corn field next door...still alive!

I don't know how they made it through some seasons (and I know that they can't possibly be the same deer all the time---the varying sizes give that away but we always have some neighborhood deer in the cornfield) but it's reassuring their being there and thinking they are the same deer. Another perk to our country home. (But wait until next summer when I start complaining about them eating all my houseplants on the front porch, I'm not so happy with them then.)

Back to subject....One Sunday, I remember the gunshots were so numerous and close that I was afraid to sit up in bed one morning. And yes I know bow season is also around this time and lasts into January and it far more dangerous because I can't hear arrows flinging through the air but for some reason I always focus on gun season more. Maybe it's because it's more popular and has more hunters out in the woods. Some of them aren't used to the woods or country and don't realize there are houses WITH PEOPLE and ANIMALS living in the woods also. That's what is more scary to me, I believe.

I also find it interesting that when it is deer season, it is also rutting (mating) season for the deer, so they are all crazed during this time. The does running from the bucks and bucks chasing the does. All this makes it that much more dangerous in the country especially when driving.

We have the elderly and teenage humans crashing into each other on a regular basis and now we have crazed deer running out on the roads more frequently---running from and chasing each other as well as running from the hunters and thus causing more accidents.

It's all pretty chaotic in the woods and neighboring roads in November. We try to avoid driving at dusk or after dark as it is and when we do get in the car, it seems like it takes two---one to do the driving and the other as a spotter to yell "DEER" when we see their eyes on the side of the road glinting from the headlights.

I know I'm bursting yet more of your bubbles for quiet, peaceful country living. Yet when Thanksgiving arrives, it always seems to calm down considerably. The gunshots cease, the hunters go home, the deer relax a little more, and the best thing is I can quit counting on seeing dead deer attached to cars or in truck beds wherever I go....the grocery store, McDonalds, the gas stations----it seems dead deer are everywhere I happen to go and it does get unnerving, looking at those blank dead deer eyes. Why don't the hunters close their eyes? Wouldn't it be hideous to go to a funeral home and see a deceased friend or relative with their eyes wide open? That's what I'm talking about. Come on hunters, give us a break and show the deer some compassion and close those eyes. (OK now I'm just writing bizarre so....)

Until next time....Grammy

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Back to blogging....been a bit busy with our Thanksgiving Holiday and just trying to stay awake now that I'm back in my routine but more about that later. I was thinking about "dark morning" this morning at the crack of dawn...actually pre-dawn--my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and it's pretty dark for a good hour or so while I'm getting ready for work.

When I was much younger, we used to call this time "dark morning", me and my brother. Usually the only time we were awake at this time was when we were leaving on a trip and getting up at this time was pretty exciting to us. Our parents, for some reason, never traveled like ordinary people. They always had to leave on trips about 3:00 or4:00 in the morning and get on the road, no matter if we were leaving for vacation or coming home from one.

When I grew up and starting questioning "things", I never quite understood this concept of leaving so early. Before a trip, you are excited and usually find it hard to go to sleep. Getting up at this time might get you to your destination at a more decent time in the afternoon/evening BUT you feel like crap during the day while traveling and not much better when you arrive. All you want to do is sleep which then messes up your sleep patterns for the next night or so. Having a late nap when arriving at the destination keeps you up late at night and again you are tired in the morning unless, of course, you sleep late. But who sleeps late on vacation?

You'll be happy to hear that I leave on trips at fairly normal times (unless I have to catch an early plane to save money). We get up, have breakfast, and try to be on the road, if driving, by 9 or 10 or so. We may drive a little later in the evening before stopping, but we're not crazy tired during the drive and we don't get our night and day sleep cycles mixed up.

Once we did try leaving in the late afternoon and driving all night but that didn't work so well. It was Christmas Day and after the presents were opened and the dinner eaten and all the kids went their respective ways, Papa and I decided to drive to New Orleans and get a start on our vacation rather than leaving the next morning.

Boy, that was a mistake. For one thing on Christmas, there is absolutely nothing open. I mean NOTHING. All the fast food places and all night gas stations you can usually count on are all dark and lifeless on Christmas night. Thankfully, there were some of those gas stations where you can use a charge card at the pump or we might have really been in a predicament. But when we got hungry for a late night snack---we were out of luck, because the stores that go with the gas stations were all shuttered and dark.

So we were driving to New Orleans and then we got tired and although we were trading off driving every 2-3 hours, we started arguing about having to do that. Neither one of us wanted to drive any more, we both just wanted sleep. Talk about some dangerous sleep deprived drivers, not only to ourselves but to others.

Finally during one of my bouts of driving, I decided I had had enough. It was too late to find a hotel, I was just looking for a lit parking lot or someplace safe to park and sleep until the sun came up. I finally found a rest area and parked, tilted the seat back and slept. Papa was none the wiser for some time but he didn't put up much of an argument when he discovered we were stopped for the night.

The next morning, we woke up to sunrise (like normal people albeit sleeping in a van), drove to the next exit and had a good breakfast and then finished our trip. Much to our delight New Orleans was less than 30 minutes down the road (we had no idea). But we learned a valuable lesson. We don't drive during the night and we don't get up at outrageous times ("dark morning") to leave. We want to be as pleasant as possible to each other when being cooped up in the car for hours on end and getting good sleep (and having regular meals) makes up both happy people. The most important thing is that we enjoy the trip in addition to the destination.

Anyhoo, I've spun off on another tangent. Maybe the reason we (my brother and I) were so enamored with "dark morning" was that it was tied to going somewhere. However, I also remember in early jr. high school, meeting up with Aunt Cracker at the church across the street from my house to watch the sun rise. How's that for racy! We thought it was something at our age, being out and about at 5 something a.m. before the sun came up. It was almost as good as staying out later than our curfew, if you squinted your eyes just right!

Now I just think it's hideous to get up before Mr. Sun and no one in their right minds should have to do this or BE MADE TO DO THIS. But alas, I enjoy the money my job brings and so I'll continue getting up in "dark morning" and watching the sun rise as I drive to work...

