Filed under: family, God Stuff, Grandparents, I see old people, kids, NABLOPOMOBEEBOPAWOPBAMBOOM
Not sure where this one will take me, but since the laundry’s still laundering and the floors are all swept (amazing how clean a room looks with a just swept floor), I have a bit of time.
Oh, I know where to take this. I’m tying in this trip #4 and I are taking on Saturday. We’re flying to Texas to see my 97 yr old grandmother. Recently my father, a cousin of his,and I have had a 3-way internet conversation about getting Grandmother a Kindle. Her sight’s going, and you can adjust the font size to Big on those things, and it would allow her to read, which is something she’s always loved. Last night as Sweet Daddio and I were discussing it, he suggested the Kindle should come with a cross word puzzle utility. Now, she’d love that. I remember her always doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, and for Christmas we’d give her a book of New York Times crosswords, which she also loved. She’d work the puzzle sitting at the dining table, with her huge unabridged dictionary, lovingly repaired with an assortment of tapes. Here lately, tho, macular degeneration has started and she has trouble seeing it.
Unfortunately, the general consensus is that she’d be baffled by the technology, however simple I might think it, her mind just wasn’t raised like that.
How does all this tie in to growing up? Well, it’s like this. I’ve seen my Grandmother more in the last 10 years than in the entirety of my childhood/youth. I have very discreet memories of seeing my grandparents, once every 4 years or so, for 3 or 4 days. They didn’t get along well with my parents, believing my mother was not really suitable for their son. I, however, was The Princess Who Could Do No Wrong, whether it was disappearing over the hill into the cow pasture (I was looking for the windmill where one could always find arrowheads), or smacking Grandad’s quarterhorse on the forehead with a 2×4 (I was 6, and the horse was mean). There was always a stick of Doublemint gum handy, and some sort of doo-dad from their youth, but honestly, there were maybe 4 or 5 visits the entire time we were growing up. Once I became an adult, and could recognize the way they treated my parents, I understood why.
Now tho, grandmother has undergone a transformation. Grandad was a mean-spirited, parsimonious man, who kept Grandmother firmly under his thumb. He died a couple of years ago, tho, and Grandmother has opened like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. The money Grandad accumulated (you would plotz if I told you how much) is being given away by the handsful, and she’s loving every minute of it. She gives it to anyone she thinks needs it, because, she says, “I’m 97, what do I need it for?” Her accountant makes sure she has enough to cover her needs,and the rest is thrown gleefully at anything or anyone who captures her imagination.
Going to visit her is a joy, because she is so relaxed and happy now. #4 and I will spend a couple of days with her and her Crewe at the Old Folks Home. She’ll probably take us to dinner at The Field House, where she can get some catfish and #4 can have a chicken fried steak as big as his head. We’ll watch Dr. Phil and she’ll go ‘tsk tsk’ and wonder out loud how people get themselves in that kind of situation. She’ll give me something- a stack of crocheted snowflakes, or a small quilt.
There’s several of us who visit her on a regular basis. I try to go twice a year, my parents and aunt go a couple of times a year, so it works out that she has a visitor every 6-8 weeks. All her friends have died, “that’s the problem with living forever.” she sighs. “Everyone leaves.” She told me last time I was there that she was ready to die whenever God wants her. She’s not afraid of it, but she’s not going to rush the process either. I told her I wasn’t happy with the idea of her dying, but I could see why she felt that way. I’m happy that she’s not afraid of it, the way Grandad was.
So this post wandered off in unplanned directions, but there it is.
Filed under: kids
So, Friday night #3 went with a couple of friends and a set of parents an hour or so east and south to their house on a river right near the sound as it goes into the Atlantic. They went fishing, he informed me. They caught lots of really gorgeous fish,
and some others. Except for #3, he didn’t catch any of those pretty fish. No. He caught this aesthetically challenged creature called an oyster toadfish. “Mom,” he said, “that thing was so ugly they ought to call it ‘possum of the sea’.”
