Outside Nest

Friday, May 25, 2015

Today I am grateful for my outside nest.  We have another room to our house in summer and it’s mine, all mine.  Our patio.  Himself will sit out there with me for a little while, if I beg a lot, but mostly it’s not hooked up to his baseball game on the computer, or little figures he paints in the basement or sporting events he scrolls on the TV.  I’m good with that.


Because it’s my nest.  I tuck my chair that has a pop-up leg rest into the corner, grab a water and a book and sit out there as long as the heat will allow.  My corner is always in the shade except for a few minutes when I have to shift my feet to keep the sun off of them.


We bought plants and strategically placed them where they would best grow and where I can best enjoy them from my perch.  New wind chimes remind me of the tropics.  The holly hedge looked like a 70’s rock star with its long furry branches all akimbo.  Made me crazy because I never know when the powers that maintain our development will come through to trim.  Last year when I asked it would be “next week”, which turned into a month.  I can’t wait because the foliage was blocking my view of the bird traffic into a house on the hill and the birdbath which is ensuite.


So I got out the electric hedge trimmer and had my way with it, slicing and flailing like Edward Scissor Hands, Himself ducking out of the way and raking up debris.  “How do you manage to get this thing so even with no gouges,” he asked.  I told him it really isn’t hard.  I just look at is as a really BIG haircut where I don’t have to worry about nicking an ear.  Voila!


My outside nest is ready.  My book is ready.  My water is ready.  It’s time to sit outside reading. . .napping. . .reading. . .napping. . .reading. . .napping. . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


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Mandatory TV Viewing

a jen, john, mike watching Idol

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Today I am grateful for mandatory TV viewing.  One of our daughters and her husband visited us for a few days on their way to a bowling tournament in Syracuse.  We had a blast!  And we’re exhausted.


So the last night they were here, after a great, but filling dinner, the likes of which we rarely eat anymore and especially not later at night, the daughter decided we would watch the finales of “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol”. . .and her dad, who HATES those kind of shows, had to join us.  I could make this request on bended knee, holding Irish Mist and a big old steak and he would turn me down to watch “sporting events” in the other room.


But his daughter made the request and I don’t know too many men who can refuse a daughter!  So he watched.  And commented.  We all commented.  A lot. And the thing about crazy families is that when comments are made, other comments spin off of them.  I set the whole event off with, “You do know that in my mind, I am exactly like those female dancers, executing every spin, toe point and lift.”  Okay, now that’s funny, but not that funny.  At least I don’t think so.  After all, I said, “in my mind”!


You should have heard the one-liners, which I don’t remember, because I’m old, but I do remember laughing so hard that I ached and gasped for breath!  All of us did.  We were howling and holding our sides.  Then there was a particularly difficult lift and the dancer flew over someone’s head and slid down with him nearly grabbing her in the crotch before he flipped her over.  “See, that’s me!” I said.  Chaos.  Pure chaos!  Robin Williams would have killed for this kind of audience response!  And this time I have to admit the visual of “real” me doing that maneuver is hilarious!


Himself tried to wear his sour-puss face at various times throughout the night, asking a billion times why singers have to screech and then demonstrating their voices, which if you know him and his “one note range”, is as funny as me flying over someone’s head in a dance lift.  It’s possible I have laughed that hard and long in the past but I sure can’t remember when.


We were exhausted!  I captured the pic during a dry spell in the entertainment. . . which was more abundant in the living room than on the blasted TV.  I’ll have to remember that Himself will go along with mandatory TV viewing as long as there are belly-laughs. . .and a daughter insists.


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Spontaneous Family Meals


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Today I am grateful for spontaneous family meals.  Not much to say about how wonderful today was.  I mercifully left one of the family members out of the pictures and I’m not telling why, but I love all of these people so much I ache!  I’ll let the pictures talk today and shut up. . . for once.

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a fascinating women in pool pic

How my friend, Marie, who is a 40 year theater veteran, managed to get herself behind a feather in every picture (10) is beyond me!  LMAO!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Today I am grateful for diversions.  To say I was happy for the wonderful diversion of the latest Royal Wedding is a huge understatement.  Witness my peeps celebrating with fascinators in the pool yesterday.   We had a blast!  And we didn’t even know then how much we would need it until the day progressed.


I seriously can’t take any more bad news.  How many times have I asked the question “How many children will have to be shot and killed before we support and enforce stricter gun laws?”  I’ve lost count.  Just like I’ve lost count of the number of children who have died at the other end of a bullet(s).  Enough!!!  We need action!  But today I have to settle for a diversion because I can’t take anymore.


We have a daughter and her husband arriving shortly from Wisconsin and staying us for a few days before they head to a bowling tournament in Syracuse, NY.  They contacted the step-siblings to see if anyone could hook up with them, but I know those kids’ schedule.  Impossible.  So I took it a step further.