More later...Grammy

Friday, November 21, 2008

"RACY" Grammy

Someone suggested I write more "racy" articles to gain more readers. I've been thinking about that and/or how to do that and have decided that "racy" is just not me. I don't really lead a "racy" life or engage in "racy" activities. I work, watch movies and tv, hang out with my family. My main social activities are things I do with my Elder group, some of that could be considered "racy" (mostly in the past) but let's face it, we're all looking in the face of 50, have responsible jobs/lives, grown kids, grandkids, etc. And do we really want our "racy" activities posted for all to see, not that there are any.

I kind of want to be able to look my kids and grandkids and assorted others in the eye and not wonder if they have read about....... Even if it might be something from my youth that I might think about writing about. I just won't.

I was a perfect, well-behaved child and that's all my kids and grandkids and assorted others need to KNOW.

On to other subjects. Perfect and Precious are doing well the last few Wednesdays they have been over. No, Perfect did not grow out of his terrible two's YET but we are getting more of a grasp of this behavior.

1) Hide the fruit bowl because as DD says, he is not asking for the banana, apple, etc. He just says the words because he knows them now. This cuts down on pieces of fruit laying about the house with one bite out of it. 2) Made some more Grammy rules...we will no longer be running or jumping in the house and the back door is kept locked up until we are waiting for SIL to arrive, which keeps Perfect inside under our watchful eyes. And the biggie 3) Be consistent....if you threaten time out, he must sit in time out. No matter how cute he is.

OH, and hands off the DVD player. Last week he was watching a Blues Clues DVD and we happened to be in the other room and he shoved the Cars DVD in the playing DVD player to also watch......well, after some stress and time and using tweezers, we were able to remove the two DVDs, straighten out the bent tray, and get the DVD player back working except the Cars DVD is still having some issues.

Precious is wanting so badly to become mobile. Perfect and I were trying to teach her to crawl the other night and she mostly resembled a rocking seal. Her arms and legs were flailing about and she was rocking back and forth on her belly but not making any forward progress. Perfect and I were both crawling about on our hands and knees saying 'watch us', until Perfect decided it was wrestling time and launched an attack on Grammy. Not good for Grammy's bad neck and shoulder, so we ceased that night's crawling lesson.

Then last week, I discovered that Precious is our bookworm. I so love to read and neither FS or DD are the insatiable reader that I am. DD reads a bit but I think FS has read just one handful of books. I've tried, over the 2 years he's been here, to read to Perfect and he doesn't have the patience and wants the pages turned or takes the book away from me.

But the other night Papa picked up a book and sat Precious next to him and started reading. She just stared at the book and sometimes touched the pictures and then turned her head around stared at Papa listening to him read. He'd turn the page and they did it all again. Then she was on the floor later with books all around her and just so enjoying herself looking at all the books. Finally, someone in my bloodline who shares a trait with me that I love!! Time to change the will, Precious gets the books.

I'm off to the country in a few minutes, hope everyone has a relaxing, fun-filled (and possibly "racy") weekend.


Thursday, November 20, 2008


As I mentioned last week, Friday I met several of the Elders for a very adult lunch (one in which at least I went home after only three hours leaving 3 of them standing outside a "hukka" bar about to go in and investigate). A couple of them stayed on until after dark (yes it starts as lunch, it always does!) but they had fun and that's all that mattered.

It's funny when you are with people you have known for years and years and you find things out about them that you have never known. Aunt Cracker told us a story of her and her sister always having turtles around the house and her mom finally cracked down and said no more turtles in the house. So the next turtle they snuck in and ended up putting it in a bag in a drawer where I suppose it was forgotten until their mom started looking through the house for what was smelling awful....and found the deceased turtle in the bag.

I've known Aunt Cracker for 30+ years and this was the first time I heard this story. So many things about each other that we have yet to find out about. A reason we women tend to lead long lives, we just need more time to get it all out.

I told some stories about some family vacations our mother used to drag us on---to Washington, D.C. when we were way too young to appreciate it and all we wanted to do was hang at the hotel and swim in the pool. And camping in Colorado in the the snow and playing cards with my brother for days on end, refusing to leave our sleeping bags or the tent because it was too cold outside. My cat stayed in the bottom of my sleeping bag most of the time and our dog lived in my brother's bag. The only time we would leave our bags was to go down the mountain with our mother to shop. Down the mountains where the towns were hot and sunny (like in a normal summer day vs. our days in the mountains in the snow). Again, we would try our hardest to talk our mother into checking us into a hotel so we could while away our time swimming in a hotel pool. I'm starting to sense a theme from my childhood....we were deprived a pool!

I've tried a few family vacations with my current bunch and failed miserably (in my opinion)maybe they think differently--I know Papa agrees with me pretty much, I have to beg him to go on some trips with me. I've decided when Perfect and Precious and any others get older, I'll just vacation with the babies. A guy I work with has several grandchildren (9 I believe) and every summer they have "Grandma Camp" where his wife takes one of the grandkids at a time to a special place, like Chicago and the American Girl store with one granddaughter, while an older grandson wanted to go to the beach. She spends a week with each grandchild doing whatever that child chooses, just the two of them.

I guess along with feeling wonderful (like Tina Turner--you must keep up with the blogs!), I'm going to aspire to run a Grandma Camp, although of course, mine will be Grammy Camp but first I need to figure out how to or who is to sponser this endeavour of mine.

So until next time....and please if you feel the need to sponsor a cause, think "GRAMMY CAMP".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oh boy, you blog readers. I've been carrying around a little notebook and writing down ideas and have almost filled a page so far so have lots to say!!

First though, I've had some readers who either didn't begin at the very first blog where I started explaining my "rules", or they didn't read through EVERY blog and retain well, or probably they are all my age and I know, our short term memory they asked for a legend to help keep up with all my "fictitious" people.

Well, I haven't figured out how to do something like that on the side so until I investigate that more or someone tells me how, I've decided I'll just have to do LEGEND blogs from time to time to catch you all up on who everyone is.

First, I am Grammy!! Perfect is my two year old grandson and Precious is my 7 month old granddaughter. With me so far?

Papa is my "almost husband" who I've been with/lived with for many years although we've never married. My almost step-son and almost step-daughter and almost step-grandson are his kids and grandson.

Snoopy is my dog.