Filed under: Uncategorized
Yesterday it was raining, so we were unable to participate in the planned activities. Sweet Daddio announced that a trip to Savannah was in order, and so we did. #4 had a bit of birthday money he wanted to spend on Legos. While we were at the mall (Target is the Lego Dealer of Choice in these parts), I wandered over to a certain ladies clothing retailer who specializes in items for the woman of Rubenesque proportions, to check out a rumor that they carried blue jeans cut for different figure types. I was sceptical, because I have never EVER found a pair of jeans that perfectly fit my extremely curvy (think- waist 3 sizes smaller than hips. Yeah, I’m built like a cartoon) frame.
So, I flagged down a clerk and explained the situation and she helped me pick out the Blue Dot jeans. I tried on the ones that claimed to be the size I have always bought my jeans and they were…loose. Comfortably loose, and the clerk said “Oh no…you need the next size down because these stretch out about 1/2 a size when you put them on. You should have to go “oomph” when you button them.” I was sceptical but ok, I’ll try them. So I took the next size down, went oomph when I buttoned them, and then walked around for a few minutes as they miraculously stretched into something so soft and comfortable I was amazed.
Then I realized the waist came up almost to the bottom of my bra, and the legs were a solid 4 inches too long. Ok, I’ll try “petite”. I have never been petite in my life. I’m not tall- 5’5″ is solidly average, but I have short legs. So, Petite it is, and they fit PERFECTLY. A size smaller than I thought AND petite on the tag! What is the world coming to?
So, now I have a wonderfully comfortable pair of jeans, no belt required, no need to tailor them anywhere. My word! They fit in the waist AND the arse! The only thing I’m not wild about is the embroidery on the back pockets. I’ve never liked calling attention to my ample caboose, and embroidery does just that. But, it’s a trade I’m willing to make in exchange for a comfortable fit.
Last night Sweet Daddio took me out on a Date- a real one, with nice clothes and him dropping me at the door due to inclement weather and everything! We went to a new restaurant in the new Holiday Inn called “Emma’s”. Now, the rumor I heard was the the chef at the now closed Blue Moon (our former favorite Fine Dining establishment) had taken on the kitchen at Emma’s, and my hope was that certain items on the Blue moon menu were carried over. I was not disappointed. My very favorite Blue Moon dish was the Tuna Tartar, with avocado and crispy wonton wafers. Yay! It was on the Emma’s menu, and even better than before with generous portions (enough for 2)! Oh, it is to SING for! His shrimp and grits were there too, tho I opted for surf and turf. SD had the creole fried oysters with remoulade. I also had a perfectly icy lovely martini and he had a Blue Moon beer (a fresh and delicious pilsner and I don’t even like beer) We shared a creme brulee that the sugar crust was still warm and had green apple slices stuck into the crust before it hardened. It was a lovely presentation.
So, if you ever find yourself in Statesboro, Georgia, and Uncle Shugs Chicken Barn doesn’t appeal, check out Emma’s in the Holiday Inn. I can’t believe I’m endorsing a restaurant in a middle-of-the-road hotel, but it really is quite good. Ask for Skylar’s table, she was our waitress and gave excellent service. She didn’t hover, yet my water glass was always full.
Appetizers run $6-10
Entrees are $15-25
Drinks were 1/2 price- 99cents for beer, $2 for the martini
Desserts run $5-8
Just now you asked me what you could do to pass the time before your party. I gave you Standard Response #2, “Go pick up your legos.” and you gave me Standard Reply #2, “oooooh…” (drooping, sagging shoulders and heavy sigh). Kiddo, you’re 10 now. Time for some real responsibility. Why, Amish kids your age are getting married. The least you can do is pick up the legos.
This is my all time favorite picture of you. You were not-quite three when I took it.
This is another favorite. You loved to lay on the bed and look out the window. You always looked so contemplative.
You were 3 when I took this. I told you I wanted to take a picture of you and you said “Wait, Mom! I need to pose!”
More pictures, through the years
Happy 10th birthday, Bubba. You’ve been a joy in our lives.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Jerseechick had this on her blog, and it’s so good I felt the need to carry it on.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Yay! The weekend is just over the horizon and I actually have absolutely nothing planned. The grass doesn’t need cutting, the pole barn is finished, all wired and lit and every good thing SD and #3 need for happy-making workshoppedness. The garden isn’t in need of weeding and it’s too early to plant tomatoes or cucumbers. The patio could use a sweep and a weed removal (word to the wise, if you want a patio and are considering bricks because they’re all elegant and stuff- get concrete. Weeds grow up through bricks and I don’t care what kind of enviromentally heinous chemicals you put down. The Betony Will Grow.) That’s right. Screw bricks. Get concrete, or build a deck.