I invited everyone to brunch on Sunday, knowing full well if anyone could make it there would be another star in the east.  You gotta get on their calendars EARLY to secure a spot!  This was three-day’s notice.  But one son and his wife and baby could come, for a little while at least.  Great.  The other was already booked.  My granddaughter turns 19 tomorrow so she already had plans with friends, as I expected.  Cest la vie.  I decided to invite my precious sister-in-law and her significant other and son, but wasn’t sure if they could come for various reasons, including the two hour drive each way.  A small group is nice, too.  Less fuss.  Less noise.


Well guess what?  All of a sudden the other son and one of his kids can come.  So can my sister-in-law’s bunch.  We are now 13 for brunch.  I am very, very happy about this because I can pull out all the stops and I rarely do that anymore.  So I had baking to do (two pies and a rhubarb cake) and prep to deal with for tomorrow. . .and a Royal Wedding to watch.  Guess what got the priority?


Yup.  Recorded it from 5 a.m. until the blissful end and watched every minute.  How could I not?  The entire thing from beginning to end was perfect.  Loved her dress, loved the venue, loved watching all of the people show up, loved the hats, loved the fascinators, loved the kids, love most especially the way Harry looks at Megan and she looks at him.


Their day is turning into a multi-cultural melting pot of celebration.  I bawled like a baby when the gospel choir sang.  Each time, every time.  The cellist had me in a puddle on the floor.  I’m planning a brunch for 13 and I’m having the bends over getting everything done.  How on earth to you plan an event of that magnitude?  I know there are thousands of people involved, but that bride has to do the hardest job and TRUST that everyone will get it right, according to her wishes.  That’s tough. The details!


So whatever you are involved with today, or however much bad news you might see or hear, please take a moment to divert your attention to the Royal Wedding coverage and believe that sometimes. . .most times. . .love really does win!

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Good Behavior

a good behavior quote on loving each other, maya angelo

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Today I am grateful for good behavior.  And I’d like to see a little more of it in today’s society.  The news this morning is full of people behaving in abominable ways, especially towards immigrants, which basically means ALL of us, unless you are Native American.  If it hasn’t happened to you, then it’s just not your turn.  Yet.  Wait for it.


An attorney in New York City threw a hissy fit because the workers were speaking Spanish to customers. . .who also spoke Spanish.  Big whoop!  Really?  With all that is going on in the world, THIS is such a huge deal for you that you have to throw a public fit, even taking a minute to fat-bash someone recording you by telling them they should cut back on their food?  What is wrong with YOU?  Word is out that YOU speak Spanish, too.  Why?  For business reasons?  And if you do, then why didn’t you chastise them in their own language?  Asshole!


People applauded when you screamed you “pay for their welfare” then threw your food down like a two-year-old and left.  Good for them!  That’s good behavior.  I’d applaud, too.


During that news feed, there was another clip of a man out west someplace asking a Muslim woman if it was Halloween based on how she was dressed?  He got in her face and accused her of trying to kill him with her religion.  My heart was pounding and all I was doing was watching a video.  I can’t imagine how she felt.  Horrible.


The clerk refused to serve him and asked him to leave because he was making a public disturbance and being racist.  That’s good behavior.  I applaud her, too.


The person who won the presidential election for the good ‘ol USA had his big mouth open again, too, calling some of the people trying to cross our border “animals”.  Really?  Animals?  His kid then hopped on his bike and back-pedaled saying it was this or that violent group he was speaking of, but it was too late for me.  Calling people who have trekked hundreds of miles through terrible conditions to try and find a better life “animals” is unconscionable.  That’s pure bad behavior and especially bad when it comes from the supposed top.  And whatever your political persuasion is, you should be appalled at this and his many other bad behavior moments,  just because you are human.  Really, you should!  Because remember what I said earlier?  You could be next!  Or your children.  Or grandchildren.  Wait for it!


Look, bad behavior will always be around.  I have experienced much of it myself, when strangers have stopped me on the street to give me diet tips, or yelled “wide-load-bitch” at me from a passing car.  Maybe that’s why I’m more sensitive.  Or is it because I am human?  You decide.  Yet it seems as if a huge scab has been picked off of decency by the leader of our country, causing a slow bleed of disgraceful behavior. And I’m sick of it.


Watch your back.  Video cameras are everywhere.  And know, really know, that if I see or hear anyone behaving badly towards another human being, I will not allow it.  It doesn’t matter to me if it’s because of their race, age, size, or religious persuasion, or whatever, I will not allow them to get away with it.  I will step up!  I will be their champion.  Because if I am all about good behavior, I have to practice what I preach or I couldn’t look in the mirror.  So I’m speaking up!  Join me?  Please!

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Full Disclosure – British Royal Family Groupie

Ann Boleyn like nothing better than to settle down with a good self help book.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today I am grateful for full disclosure.  I’m a British Royal Family groupie.  I know many of you will be surprised and others will say, “of course you are.”  I’m okay either way and make no excuses for digesting all things royal family like they were popcorn and I am at the movies gobbling them up by the fistful.  And now a wedding!