FS = Fantastic Son (mine) and DD = Darling Daughter (mine). I've yet to name the SIL (son-in-law) probably a good thing, eh! Oh and Perfect and Precious belong to my DD and SIL. Serious Girlfriend is my son's girlfriend and the possible bonus grandchildren are her three kids. Still with me?

The Elders are my group of closest girlfriends. I've mentioned Aunt Cracker (aka Samtastic) and I've named the others, I believe.

Polly (as in Polly Pundit or Pollyanna---because of something she announced to me one night at a CSN&Y concert and also, she always sees the good side of things) and Tiny Sun (can also be shortened to to Tiny or Sun---our small in stature Elder who also radiates Happiness or Sunnyness). You can figure out who's who!!

I find it quite interesting, especially with several very negatives in all of our Elder's lives, that we are for the most part, a group of very positive, optimistic gals and chose to look at the positive, interested in having big fun (especially when we are together), and we laugh...ALOT. And individually I find it interesting that each of us has surrounded ourselves with happy people.

Eat your heart out, those of you yet to find an Elder group such as I have! I wouldn't give mine up for the world.

Lana (is a co-worker, I picked that name because she uses it as her "bar name" for people she doesn't care for) and Mr. Fun is her husband (that is a tongue-in-cheek name!).

The Professor is my brother's friend/housemate/employer.

And finally Joe is Aunt Cracker's youngest son and Joe is also our renter in the country (but I messed up and used his real name, but figure since he doesn't own a computer, he'll never know!!)

I know I have several others still to due time, but I didn't want to overwhelm you with too many names and/or new characters so until now, that's all you'll get. Please let me know if I've forgotten someone in this particular blog that I've talked about already.

OK, that's a lot for you to digest today so I'll stop for now and write more later.


Friday, November 14, 2008


That's what it was last weekend and will also be this weekend---a cold weekend in the country. This is our nesting time in the country. We don't go outside too often, except to take Snoopy for a walk--when it's not too miserably cold outside. But we are perfectly content to sit in the "cave" as Papa calls it, and watch old movies and watch out the window for anything interesting that may be happening outside. That's usually not much since we have 5 neighbors and when it's cold, they don't do much moving around either. So most of the excitement out the window is when the mailman arrives.

Sometimes doing nothing is exactly what we need. I've been hearing on the news in the last week that they have discovered that there are less heart attacks after daylight savings time ends. I believe that and think that it's because it gets dark earlier, it's cold outside, and so everyone puts their life/body into low gear and they relax more.

It's cold outside, so you don't have all the outside activity or yard work around the house, it's dark earlier and so people tend to stay inside and rest and sleep more. Or at least I do. I work real long hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday and then try to go to the Fitness Center after work on Mondays and Tuesdays and run "city" errands on Thursday, so usually by the time I get home on those three days, I've been at work 10 or 11 hours (or at least away from home that long) and I tend to go home, shower and put on my pajamas. I feel kind of guilty doing this in the summer because it's still light out but when the time changes, I have no guilt getting ready for bed at 6:30---I don't go to sleep that early, but I'm all ready to whenever the urge strikes me.

I've also recently read an article on Tina Turner and what it is she attributes to looking so good at her age (69)---Sleep. She says she sleeps alot and when she gets tired, she goes to sleep. She's kind of on her own clock. I would like to be able to live like that but since I don't have the income she does, I have to stay upright and awake most of the daytime hours (although I do nap alot on weekends). But I have decided I am not going to feel guilty about going to sleep earlier than usual from now on. I want to look good in my 90's!!

I used to be under the impression that it was a feat to exist with under 5 hours of sleep a night and I am so glad I got over that misconception. Sure I seemed to get more done but I felt horrible, was always tired, and quite irritable. Now if I could convince Papa who's an incurable insomniac, to work on increasing his sleeping hours, life would be good. But I can't pry his fingers away from the Mountain Dew cans (his drink of choice--morning, noon, and night) and he smokes and I think nicotine is another culprit keeping the sandman away. He has yet to believe any benefits of increasing his sleep--he teases me because he thinks I sleep too much. Just wait though and see who's around in their 90's and who looks the best, eh!!

So I'm off to join a few of the Elders for lunch (just lunch, we said, not lunch which turns into a visit going into the wee hours of the next day!). We are just lunching like grownups and then I'm picking up Snoopy and going down to meet Papa in the country and I'll report back next week.

Until then.....Grammy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Old Soul

I haven't talked about Perfect and Precious for a little bit. This is Wednesday and they will be coming over this afternoon for a fun-filled time of wrist rattles, lacing cards, animal dominos, chicken strips and pudding, and whatever else I can find to entertain us. I think Papa is headed to the country house early (tonight) so it will just be the three of us.

I saw the P's last week after a two week hiatus and Perfect was in the depths of his "terrible twos" which was not entertaining in the least. Testing limits and boundaries, Grammy's rules, screaming "No" and asking for his mama and dada while sitting in time-out. Maybe that's why Papa is leaving early for the country tonight--he was suffering last week in the depths of his "terrible 54's"----"can't you make him stop", "just give him a cookie and make him stop crying", "why can't he go outside" (it was pitch dark and cold), and the biggie "where is his dad"! So with that behaviour, it's probably a good idea that Papa head south, so I will only have one "terrible" to deal with at a time. Although I have hope that Perfect might have outgrown this stage in the last week. One can always hope.

Precious, on the other hand was just that, Precious. I've decided that although she is an infant now that she possesses a very old soul inside her. Sometimes when you look into her eyes, you feel like she knows so much about the world already and it makes one feel silly talking baby talk to her. We have adult conversations (at least on my side).

She is starting to talk in her own baby language and her feet actually touch the ground in her walker now. We've all decided that she is taking after her mama and is going to surpass Perfect in height probably about the time she starts to walk. She is just growing so fast.

These two are just so completely different, but the same at the same time. They look different but I have to do double takes in some pictures to make sure who I am looking at. They have different temperments. Perfect was never a cuddler, but Precious is and is completely content just being held and carried around. Perfect seems to thrive on noise and Precious seems to get overstimulated when it's noisy (and usually Perfect is causing all the noise). But watching the two of them together is heart-warming. Precious just adores her brother, you can see it in her face when he is giving her attention and Perfect tries to entertain his sister bringing her various toys and wanting to occasionally hold her.