I will want to fix a yummy and relaxation-inducing meal on Friday. Right now I’m leaning toward grilling a London Broil, nicely coated with black and white peppers, garlic, and rosemary. Roasted potatoes on the side, with a lovely lettuces and arugula salad picked from mine very own garden. Maybe even a few snow peas thrown in, I saw some on the vines yesterday. The evening will begin with a comfortable application of liquid relaxation- probably one of Sweet Daddio’s fancy and pretentious (and delicious) artisan bourbons. Booker’s? Baker’s? Candlestick Maker’s? Who knows. You know what’s funny about these small batch artisan bourbons- the try to outdo each other with the humbleness (is that even a word?) of the packaging. One comes in a plain wine-type bottle, with a plain brown label printed like those stencil letters. The other, made by the brother of the maker of the first, looks like it was scrawled with a crayon. Amusing. It’s like that with SD’s cigars, too. The cheaper the cigar, the more gold and the wider the band. The truly high dollar cigars just have a narrow little band with their name on it.
The Cubans don’t even have a label. I didn’t say that. (say what?) exactly.
Oh Shoot! Fridays plans have just been moved to Saturday. #4 has a birthday party (he’ll be 10!) Friday night at the local pizza buffet/video arcade. Boys will procede to our house afterward for a sleepover involving all of the Batman movies, X-men, Hell-boy and Spidermans. Also featured will be large quantities of caffienated carbonated beverages, and bowlsful of luridly colored food-type crunchy things. There is one parent who is laboring under the delusion that his son will go to bed around 10 and sleep soundly until 7:30. If that does happen, I’ll find the boy a quiet corner, but honestly. It’s a Birthday Party. For 10 yr Olds. Please. Now, I need to go scare up some bags to put party favors in.
I think now, I’ll go outside and rake some pinestraw. Wonderful, lovely stuff for lining walkways and stuffing around tomato plants. And free, too, whichi is always nice.
Filed under: Sometimes she thinks too much
I wish I had the confidence to know if I was doing what was exactly right. I mean, I do something, I think it might be the right thing, but then I get all these misgivings and second guessings and insecurities about it. Frustrating, aggravating, annoying…you name it.
Someone told me once that God looks at what we do, and what we intend, and not at how the recipient of our intentions received it. That’s nice to know, because one can do something nice for a person, and then they turn around and spit on what you did, but God knows that’s not your fault. It’s what’s in your heart and all.
Then someone else turns around and says “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Which is like the opposite of what I was told.
Then you do something and start wondering “did I do enough?” “Would doing more shame the recipient?” “Are they laughing at me now?”
Everything I do is second guessed by my inner self. What do I need to do to have the confidence to know what I’m doing is the right and proper thing, good for everyone involved?
Filed under: food
So, even though Sweet Daddio has been gone since Sunday, and even though he, theoretically, returned last night, he’s going to be out again tonight because the Boss is in town and Require’s SD’s Presence. Therefore, I am fixing a simple supper of chicken noodle soup and #4 plans to craft some sandwiches to go with. I like my soup from scratch. I’m a snob that way and honestly, I have the time to make a pot of soup so why on earth should I dump something out of a can? Canned soup’s great. I love tomato soup with cheese and crackers, so don’t write me down as a complete snob, only a partial one.
Anyway, here’s my chicken soup recipe- very easy and can be put together in 10 minutes and ready to eat in 30.
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized bits
1 small yellow onion, cut into bits
2 celery ribs, likewise CIB
2 smallish carrots, CIB
Put all this into a pot and add a drizzle of oil, simmer for a bit until the onions are soft. then add:
2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
salt and pepper
a generous handful of fresh italian parsley, minced (why italian? because it’s what is growing in my garden.)
Fill the pot to near the top with water and bring to a simmer.
Let it simmer 25-30 minutes then add:
A generous handful of egg noodles (let’s say, 2 cups)
Cook however long the package says, and serve.