You see, I raised those two boys.  I watched them grow because their mother couldn’t.  Wouldn’t she be proud!!!  Those kids navigated the foibles of a more-than-a-little crazy family, which they can’t deny because the history books and tabloids have documented every misstep.


There are whacko uncles, questionable aunts and slightly odd cousins.  Their own father is eclectic by any standards, which translates to “strange” any way you slice it.  Not that he’s a bad person.  We become how we are raised.  And let’s face it, he was not raised in a way that any of us would consider normal.  Nanny’s and nappy’s and prams, oh my!


But who cares about him these days?  Right now it’s all about his kids, who turned out fantastic despite their unbelievable trauma.  William and Kate have a new baby and it cracked me up seeing the Queen jumping out of a helicopter in her sturdy shoes, quilted vest and babushka, when she went to meet the new arrival.  Even a queen has to protect her “do” from helicopter wind, I guess.


Since today I’m doing true confessions, I now admit that Harry is my favorite.  Okay, I know I shouldn’t play favorites with these boys, but I am.  There is something about the combination of his zest for life as the “wild” one and his compassion for life as he cradles children in Africa.  I love his sass and honesty.  He is the best of both parents.


Now Harry is getting married.  To a bi-racial American.   Good for him!   For the royal family that’s a stretch from when his own mother had to be “tested” to be sure she was a virgin before marrying Charles.  That always seemed stupid.  Gimme a break.


And now Harry’s bride has family she may or may not know well, or even care about, coming out of the woodwork, judging, talking smack and dissing her.  To them I say, “GO AWAY!”  I don’t want to hear you spouting off your mouth, writing books, selling bogus photos, because NOW you’ve decided she’s your “sister”, “daughter”, or whatever.  Sometimes when we become estranged from family members there is a reason.  Who among us doesn’t have an Uncle Drunkle or an Auntie Potty Mouth who we live in fear will ruin every event?  Her distance from them is making it clear to all of us why we’ve not heard from them until now, but not without embarrassment for her. . .and her new family.


Yet if she is feeling guilty for bringing her family mess into the royal family, my advice to her is that she poke through a few history books.  They were already whack-a-doodle long before you entered the mix, my dear, so relax.  This will blow over.  Your wedding will be beautiful because your mom, who is probably painfully reminded why she is no longer married, will see you through.


My DVR is already set and I’m getting my “fascinator” today!  Truth is, I’m surprised I don’t already have one because I’m a true British Royal Family groupie and not one bit ashamed. ‘Tis brilliant, tisn’t it?  Pip-pip and cheerio and all that!  What-what?  Cuppa tea, anyone?  Let me be mother. (To the non-British groupies, that means I’ll pour.)

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Being a Mom & Grandma

Sunday, May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day

Today I am grateful I’m a mom because otherwise I wouldn’t be a grandma and that is just the best!  We had our littlest granddaughter all day on Friday and overnight.  Man!  Grandpa Himself and Grandma Herself are tired!


We had the day “planned” as much as you can with a two-year-old.  I learned that the hard way with the other grandkids when I scheduled so much that we all ended up frustrated and cranky.  Everything is a suggestion, not an insistence.


First was collecting her and having breakfast.  Pancakes.  Wish I had some of her natural “I’m done” moves.  That plate was nearly pitched to the seat next to me when she pushed it away declaring she was DONE!


Next was the Senior Expo at Montgomery County Community College or “Trick-or-Treat-for-Geezers”.  She was a hit because not only was she the only little kid there, but also old people LOVE little kids and last because she is so adorable.  Yes I’m biased.  Deal with it.


I had grandpa sit in the back with her on the way home so she wouldn’t fall asleep a little, ruining the possibility for the nap we all needed soon.  He sang, yes sang, “If your happy and you know it” a hundred times with variations of wiggle your toes, ears, pull hair, clap hands, pick nose, etc.. . .all with the one note that he has now found.  Wow.


After the nap we washed cars.  What is so much fun with little kids is how thrilled they are to do even the tiniest things, because everything is new and exciting.  That makes it exciting for us, too.  I guess I knew sponges could be a lot of fun, but somehow I forgot how much!  And a two-year-old-with-a-hose is not something grandpa, who hates water even in the shower, wants to do again anytime soon.  It was a blast!!!


“Are you tired?” I asked as she was writing something at the kitchen table.  “No!!!!  Not tired!” she insisted, then she slept from 7:30 pm to 9:15 am. . .just like grandpa!


I am so grateful to be a mom and grandma.  It’s a role like none other!  To those of you who have children of your own, adopted, step or of some other variation, Happy Mother’s Day!  And if you don’t have any, but want kids in your life. . .find a way. . .there is always a way!

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