It's just a wonderful opportunity being able to watch them grow and change and wonder what the future has in store for my P's.

Until next time.....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Magical Doctors

I've been wanting to write about how impressed I am with a doctor I am seeing right now. I'm not sure what kind of doctor he actually is but he is a pain management specialist--maybe that's what kind of doctor he is. Anyway, for a good year or so now, I have been having a problem with my neck. I had been seeing a chiropractor for "routine adjustments" and while it helped, my neck would start hurting again after a couple of days. I thought my insurance would frown if I started going to see him every other day and him as well as I've asked him to marry me several times after an adjustment. I don't think he takes me seriously.

Anyway, the chiropractor suggested I might look into therapeutic massage since I "seem to carry alot of stress" in my neck and shoulders. He didn't have to tell me that. I'm well aware of where my stress sits and it's funny, I so want someone (small, of course) to just stand on the bone at the base of my neck some days to push it back in place. Yeah, that would solve it all, I thought.

So I found a good therapeutic massage therapist and started going weekly for one hour sessions. She informed me, my back and shoulders and neck were just a mess of bumps and it was going to take some time with weekly, hourly sessions (at $96 a pop) to get me some relief.

I so enjoyed my massages for a few weeks and I'm sure, in time, my "bumps" would have gone away. Though I still noticed within hours of a session my neck was quite painful and since the insurance wasn't covering the massages, maybe I should see a "real doctor", one that is covered under my insurance. Just to make sure I really didn't have a real medical issue and before I had to declare bankruptcy.

My primary doc referred me to a good orthopedic doctor who after an exam and and x-rays explained that I had alot (evidence was bone spurs) of arthritis radiating from the "big bone" at the base of my neck. I KNEW IT!! That bone was the source of my problem. He said the arthritis was caused by a break and did I remember when I could have injured this. A car accident, fall (and I'm always falling!), something in the past that happened....

Well, it took me all of about 10 minutes before I realized exactly when I injured myself (when I was in kindergarden), and this is another story that will be left untold--a remnant of a dysfunctional childhood. But bottom line, I had hit the floor on my back and suffered a concussion and believe this is when that bone was injured. Then again in 2nd grade, I had a bad fall on the playground, hit the same part of my head, and another concussion and most likely injured this back bone a second time. This bone is so close to my head, how could I hit my head hard on the back without this bone also hitting hard. So mystery solved BUT pain is still there.

So the Ortho Doc sent me to Physical Therapy for about 8 weeks. I must say, this therapist (that my insurance also covered) greatly increased the range of motion in my neck (how bad was this you ask? I couldn't turn my head left to look over my shoulder when entering the highway---just used my mirrors and hoped no one was in a blind spot!).

I did exercises there every other day and at home every day; I was put in a traction machine, he massaged my neck and shoulders (wonderfully and it was covered by my insurance!!) and for eight weeks, tried to eliminate the pain. We all (me, the ortho doc, and the therapist) discussed my amount of pain and let's face it, arthritis does not go away and I would probably have to live with a certain amount of pain but with my exercises, at least I could manevour my head around and wouldn't be scaring other drivers on the road with me quite so much!

So after eight weeks, my treatment stopped. Ortho doc told me to take 800 mg of ibuprofen twice a day and do my PT exercises at home and that was about all he could do for me and I tottered away.

THEN I started working out at the Fitness Center where I work in the constant effort of trying to lose weight. I met with my "fitness coordinator" who worked up my exercise plan and every night I was gung ho in the fitness room. I think I even out worked-out some of the men on some nights. (I did get some sideways looks at times when I was on the treadmill or eliptical, by a neighbor on the same machine and it was like a competition of who was going to stop first---they didn't want a female to outlast them but I did first.)

But after a couple of weeks, my gung-honess was rapidly deteriorating when I couldn't lift my left arm to perform my weight exercises. Actually, I couldn't lift it more than about 6 inches from my side, let alone lift it high enough to put on deodarant or fasten a necklace. At first, I thought I must have pulled a muscle and was just working weights on my right side and letting my left side slide until I had a horrifying thought that my body would somehow become lopsided with a thin, toned right side and flabby left and how was I ever going to fix that. Then about the same time, I heard on the news that a swimmer at the Olympics had surgery on her shoulder and it had something to do with her arthritis. An AH HA moment as Oprah calls them. I do not have to nor will I live with arthritis pain and what the heck was wrong with my arm now.

So I marched back to the Ortho Doc's office saying I am not satisified, I want the pain gone and by the way, what is wrong with my arm. Finally, he sends me for a MRI which shows not one but two bulging discs in my neck and they are pressing on the nerve running down my shoulder and down my arm. AH HA! And with that, he writes me a prescription for a muscle relaxer so I can sleep and he sends me to the Magical Doctor that I wanted to tell you about.

This doctor tells me he can eliminate the pain but the process is going to hurt a little but he has plans for me. Plan A is epidural injections in the bone...yes THE bone, at the base of neck. These injections will contain a medicine that will hopefully reduce the inflammation in the bulges and they will go back in (my Plan A is take a hammer and just pound them back in!).

I hear some horror stories from all my friends with back "issues" but I trust Dr. Magic and I'm gonna get an injection. So they withhold my ibuprofen and muscle relaxers for three days so I'm good and hurting (and no food all day for me) and I go in for Injection One---got hopped up on Valium in the office and he numbed the spot---(no I did not cry, my eyes were watering from allergies or something!) He worked on me for about 15 minutes or so and injected this medicine in the bone and I felt hot fire running across my shoulder and down my left arm. It was truly magic. How did he know from the bone in the back of my neck that the med would go that way and not down the other arm or in my back or down my legs or in my head. No, he hit the exact spot of all my discomfort. I was amazed by his magical skills.....and yes, I'll come back in two weeks and we can do this again!!

I won't go into how I felt that night or the next 24 hours. I was just enthralled by my magical doctor.

So two weeks later, I'm again in the office, popping my Valium and got Injection Two....he wants to help with my arthritis this time and when he injected the medicine, it felt like a very warm heating pad going across both shoulders and my neck but for some reason he was writing me pain medicine prescriptions before I got off the table and telling me we had alot of work still to do.

