Month: March 2011

A good-sized cauldron of mulligan stew

Grandma now has two (large) photos of her great-granddaughter on her wall, at her eye level, and you should have seen her face when she saw the first one. You know how all those wrinkles and lines form inverted U’s that cross from one side to the other of her face? Well, imagine them right-side up. Honest to Pete, every single line on her face made a smile. That makes a lot of smiles. I wish I’d been fast enough to catch it on the camera. Gravity is wicked at her age, and the inversion didn’t last long.

Grandma’s April Fool’s prank

Grandma got hauled over to the emergency room this afternoon. Once again, she refused to wait ’til someone came to help her after she called them, she fell down, and she was complaining of pain in her hip and shoulder, so they sent her over. I can’t grouse about this one because evidently they called me and I was still at lunch with my buds. Teach me to have a good time, eh?

She was, of course, spitting mad that she’d been sent. The ER staff got a hint that she was fine when she insisted on walking to the bathroom (with help, of course)—and found out later she’d been in a wheelchair for four-plus years. That is one seriously stubborn old woman. Poor thing was there til 6; I wouldn’t call it a packed house, but quite a few miserable-looking people were there and they had Grandma in the overflow wing, which on a Friday afternoon doesn’t bode well for Friday night. Poor them!

Revamped memories

A package arrived this afternoon from a cousin, containing a pile of stuff she’d found when she’d gone through my aunt’s things after the aunt’s death. Entertaining! Several report cards from Grandma’s grade-school years . . . she’s always told me she was a straight-A student, and she wasn’t! It’s interesting to see the subjects, too: physiology (PE?), agriculture, and drawing, among others . . . and they got graded on their lesson preparation, health habits and care of the books issued to them. She only got S-es and S+es on those. I pointed this out to her while in ER. She thought it was amusing and called herself a dirty liar. Hah!

Baby snuggles

Spent last Sunday and a day a couple of weeks earlier with the Snaotheus household, cooing at and snuggling with my adorable granddaughter, who is, well, utterly adorable and really really loves being held and snuggled. Since I love snuggling her, that works out well!

I took stuff down to make Real, Genuine Tacos Like Them Wot I Grew Up Wif and actually got to cook in the magnificent KrisDi kitchen! Real, Genuine Tacos, in case you don’t know, involve soft-fried tortillas that are just dipped into hot oil for a few seconds. Since I hadn’t made them for 40 years or so, my skillz creaked with rust, but I managed. Cooking them such a short time means they stay soft, so you can wrap them around the filling and they don’t crunch and shatter and splatter filling all over, plus the oil kinda moisture-proofs them so the filling doesn’t leak out the bottom so easily.

Tacos were never ever ever meant to have hard shells. I never saw a hard taco shell until I was in my 20s, I think, and I was shocked and appalled when I did. Yay, Mexican food. Yum, yum, yum.

For Snaotheus’s birthday, we went to Omar Al Khyam (named, no doubt, after the poet), which has Lebanese food, and was fantastic. I had a whole bunch of stuff left over that I intended to bring home, but forgot and left it in the kids’ fridge. Oh, well, it was Snaotheus’s birthday, so I guess it’s fitting that he got the leftovers . . . :drools at memory of mint-basil dressing and stuffed grape leaves and falafel and baklava and . . . :

Ma’s gone over to the Dark Side

I know, I know, I’ve ranted against the electronicization of printed matter for a very long time. I deserve reclassification as an Evil Troll for giving in and buying an e-book reader, so go ahead and throw your insults. :braces against wall:

The reader has a lot of good points, though, the primary one being that I can put a lot of books on it without adding to my overfilled bookshelves. Among those are authors whose work I don’t care about having hard copies of (how’s that for syntax?), and at least one who’s mostly out of print and hard to find. And guess what?! He’s on Project Gutenberg, for free!

In fact, PG is awesome. I’ve downloaded tons of classics I never had the opportunity to read and authors I’d like to read more of, including Proust and Freud and Balzac. Yay, me! Yay, e-books! Yay, Project Gutenberg!

I love the fact that I can look up words in a book without having to get up, go find a dictionary, and physically look them up. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I have the OED on the reader—yes!—and I’ve actually looked up words that I know because it’s so cool to do it. Also, I can enter notes and it has a handwriting app, so I can edit as I go if I want to. Wheee! It’s a whole toy store in a little package! And mine is red! :happy dance, giggle, happy dance:

And guess what else? This really simplifies any gift-giving that may come up, because gift certificates for e-books will always be greatly appreciated (but not to Amazon, since only their Kindle can read the e-books they sell)! So really, I did it for you guys, to make life easier for you! :nods emphatically:

Return to the Cone of Shame

Since I haven’t been able to take Herself for a run for six (!!!!) months, she has gotten stressed and bored. She’s been digging in the yard, which I don’t like but I can live with because I can’t blame the poor dear since it’s not her fault she can’t go running. Not surprisingly, the next step was licking her leg again until she made a big bloody hole in it.


