Category Archives: Family

Burrowing

I’ve just had one of my favorite kinds of weekends. No social engagements, no particular errands, no particular chores. Started out with snowblowing early Saturday morning so that YA could get to work; although it’s technically a chore and it was cold, I had fun using my new snowblower (well, new to me anyway) even though it was a little hard to get it started the first time it was still dark and I had to kinda figure out by touch where the choke and throttle were. Did my Saturday morning chores (change sheets, water plants) and by then it was all of 7:30. So except for taking breaks to throw more laundry in and have meals, I spent the entire day in my studio! I’ve had a pile of stuff that I wanted to use up for a few weeks and I managed to get through it all.

Yesterday I had to snowblow out the bottom of my driveway again and when I lent the snowblower to my neighbor for a bit, I got to learn about cotter pins. Glad he broke it and not me – I would never have known what had happened and would probably have spent a lot of bucks having somebody diagnose and fix it. YA convinced me we should out for breakfast – The Lowbrow – her favorite breakfast spot. When we got home I made a big pot of broccoli cheese soup and then headed back to my studio. Overall I made 41 cards this weekend and got the studio spruced up as well.

My friend Pat calls this kind of behavior “burrowing” and I have to admit I did feel like I had hunkered down in my sweatpants and fat socks. I do enjoy my busier weekends as well, but it did feel rather nice to tune out the world for a couple of days.

What do you like to do when you’re “burrowing”?

Inked For You

Photo credit:  Cody Black

I saw an article about the taboos of tattoos on bbc.com yesterday. We all know that tattoos are much more prevalent  – almost a fashion statement these days – among the younger generations, but there is still a lingering social taboo against them.  Apparently it is legal in the US (and the UK) for companies to have a “no tattoo” policy.  Never occurred to me that a company would even have such a policy, much less that it would be legal!

YA has a few piercings and two tattoos. I’m not crazy about her tattoos (some style choices, some money issues) and just a few days ago we had a discussion about still being careful about tattoos and piercings until you know the acceptance level of a possible employer.

For quite a few years, I’ve fantasized about getting tattooed myself. Small, on my wrist (toward the inside), multi-colored hibiscus flower with YA’s name, in her handwriting.  She knows about this plan and every now and then tries to encourage me.  My guess is it will probably never happen, but you never know.  I know it won’t be a problem here at my company but I might have to wait until Nonny is gone!

Knowing you could get rid of it tomorrow if you don’t like it, tell me about the tattoo you would get.

Abundance of Socks

When I was getting dressed yesterday, I pulled open my sock drawer (although it’s a huge bin actually) and found a new pair of socks laying on top of the others.

Now I know for a fact that these socks belonged to YA: when she was laid up with her broken foot, I did all her laundry, including sock sorting. I really liked them and I may even have said that if she ever gets tired of them, I would take them.

I have way too many socks. Socks are like cookie cutters and flip flops in my view… as long as you don’t have a anything exactly the same, why not add to your collection.  I have enough socks that I have them sorted out, with the holiday red/green socks in a separate section.  This is why my sock drawer is the same size as my t-shirt drawer.

This overabundance of socks is something I recognize, in fact I told YA NOT to get me socks for Solstice this year. I really just don’t need more.

So why am I happily wearing the adopted socks today? They are comfy and warm and I love the pattern.  Do I need any other reason?

What do you have too many of?

Weddings and Rice

As I was walking out of the co-op the other day, I looked down to see a large splotch of rice in the parking lot. The kind of splotch that can only be achieved by having your bag of rice break open while you’re carrying it to the car (you can guess why I know this).  My first thought was that the local birds would be happy but then I remembered that supposedly uncooked rice is bad for birds, which is why they throw birdseed now at weddings.

Then when I got home, I discovered that YA had received TWO “save-the-date” cards.

Wedding reminder #3 was when I was watching Cake Boss that night and one of the bakers (sorry I don’t watch this enough to know any of their names) was celebrating a milestone anniversary with a big party and a wedding cake. When the couple began to cut the cake and feed each other, I cringed, hoping they wouldn’t smash the cake into each other’s faces.  I detest that.

So all these wedding reminders in one day made me think about weddings how the traditions have changed over the years. My first wedding, which was completely orchestrated by my mother, was fairly traditional.  Church, gown, reception, cake (unsmashed), lots of people I didn’t know.  My second wedding was the exact opposite, we met the judge at  Good Earth restaurant and were married at the table with our server, Philip and the server from the next section, Sarah, as our witnesses.  Honeymoon at Day tons that afternoon.  I am much more fond of my Good Earth wedding memories than my traditional ones so it makes me wonder why so many brides and bridegrooms adhere so stickily to all the “musts” when getting married.  Why not do something different, stretch their boundaries, find things that are meaningful instead of just traditional. Those of you with psychology degrees, any ideas?