Again, I won't go into my next 24 hours!

Another four weeks pass and I go in for the third injection......lots of eye watering this time (can't they use baby orajel on me or something before they give me those #$*#&$* numbing shots?!) and the magic was gone for this injection, I didn't feel anything anywhere but Dr. Magic (who is from India) serenaded me with Margaritaville while he worked, which was somewhat amusing with his accent.

So now we are about to start Plan B---Nerve block shots in the joint (given on the side of my neck, I think I'll just openly cry during this--it can't be painless in the least and there's just not enough Valium....) I asked him if they could just put me to sleep for these and he said "No, I like to talk to you while I work" now I'm entertaining to Dr. Magic. I can get two of these injections, maybe if I sob during Shot one, he'll put me out for the second one! One can only hope. Dr. Magic also talks about Plan C.....until next time.

"Not Painfree Yet" Grammy signing off.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Just returned from a spectacular weekend at our country house and I am so glad I live someplace that has four definite seasons. Winter where we actually have frigid temps and Snow---we are lucky to have snow, some people have never even seen it. There is nothing like the morning after a nighttime snowfall. Everything is so crisp and clean and blinding and quiet.

Spring when it's cool and we're about to die to have some warm days. Then all of a sudden it's warm and everything is sprouting and blooming and just gorgeous. Then Summer comes where it becomes maddenly hot some days but we do seem to look forward to shorts and sandals all year long and keep reminding ourselves of the winter that will eventually arrive on those 100 degree days.

Then we have Fall, my favorite season. It's crisp in the morning and evenings and usually warm during the day, the colors are magnificent and the smells of leaves burning (in the country) and even the pine smell seems to be more prevalent. I LOVE FALL.

Anyway, had a wonderful Fall weekend in the country with Papa. I went down early Friday afternoon and got Snoopy settled in and then went to the neighboring town (it's a little bigger than our little town--more stores and a Starbucks!) to run some errands. Back to the house to have dinner with Papa and then he settled in to watch sports shows on tv. I got bored with this after a while and decided to go do the grocery shopping for both houses (city and country houses). I prefer shopping at the country store for both houses because it does seem to be cheaper.

Anyway I headed to town and I usually refrain from driving around at night when we are in the country. We live 8 miles from town on three windy country roads and our country town newspaper is filled with car accidents in every issue. I've made comments to Papa that it seems like all the teenagers are crashing into the elderly folk or vice versa and we're going to run out of teenagers and elderly folk one of these days due to all the traffic accidents.

I headed to town anyway, in the dark, and got almost three miles from the house on the absolute worse blind curve on my journey. Through the trees I saw a truck coming down the hill. But first I have to let you know that I have this real bad habit at night of slowing down, sometimes coming to a stop (when nothing is behind me) when I'm meeting a car in the dark because I don't see well at night and the oncoming lights tend to temporarily blind me. So I was slowing my car down to a standstill and realized the oncoming truck was making a wide turn (aka HE WAS IN MY LANE) coming around the corner and he saw me FINALLY and locked his brakes up. I had come to a complete stop by this time and was just watching and listening to him try to stop. He finally did about a foot (THAT'S ONLY 12 INCHES!) from my front bumper. He composed himself, backed up and pulled up beside me where I asked him if he was OK! What else do you say to some stranger that has almost killed you? He said he "was fine and was glad the road wasn't that wet in that spot (it had rained off and on all day) because he didn't have much tread on his tires and he would have hit me pretty hard". NOT TO MENTION THAT HE WAS IN MY LANE AND PROBABLY GOING WAY TOO FAST DOWN THE HILL. I told him I was glad we were both ok and then we both drove away.

For some reason I wasn't that shaken up until after I finished my shopping and was on the way home and came to this same curve and noticed the tire tracks on the pavement and saw where they had ended. That shook me up a bit. I told Papa when I got home that instead of unloading groceries from the car, we both might have been having a totally different evening. I guessed that since we (me and the other driver) were neither elderly nor teenaged, that we were saved for some reason other than as a newspaper article of another traffic accident.

So after that incident, the rest of my weekend was kind of low-key. I love Saturday mornings in the country. We usually sleep in, have a big breakfast, and what we call "cowboy Saturday". On one of the satellite channels, they show (usually the same ones over and over) old western movies, usually with John Wayne in them. Papa and I have watched these movies hundreds of times but Saturdays just aren't the same without them. I have even bought some of the same movies on DVD for the city house for Saturdays so when I stay up in the city for some reason on a weekend, I won't miss out on cowboy Saturday. But, alas, it's a week before Halloween and we didn't get a cowboy Saturday, just a bunch of horror movies which caused us to get outside alot earlier than we usually would on a Saturday. Papa started on some outside construction projects and me and Snoopy walked the gravel roads and the fields for a while.

Our second favorite thing to do on Saturdays IN THE FALL, is watch college football games. We are both so addicted to this that as soon as it's high noon, we are both in front of the tv with our popcorn bowls and our plan for the day. We started with OU and Kansas, worked into the Texas/OSU game, and ended with Mizzou and Colorado (roughly nine hours of football back to back). Then we collapse into bed.

Sundays, we usually spend wrapping up any inside/outside stuff we need to take care of (I usually clean the house, run the dishwasher, do the laundry from the weekend), Papa finished his outside construction project with help from Joe, our renter from the property we own across the road.

But on this Sunday, right about noon, Papa came running to the front door yelling at me to come outside and don't bring Snoopy. Well, of course, me and Snoopy are both running to the door and I'm trying not to trip over her while trying to get in the front of her which I succeeded in and flew out the door closing it to keep her in the house. There stands this huge cow (steer, I was told), in my front yard looking at me. Me and Papa looked at it and at each other, completely without a clue of what to do. H started walking towards the cow, who trotted back to the road with Papa in pursuit going in the direction of home. There is one guy who has cows on our road, so it was pretty easy to figure out where this one came from and he seemed to know the way home. Papa followed him, making sure he was headed back home. Thankfully the neighbor was home to get the cow back in the pasture where he belonged. in the country, there isn't anything else like it!

