Monday, April 12, 2010

When I'm a 90 Year Old Grandma

Many of you know my grandma Dorothy....GG to the kids. She turned 90 this year, though most people would have no idea she's any older than 70! In my family of redheads, hers is still red, and she has the redhead temperament to go with it. She is still completely independent, bosses everyone around, and her idea of heaven is hanging out with the great-grandkids!

When I'm a 90 year old grandma, I'd like to be like her....

About a month ago, Grandma fell at home and injured her hand. At the time, the x-ray didn't show any broken bones, but when it was rechecked later, the x-ray showed it was indeed broken. But when Grandma was told she needed to have a cast put on, she just didn't have time for that! She informed the doctor that she had a very important pinochle game that afternoon, it was the last game of the season, and she was not going to miss it! So the cast would have to wait! So the bewildered doctor asked if her game would be over by late afternoon so that she could squeeze in some time to get the cast on. Well the game apparently was quite intense, so she had to call the doctor later in the afternoon and said he'd have to again reschedule that cast. And then her schedule was too busy the next day too. So by the time she could finally "pencil it in," she decided that her hand didn't really hurt that bad, and living with a cast was going to cause a lot of problems for her. So she called the doctor and said she didn't want the cast. The important things, Grandma said, was playing pinochle and working jigsaw puzzles, and since she was able to do those things just fine, she didn't need any old cast.

Later, when my mom asked her why she even goes to the doctor if she's not going to do what he says, she replied, "You're right, I think I'll just stop going to the doctor!"



When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
with a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickle for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

~by Jenny Joseph

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter weekend

This weekend was filled with lots of fun stuff for the, on the other hand, didn't have quite as much fun!

On Saturday morning we went to the Home Depot kids workshop. Lots of friends had gone and said they had a great time. So (enter martyr voice here) I sacrificed my Saturday morning of pajamas and coffee, and took the kids to Home Depot. So I made the assumption that since it was for "kids" that it would be easy and there would be plenty of Home Depot experts helping.....not so much. Arriving at the designated area, we were handed a kit for a wheelbarrow planter and told "have fun!" Um, ok, what now? So the instructions seemed easy at first glance, but as the building began, it was quickly becoming clear that one did in fact need a moderate amount of pre-acquired carpentry skills, because the instructions were not exactly clear. Maezie is now laying on the floor in sawdust, Graeson is pounding anything he can find with the hammer, and Kaela is getting mighty testy that hers is not turning out right. So Kaela got another kit and started over, I ended up making Maezie's and Graeson's entirely--with little teeny nails that are impossible to hold and hammer at the same time--and I was ready to scream by the time we were finally finished enough that it held together (sort of). But....the kids thought their wheelbarrow planters were great and were very excited, so I guess that's what counts!

Next we went to have haircuts for Mommy and Kaela (her first EVER haircut). So after waiting almost 30 minutes in the waiting area (yes, we had an appointment), trying to keep the kids entertained with Playhouse Disney on my phone, our hair dresser was finally ready. So during my own haircut, of course the kids are running wild because they had already used up their quota of quiet during the 30 minutes we had to wait! And for reasons I still don't understand, my haircut took almost an hour. So by this point, I'm ready to scream (again), Graeson is now in a permanent time out, and Maezie is screaming at Kaela to get out of her chair. But since I had really psyched Kaela up for her first haircut, I couldn't just reschedule. So Kaela got her long hair trimmed, and she felt very special with soft, shiny hair, so I guess that's what counts!

Then it was on to GG's house for dyeing Easter eggs. Upon arrival, my sister (I love her to death!) had dropped off all four of her kids and left. So I was now wrangling seven kids to try and color eggs. One has a 13 year old attitude that could freeze the sun, one has a 2 year old attitude that could pierce your eardrums, and a range of antsy kids in between. But, we got three dozen eggs colored, only one that cracked, plus four of the older kids got to hand paint large goose eggs. And there weren't even any spills or major catastrophes! The kids had fun, so I guess that's what counts!

Then, we had to make a quick trip to the grocery store to get critical ingredients for the planned Easter meal. Wow. Every single man, woman, and child goes to the grocery store on the day before a holiday! So we quickly made our way to the necessary aisles, found the closest register--they were actually ALL open!--and began our wait. Eventually I broke open the box of ice cream bars from the cart, at which point Kaela became very anxious and said, "Mommy we haven't paid for those!" I reassured her that I would be paying for them, and I'm sure the cashier would understand why it was sheer necessity to feed the children while waiting in the pre-holiday line. Eventually, it became necessary that Mommy have an ice cream bar too....

Later that evening, as is Easter tradition in our house, we made "Easter Story Cookies". This is a special recipe which involves telling the Easter story with each ingredient. First each child beats the nuts with a wooden spoon, just like the soldiers beat Jesus. Then they taste a small amount of vinegar, just like Jesus was given vinegar when he was thirsty. There are several steps including salt, sugar, and egg whites. Eventually, the cookies are placed in the oven, the oven is then turned off, the kids "seal the tomb" with tape, and then can't see the finished product until morning. In the morning, the cookies are hollow just like the tomb was empty on Easter morning. So I let them have cookies for breakfast, and they were in heaven! So I guess that's what counts!

Sunday we went to church and had a great Easter service with poignant personal testimonies. Then back to GG's house for Easter dinner with the extended Sharp family. After dinner, it was time to hide the eggs. Now this year, as is very typical of this part of the country, the weather was somewhere around 35 degrees with a rip roaring wind and traces of snow still found in places. So Bryan and I hid the eggs ONCE, snapped some quick pictures, and we were done! But the kids don't seem to have any cold-receptors, so they kept hiding the eggs for each other and stayed outside another hour! They had fun, so....I guess that's what counts!