This time, instead of licking her forepaw, she licked higher up and to the inside, about where the inside of your upper arm would be. She apparently thought that since it was harder to see, I wouldn’t notice it. Hah! When I took the cone collar out of the closet, she scrunched down and slunk off into a corner, making herself as small as possible. Which, for a 65-pound dog, is pretty funny. Poor dear. I see the PT guy next week, so maybe before too long I can get back out there with her. Speaking of which . . .

@$$-kickin’ foot armor!

Since REI has a 20% off dealie for members right now, I dug around and found a pair of over-the-ankle hiking boots and ordered them online. They got to the store Tuesday and I’ve worn them around the house for a couple of days. They’re about half a size too big—I’d gone down to the store and tried some boots on with the big honking ankle braces and I haven’t put those on with them yet, a’cause the boots are stiff enough without ’em—but the great thing about REI membership is that I can take the boots back and trade ’em in for another size and/or another brand any number of times. Even if I’ve worn them outside. Even if I’ve gotten them scuffy, and it turns out six months or a year down the road that they hurt somewhere.


That, in my opinion, is well worth the membership fee.

Anyway, aside from the size issue, these puppies are freakin’ foot armor. There is absolutely no torsion (not that I can get by hand-twisting, anyway) or sole flex (likewise), both of which are Good Things when your feet are piles of mismatched bones and meat. A friend said the boots look like hockey skates without the blades. Another one raised an eyebrow and said, “If they hold your ankles that tight, what breaks the next time you fall down? You know it’ll just be your knee, right?” :rolls eyes: This is the same “friend” who told me I’d still be feeling the ankle Fx’s six months later. I’m convinced that was a freakin’ curse, and all this hassle is her fault. :nods:

Posted by wordsmith in Family, 0 comments

Intercostal tears, grandmotherhood, and the end of civilization as we know it

Many more articulate, insightful people than I have written about the advent of grandparenthood, but it’s kind of one of those things that comes with an obligation to note it. Re the baby herself . . . Of course, my new granddaughter is the most beautiful baby on earth, and the smartest, and strongest, and most amazing . . . what else could she be, seeing as how she’s my granddaughter? Getting to see her and hold her just a few hours after she was born was quite an eye-opener and, well, amazing. She was so tiny; not much smaller than my own smallest baby, but she looked and felt so much smaller. I expect that the distance of 30 years has diminished their fragility in my mind, as has, no doubt, the size and robustitude they eventually reached.

Nothing matches the intensity of a mother’s bond with her babies. Ask any mama bear; she’ll bear me out (ha ha). I assume that’s so with fathers, too, but obviously, I’ve never been a father. So perhaps it’s natural that I was at least as interested in the kids’ responses to the baby as in my own. Babies are all about hope and the future, and the new mom and dad are utterly wrapped up in the future their daughter represents (and rightfully so!). For my generation, babies are also a not-too-subtle reminder that we’re on the way out. With my own kids, who had time to think about the fact that as they grew up, I grew older? I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to notice that as my granddaughter grows up, but I’ll be having too much fun to care. I have a long list of Unsuitable Activities planned already and I’m itchin’ to get started. 🙂

The most amazing thing was watching my basket-of-adorable son with his basket-of-adorable new daughter. His big, knobbly-knuckled hands, so sure and confident when he’s doing anything else (except pitting avocados), were hesitant and uncertain as he held (and changed the diapers of) this teensy little newcomer. KrisDi seemed a bit less in awe of the baby, but I think we moms have a leg up on that because we’ve carried them around their entire lives until they’re born. She was radiant, too, and certainly didn’t look as if she’d been up all night giving birth. It was really something, watching them fall head over heels in love with their new youngling.

Unfortunately, I came down with flu a couple days later so haven’t seen her since. Baby Delilah is, well, a basket full of adorable, and I can’t wait to get down there to see her again. I hear her head isn’t pointy any longer! 🙂

In other news, I appear to have torn some intercostal muscles while hauling a tub of cat litter upstairs to Grandma’s. Damn. Those things hurt like the devil, take forever to heal, and they get used with almost every movement you make (including breathing). You just don’t notice until they hurt.

Grandma has managed to throw away at least two sets of necessary tax documents. So far. I’ll have to have yet another duplicate set sent. I keep getting “we’ll keep an eye out for them” from the staff, but so far, no results. The paperwork to have them sent to me will take at least until July, which is too late for this tax season. Argh.

Getting back to said flu, I’ve been sick as the proverbial dog (and why do we use dogs as a measure of sick, anyway? Is it because they’ll throw up anywhere, for any reason?) all week. Today was the first I’ve been out of the house since last Friday, and I picked up a couple of groceries when I got Grandma’s cat litter. Thus the End of Civilization as We Know It: A little bitty jar of store-brand mentholated petroleum jelly cost seven freaking dollars. What else can that mean but the end of civilization?!?

Posted by wordsmith in Family, 0 comments