Until next time...Grammy

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hello blog readers. Just a short note reminding everyone to stop and smell the roses out there!! We're gearing up the start of the holiday season (Halloween is next week!!) and all the stress that is involved, never mind the winter season and all the illness that goes with that. Slow down and enjoy your lives.

This weekend, the first half, I spent with a couple of the Elders for an enjoyable urban night out and then Saturday afternoon I journeyed to our country house to spend some time with Papa who is out there every weekend no matter what.

I must admit, I also get re-energized after time in the country. Especially when the weather is beautiful and with the beginning of fall and all the sights and sounds that's involved in the change of season. Sights and SOUNDS. Yep, everyone equals peace and quiet but after being out there for the past 8+ years, I can tell you the country is no quiet place.

In the early spring, we have the frogs that start their symphony in the ponds across the road. Then the birds return and there are some mornings I feel like yelling out the window for everyone to just shut up! Most of the summer is the buzzing of insects of one sort or another and then the cicadas come in with their noisemakers toward August and then the geese flying through on their way south this time of year. So if you are looking for peace and QUIET in the country, I suggest you journey there after the snow has fallen....then it's quiet!

Not that I'm complaining about these sounds. There are some mornings that are quite deafening but it does beat the sound of traffic and sirens. But as usual, I've drifted off on another tangent. The simple seems like they are easier to spot and enjoy more on my country weekends.

Saturday evening Papa and I went on our usual 2 mile walk up the gravel road with Snoopy the dog (LOL---even she has a fictitious name!) A mile down the road, one of the farmers has been working several years building a huge lake. We were alarmed at first, because we thought a development might be the next thing to come in around the lake, but it seems that he just wanted a big lake in the middle of his farm fields.

As we are walking along, enjoying the evening, watching the prerequisite deer that cross the road and Snoopy chases, we start hearing this thunderous noise. Geese....several long V's of geese and then the stragglers in straight lines and more V's. And they are all quacking and carrying on as they flew over our heads; all headed to the new lake. Geese are quite loud when they are in the country, flying low, and there were so many of them. Papa and I both stopped walking and just looked up for several minutes watching them fly over and they were carrying on so, we couldn't help but laugh at them. I could just imagine them as a huge party group of people meeting for the night; they're all laughing and talking and having fun and you can't get a word in edgewise because they are all talking at the same time. Loud, boisterous geese-people! (Yeah, I've watched too many Disney cartoons in my lifetime!)

They all finally landed on the water and we continued our walk home through the sunset but we had big smiles on our faces put there by the geese-party people and were almost envying them their big fun night on the lake.

Grammy says---get out in the country sometime this fall and see and HEAR what's going on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Hello blog audience and buckle in because this "issue" may be turning into a short story! Not long ago, one of the Elders was told, by her gynecologist of all people, that she and I were very contemporary women because Aunt Cracker was sending me text mails during her office visit. You chuckle to yourself but there are times and places that you need to carry on a private conversation and texting is the least intrusive way to accomplish this long distance.

What was so important that we had to discuss right then and there? We were planning how to play our music on our ipods at our Girl's Night Out/In that evening.

Contemporary, the doc called us and we laughed because here we are all approaching 50 years of age and yet our Elder group gets together every couple of months for a typical jr. high school age slumber party. Maybe not typical, we don't do makeovers or try to sneak out of the house to teepee the neighbor's house; it's usually just long nights of eating, DRINKING, and talking that we don't want to end.

But boy have things changed as we've grown from those jr. high school years. In music, we've went from albums, 45's, 8-tracks ("Eat a Peach" by the Allman Bros was my first 8-track and I literally wore it out), to cassettes. CD's were a big thing and now we have our Ipods and recently purchased little "boom boxes" (for lack of a better word) to play our Ipods anywhere we go. And I've added to my Christmas list some sort of gadget to play my Ipod in the car. I love my Ipod, I can carry most of my music with me at all times; who would have thought this would have been possible!

We started out using landline phones (and remember when the first cordless phones came out? We could even walk outside with them). Then we got "important" and had to have our beepers and now we can't live without our cell phones. Not only do we make calls, we send text messages and some of us have phones with little miniature keyboards to make this task easier. We've gone from VCR's to DVD's and Tivo's and DVD-R's and Blue-Ray (whatever that is) and on and on and on. It's really hard to be Contemporary with all this updating. Some things I just procrastinate on learning, hoping the next phase of technology may be clearer and easier to learn.

And computers....I remember when I received my first computer at work. My boss at the time decided I needed one as other areas in the company we worked for had them. So he ordered me a computer. As the tech was setting it up and I'm asking how to turn it on and off--couldn't think of anything else to actually ask---I HAD NO IDEA HOW IT WORKED and was just totally overwhelmed, my boss is carrying out stacks of paper and folders from his office to mine for me to "put in the computer". Talk about a long, boring weekend reading technical manuals about how a computer worked and all the things that I could do with it! I was in tears most of the time but I learned how it works and here I sit working in a software engineering department. How I've grown!

I literally cannot do without my email (home and work) and we've all learned how to set up accounts in MySpace and Facebook just to keep up with our friends (and stalk the kids!---not strange kids, just ours, we gotta keep up with their lives somehow!) Look at all we've learned!

But how much do we want to know? Believe me, cruising around MySpace, I've seen and read some things that I wished I hadn't but it's like we are all possessed. Not only do we read it all, we want to write it all as well. And here I sit writing a blog for anyone to read.

When I was much younger, I gave my grandma a little book that I bought from a mail order catalog. It gave her topics to write briefly on such as "how did you meet grandpa", "what was school like for you", etc. I treasure that little book but imagine if she could have written a blog where I could have read all sorts of her thoughts and insights like the P's will be able to when they get older. (You know, this stuff out on the internet, stays out there forever!!) But with the way technology is increasing and whipping past us all every single minute, one must wonder, what will be replacing the internet in a few years?!

Something to think about and now it's time for me to do some research on a Kindle Reading machine (to replace books). Imagine!

Contemporary Grammy signing off.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Love Bug

Another quiet week or so but have been sick. Poor little Perfect had a rough go of the croup and Grammy, here, got the adult version (doc calls it bronchitis and pharynxitis--accused the doc of making up that word but he suggested I look it up on the internet--he knows I do that!!) But both Perfect and I (as well as DD, who also suffered with this illness) are all headed on the road to wellness.