If you were planning your wedding today, how would you like it to go? (Like all good fantasies, money is no object.)

Hole in My Heart

Although I think of myself as flexible and resilient most of the time, there are some changes that I just don’t like. My friends and loved ones moving away is right up there in the “I hate this” stratosphere.

Lori and Tom live 2 doors up from me. I knew right away when I moved onto the block 29 years ago that they would be good friends.  They championed me when I was divorcing wasband #2, supported me during the adoption process.  Lori is a rubber stamping buddy of mine, we share reading as a passion and I’ve been drawn into one of her favorite charities, Mission Haiti.  Tom more often than not does my snowblowing and now that they are moving to an apartment in Chicago, he is even giving me the snowblower.  YA had a ton of hand-me-downs from their 2 daughters (which really helped my finances back then) and we did a lot of activities together when the kids were all younger, including Supper with Santa, trick-or-treating and many backyard neighborhood get-togethers.  They are two of the kindest, most generous people I know.

This move to Chicago has been coming for a while. They actually rented the apartment a year ago but a health crisis kept them here until now.  Their oldest is in Cincinnati with the only grandchild, Lori’s work has offices in Chicago and Tom does programming work from home, so the Windy City seemed like a good next step for them.

But it doesn’t make me happy, even if it’s good for them. I know how to use e-mail and texting and even skype, but it isn’t the same as just running a couple of houses up.  So on Friday I have a chunk of time blocked on my calendar that says “cry on the sidewalk” as I fully intend to go home to wave them off as they depart Minneapolis.

Who would you have move closer (or back)?

Good Fortune

Fortune cookies, while a fun novelty, don’t always register for me. Most of the time that YA and I have Chinese food, it is at home, delivered by our favorite place, Fresh Wok.   YA loves cream cheese wontons, which I consider dessert; this combined with the fact that the fortune cookies are always at the bottom of the bag, they are usually overlooked until after we’re full.

I have some good friends who are moving this week, so this past weekend, I took Chinese take-out over to them so they would have one night when they didn’t have to cook. I decided to make it an early Chinese New Year party so brought lucky money envelopes, red paper plates/cups, the works.  When I was setting things out, the fortune cookies were actually on the top of the bag so I put them each of our place settings.

Here is what mine said:

“Because of your melodic nature, the moonlight never misses an appointment.”

Lovely, although in terms of it being a fortune, all I can figure is I’d better keep being melodic or the moonlight will miss an appointment?

What fortune would YOU like to crack open?

No Longer Rapunzel

I am not a fashionista. Not a clothes horse.  Not stylish, chic, swanky, hip or trendy.  If I really thought I could get away with it I would probably don sweatpants and a t-shirt every day (shorts and t-shirt in summer).  Mind you, I can dress up if the occasion calls for it, but I have arranged my life over the years so that the occasion doesn’t come knocking too often.

This is a problem for YA. She is stylish, chic, swanky, hip and trendy and she cares a great deal about her clothing and her make-up.  She once changed an outfit after looking in the full length mirror (in my room) because her black top and black pants didn’t “match”.  I’m not making this up.  This means that my schlumpy outfits offend her and she has more than once refused to leave the house with me until I change.  She often has opinions about what I should wear to a function she is attending with me; she’s still young enough that she thinks other people really give a hoot and that they will somehow think less of HER if I am not dressed to the nines.

So in a weak moment on New Year’s Eve, I let her cut my hair. I hadn’t had a trim in well over a year and she had commented on this fact more than once in the last couple of weeks. I had taken a long look in the mirror earlier that day and decided that it was getting a little scraggly but I’m still not sure why I didn’t just trot myself off to Cost Cutters or Great Clips.  Instead, she armed herself with two pairs of scissors, a comb and a brush and asked how much I wanted trimmed off.  I told her a couple of inches and I’m sure that the new math has something to do with how much she trimmed.  My “couple of inches” translated into about five inches in her world!

If I had known she would chop off that much I might not have let her do it, but I guess I trusted her a little more than I should have when discussing what a “couple of inches” means. Luckily, it’s just hair and it will grow out; I’m not seriously unhappy but it is the shortest I’ve had my hair in years.

Has your trust ever been misplaced? Or stretched to its limit?