Category Archives: Kids

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?

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)?

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?

Politeness – Great Expectations?

Today’s post comes to us from our Ben.

I’ve been pondering this post about how our daughter sort of demands politeness. If she says “Thanks”, you better say “You’re welcome” or she’ll hound you until you do. And it makes me wonder what exactly the rules for politeness are.

“Here’s your breakfast”
“Thanks”
“You’re welcome”

Is different from

“Have a good day”
“Thanks”

Except in our case it would be like this:

Me: “Have a good day”
Her: “Thanks”
….
Her: “I said Thanks!”
Me: “You’re Welcome!”

Just one of her little quirks.

Her: “I like this movie.”
Me: “Ah”.
Her: “…I said I like this movie.”
Me: “I know. I heard you.”

Her: Mumble mumble mumble then very softly “I said I like this movie. I don’t know why he won’t answer” mumble mumble mumble.”

Me: “Stop picking at that.”
[keeps picking]
Me: “I said stop picking at that.”
Her: “OK” [keeps picking]
Me: “Hey! Stop picking”
Her: “But it’s bothering me.” [still picking]
Me: “I know, but you have to stop picking or it’s going to get worse.”
Her: Still picking “But it’s bothering me!”
Me: “I know. But you have t—”
Her: “OK FINE!!” [storms off to room.]
OK, that’s just teenager attitude, I get that.

She’ll apologize a lot for things that don’t necessarily need an apology. That’s OK, but she’s fussy about the response to that too. Just this morning I said she shouldn’t stack glasses together in the sink. She just didn’t know that, so I told her. She said “Sorry”. I said “Yep”. She says, “I said I’m sorry”. “I know, I heard you; you didn’t know so I’m telling you. You don’t have to say ‘sorry’.”

I think she expects us to say, “You’re forgiven” to every “Sorry”.

Do I have to? Is that expected?

The rules of grammar etiquette are hard. And sometimes I just don’t want too. And sometimes I don’t know she wants from me.

Worst Business Grammar you’ve heard?

Favorite Meals

Our daughter is home and is relishing being spoiled and waited on. She works hard as an intensive in-home family therapist in Tacoma  and is really burned out right now.  She doesn’t like sea food,  which is unfortunate  given how close she lives  to the sea,  and has been craving beef.  She and I are planning favorite meals for her while she is home.  Roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, turkey chipotle chowder, and pasta with this special tomato sauce I make are her requests. It is good to have her here.

What were your favorite meals at home?  What didn’t you like?  What special meals does  your  family request?