This was pretty much the first time in his two years here that Perfect has gotten ill and the first time, we've all had to worry about passing germs around or not passing germs around. Everyone was so sick that Papa insinuated that distances need to be maintained or we're all "going down with it". But through all the handwashing and Lysol spraying that was done, when little Perfect was laying there with his big orange lips (from a popsicle) in the ER hospital bed, what Grammy wouldn't have gone up to him with big hugs and a kiss, not once but several times. Sometimes those Love Bugs are much more important than any Sick Bug.

But for the rest of you....time for that flu shot!

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hello again, I've been silent for a bit because I have been extra-ordinarily busy with life and death and such. Which brings me to the subject of family and all the different contexts it may come in. I know in this day and age alot has been written about this subject with blended families, same sex marriages which involve children, and single parent families, etc.. What exactly is a family now anyway? And is it always important to be blood related?

I have an "almost husband", we never married but have been together more than a decade and I naturally consider him to be a part of my family along with my children, grands, etc. We celebrate all the holidays together as a unit and I suppose do everything else that constitutes being a part of a family. We are there for each other. Isn't that the bottom line to family?

But AH is a big proponent of "Blood" relations. He gets concerned with his daughter (my almost step daughter) who calls every close relationship a familial relationship and according to her MySpace page, she has a large assortment of brothers and sisters she goes on to name, when in essence, she has one half-sister and one half-brother. I always thought my "almost husband" (let's refer to him as Papa because that's what the P's call him). Anyway, I thought Papa was sensitive to this because his daughter also has a number of "dads" as well (Papa is the biological dad and then there are the steps whom she all calls Dad).

So blood was important to Papa (until the P's came along). He still refers to them as "my" grandchildren when he is talking to his friends (meaning me, not him), not "our" grandchildren as I would like. But you can't get any closer in a blood relationship to what he has with Perfect and Precious. They have all bonded spendidly and at times Perfect prefers Papa's company to mine, but that's ok, they're boys and I understand they need each other.

Back to the subject though, I don't refer to the almost step-daughter's son as "my" grandchild. Double standard, I suppose? I've never met this new baby and have a tenuous relationship with his mother whom I've never considered a daughter either. So is family more those individuals you bond with?

FS's "Serious Girlfriend" has three children---I've never met these children but they could turn into "bonus" grandchildren one of these days and I have bonded with Serious Girlfriend already and see her as another daughter for me. Right now me and DD are at the beginning stages of bonding with the "bonus grandchildren" by sending birthday presents and yes, they are on the Christmas list for this year. I care about these children I have never met because I care about their mother who is becoming more and more a part of our family.

DD and FS consider Papa as a surrogate father, I believe (I know FS does for certain, he calls Papa asking for advice quite often), but what does he consider himself to be to them? I don't consider myself to be mom to his kids, they are just my "almost step-son and step-daughter", Papa's kids. But then again they both have living moms and my kids do not have a living dad.

Papa recently went to the funeral of his son's grandfather (his ex's father). At first, I thought this unusual but when he was telling me about one of his former brother-in-laws insisting on a hug because "he was family", I thought, well maybe that is still true. He is the father of his son who is a nephew of this brother-in-law so they were related through a former marriage and now this young man connects them by blood. So blood matters in an "ex" sort of way?

(I'm starting to think I need to set up outlines for my posts before I write, because I'm really going on tangents in what I wanted to write about while I am sitting here thinking while I type.)

OK, Blood or No? What's more important? I guess it depends on who you are talking to. I don't have much of an extended family, my brother is probably the only person I will claim today. But when I sit down and start writing Christmas list ideas, I will include his friend, The Professor, whom he lives with. The Professor isn't a relative but he is something in my family. He's spent time at our house, we've gone on trips together, and we communicate fairly often and so he will be included on the Christmas gift list.

The Elders are among those I consider family. I didn't have any sisters but these women couldn't be any closer to having a sister, and actually, I feel close to some of their sisters too; as well as their spouses, parents, and their kids.

In fact, Samtastic's son was dating a girl that works for DD (she is a restaurant manager). Anyway, Samtastic's son Joe (I'll explain that one later, Sam!!---think 3 Stooges) came to the restaurant one day and asked for DD, explaining to the hostess he was family. DD comes out and they chat for a while and he leaves. The hostess is dumbfounded because DD and Joe look nothing alike, complete opposites, definitely not members of the same family and she asked DD about that, and DD just said yeah, he's a cousin and went on her way. She said that was easier than giving the official explanation of what Joe is to her.

So in my family I don't think Blood is the important variable to having family. We have all our friends and their families, roommates, serious relationships, almost steps, ex's, etc. on our family list and sometimes it's just simplier to say they are family rather than try to explain what they are to us. They are just loved in some way which makes them connected to us.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Waiting Room

Yee-Haw....I actually have a concrete subject today to have you ponder! Busy weekend but the things I wanted to share were about two books I read over the weekend and an interview that I heard on the radio this morning. The first book is called "A Rip In Heaven" All you STL people, this is about Robin and Julie Kerry who were raped and thrown off the Chain of Rocks Bridge along with their cousin Tom in April 1991. Tom's sister who was a teenager at the time of this incident, wrote this book years later and I highly recommend it. Many details that the media left out she brought out in her book. It is also a beautifully written book that focuses on what the family went through especially with two sisters being murdered and their cousin being arrested for the crime in the beginning (He, of course, was completely innocent and also a victim.) What the entire family endured; her immediate family and her aunt and cousin (Robin and Julie's sister) as well as the entire extended family on both sides.

But a main focus of this book was "they were just here, eating Chinese food with us and when I woke up, they were dead". How fast these things happen.....

So I usually never read just one book at a time and thought it ironic that my second reading choice this weekend was "The Last Lecture" Randy Pausch actually died not long ago, so it's interesting (bad word??) to read this book and know he was just here but now he's not. I had picked it up several times (while he was still living and Oprah was having him on her show, etc.) but thought maybe the subject matter would be too emotional to read about. But it's really not and although I'm not finished, I'm thoroughly enjoying it and it seems almost lighthearted at times. But as he says in the book, there's that big elephant in the room....