This is so easy it’s ridiculous.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I read about honor killings over in the Middle East. Fathers and brothers killing daughters and sisters for wearing makeup, talking to a man, generally behaving as if they’re more than some sort of automaton. I truly don’t get it. Don’t these men love their daughters and sisters? If not, why don’t they just send them away? If someone can explain this to me in a logical and sensible manner, please do. I’d like to understand. What is it about the culture that makes this an acceptable practice?
Our house is due to be invaded by a pack of 10 yr old boys. Junk food and bad movies are in order.
This whole bailout thing- all that 800 gazillion dollars going to pet projects and executive bonuses- yeah that one. Ok, the bonuses. They aren’t bonuses. They are contractual payments. A bonus is a reward for a job well done, not in a contract. So legally, yeah, AIG was obligated to pay them, because they were in the contract. Howver, the smart thing to do would be to give it back, like some of them have done. Now, what worries me is the noise being made in Washington about executive salary caps. Ok, I can see that for companies that took bailout money. They are throwing around the number of $500,000, and I also heard $250,000. As a person who’s income is very significantly below that, and who manages just fine to pay the bills and eat out now and then, I can say that I believe $500,000 to be quite generous. If you can’t live on that you have serious money issues.However, the concept being thrown around now is salary caps on ALL executives, even the ones working for companies who didn’t take bailout money. EXCUSE ME?? WHAT?? As the wife of an executive (who does not make $500,000 a yr, but might one day), I am outraged by that idea. Ok, Because It Really IS Personal, and I don’t think globally, I want to know why my husband’s salary should be capped when his 14 hour days and 6 day work weeks generate multi-millions of $$ in profit for his employer. He’s the one who crawls into the ammonia chambers (because he doesn’t want to endanger his employees), and gets on the roof where it’s 120 degrees to fix the air handler, and shows the guys how to work a forklift or back a trailer…and the list goes on. Why shouldn’t he be rewarded for working his own way through college, getting a degree is a difficult field? This idea pisses me off. Our culture is based on the idea of work and reward, and how DARE anyone say a person only deserves so much. I wish I could be more coherent, but there it is.
Pine pollen is nasty to dust up. It’s thick, and yellow, and really fluffy so it just kind of blows around when you dust it. Even with a wet rag.
So sayeth Rootie.
They keep happening, weekly it seems. You’d think I’d be used to them by now but for some reason I wake up on a Monday morning and sigh.
Ok, part of me looks forward to Monday. It means the weekend is over and the business of Housewife Weekly can resume. It also means at least 5 loads of laundry *sigh*, cleaning out the refrigerator *le sigh*, and probably going to the grocery store *ugh*. So, instead of whining about these things, I am going to channel my inner JerseyChick and find something really grand about Mondays. That woman can put a positive spin on anything, even gall bladder surgery.
So here we go. Good Things About Monday:
Laundry: clean clothes, all folded and smelling nice, ready for each person to put away. Laundry makes the whole house smell good. It gives me a chance to sit and watch TV while doing something constructive, and it’s very nice to have something to show for the day, that’s tangible.
Cleaning out the refrigerator: Getting rid of the green cheese and dead spinach, and making room for new and fresh groceries for the week. No more leftovers barking at me when I open the door. Who doesn’t love a nice block of cheddar cheese and those little cups of yogurt?
Going to the grocery store: Who doesn’t love a stocked pantry? I make out menus for the week, and the grocery list reflects that. As much as I despise going, and despise unloading the car and putting them all away even more, it is a feeling of security knowing there’s food for a week, that no matter what happens, we will eat. This thought process comes from 22 years ago, when there wasn’t always food to eat, and I became something of a food hoarder. Now, I’m not happy unless there’s meat in the freezer, veggies in the bin, and jars of roasted peppers and capers and other Luxury Food Items in the pantry.
I might dust. Probably not, but I might. I might don a mask and venture into the wilderness of the game room. It’s a mess, but I didn’t make the mess and it’s clean around the pool table, which is the only bit I ever use. The boys don’t seem to care one way or the other.
Now it’s 7:30 and I guess I should go dress, get the laundry started, eat some breakfast so I don’t go to the store hungry, check on the sick kid, all before 8 so I can get to the store before the Thundering Herd.