So the interview that ties all this together, my dear blog readers, was with Alan Alda, who is also pushing a new book that he has out (sorry, didn't catch the name of that one). Someone asked him what sort of advice he might give a young person and he explained that he didn't like to give advice but he said, he hears about so many people that are waiting to be happy.....if they get a better job, they'll be happy, if they had more money, they'd be happy, if they had a better relationship or with someone else, they'd be happy. He said everyone needs to quit acting like we are in some big waiting room, waiting for what is going to come along to make us happy. Be in the present, enjoy what you have now, appreciate it all now BECAUSE like I've read in two books just this weekend, it can all be over so fast.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Ok, so I'm a researcher plain and simple and the internet is my best friend.....sorry, Samtastic (and no that's not your fictitious name, can't think of anything more clever right now)

I set up this blog and then started looking around at other blogs that I'd heard about: or this one is my personal favorite and now I'm thinking how can I measure up against such creativity?

I just like to write, my daughter is the creative one in our family, other than making sock monkeys and an occasional crocheted blanket, I don't have a creative bone in my body (and listen, Perfect is two and his blanket has yet to be finished, let alone starting on 5 month old Precious' blanket!)

So bottom line, Gentle Reader (I stole that one from Stephen King), is you are probably just gonna get words on this blog. At least for now....I do like to take pictures but combining all my interests in this one blog THAT I'M JUST WRITING FOR MYSELF is a might much even for me. But I'm a work in progress and I'm a woman so can change my mind at the drop of a hat!

A work in progress albeit slow progress. I feel like I'm just spending all this time setting up my "ground rules" for blogging versus actually writing anything meaningful. I always have so much rattling around in my head that I need to say that sometimes I think I should be carrying around one of my little tape recorders that I used in college to record things/topics to write about so I don't forget. But I usually do forget or what seemed like something I wanted to explore more in the morning, doesn't do anything for me this afternoon. Case in point, sitting in a long, boring morning meeting today, I kept writing things in the margin of my handout and now when I look at those words at 4 p.m., can't quite figure out why talking about those subjects were so important to me at 8a.m.!!

Good Lord, do I have the attention span of an ant? And whamo.....did I find the actual length of an ant's attention span when I popped out to research this question....NO, I found another creative blog: to overwhelm me further and everything you might want to know about an ant: and they only live for 90 days so their attention spans can't be more than a day? I hope this blog lasts longer than an ant!

So on the Grammy Talks side of things...yesterday was Wednesday and EVERY Wednesday I have Perfect and Precious for several hours. Between Darling Daughter and the SIL and ME, the P's don't have to attend a daycare or go to a babysitter. The three of us have all worked our work hours around being able to avoid that childcare dilemma which is just splendid in my opinion. Darling Daughter and Fantastic Son both had to attend daycares while I worked when they were growing up (from very young ages) and while their facilities were nice and all and I had no problems with them, I would have preferred being home OR having a family member take care of them but that's all beside the point.

I get P&P EVERY Wednesday which is always something I look forward to. They were both in wonderful moods last night which was enjoyable and Perfect's vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds every day. Now he repeats every thing I say and cocks his head over like he's trying to understand what comes out of my mouth as he repeats my words. I just don't remember little things like this while DD and FS were growing up. Maybe that's why they say you enjoy being a grandparent more than a parent because you actually do enjoy the littlest things.

And as he running around the house screaming NO after his bath when I asked if he wanted to brush his teeth, it didn't stress me out in the least. With my kids, I would have chased them down and insisted on clean teeth and sweet breath and there would have been alot of yelling and tears in the end but I would have won. But it's not about winning the fights when you are a grandparent......I just passed that info on to SIL when he came to retrieve P&P, let him be the bad guy, this Grammy will cause no tears to be shed over unclean teeth! I would prefer running through the house screaming NO with him.

Stay tuned...

Monday, September 15, 2008


OK, so it is getting easier, I'm happy to report, since it's been all of 10 minutes since I posted the first blog. I'm calling my page Grammy Talks but that does not necessarily mean that I am going to focus on talking endlessly about my perfect grandchildren. I have kids, almost steps, a son-in-law, son's "serious" girlfriend, almost step grandson, and the "serious" girlfriend's children.

So Grammy Talks will, of course, contain stories about all of the above and my beloved friends that I took to calling, "The Elders", over the past weekend. We're not THAT old but compared to the teens/20/30 somethings out there, we often feel quite wise and world-savy and have quite of lot "experience" in life individually as well as a group that probably needs to be shared somewhere so guess this will be as good a place as any.

I also picked that name because when I think of my life at this time, being a grandma is pretty defining to me. Sometimes when you ask someone who they are, they say a lawyer (career defining), a soccer mom (children defining), so and so's wife (defined by another), and on and on. Sure I have a job, kids, an almost husband, like to read, write, eat ice cream, etc. BUT I am also Perfect grandson's and Precious granddaughter's GRAMMY. (see how easy those fictitious names just popped up!)

They changed my life at a time when it definitely needed changing and I have a different outlook on everything (or so it seems). I'm still the same person only Grammy-improved and I like that!

Stay tuned (and feel free to comment about improvements I can make with this blog or things you may just want my opinion about!! I'm always looking for material.)


The I mentioned in my profile, I'm always being told I need to write some of my stories or "insights" down so the other day I sat down and created this blog page and then....just stared at it.

What to write? Who knew? Certainly, not me. So I did what I usually do, closed the page down and wrote a few emails, texted a few friends, thought about it alot, and discussed it over with some of my friends over the weekend (we even got into an entertaining grammer discussion about our 9th grade English teacher with her Dear Abby hairdo).

Why is this so hard? Because "others" may read it? Because I might write about someone that may offend. What I write is now out there far and wide and not just sent to a few select individuals and kept private from others. Anyone AND everyone can, may, could, would read what I write. That's scary, so I'm going back to not thinking about all that and pretty much pretending that I'm writing to myself, for myself BUT I will NOT post anyone's real names....hear that, my friends, I'm making up fictitious names for you all and who knows the stories may be fictitious as well (OK, that last sentence will be my disclaimer and hopefully keep me out of trouble and with my long-lasting friendships intact!)

OK, Part I is over hopefully, Part II may be easier!