Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy Halloween

I love to read.  Not quite an earth shattering revelation.  When I think back about favorite books, there is A Man Called Ove (making a recent appearance on the list), The Screwtape Letters and The Narinia Series (C.S. Lewis is timeless), Starship Troopers (the book, NOT the movie), and World War Z, an Oral History of the Zombie War.  Now you can see why I can never quite answer the question of what type of books I like to read; it runs the gamut.

WWZ was a surprise addition for me.  It didn't sound like my kind of book.  The whole concept of zombies is ridiculous to me:  dead is dead and living dead is more moron than oxy in my humble opinion.  Actually, I hate the whole zombie fascination, which is one reason I refuse to see the movie, Brad Pitt notwithstanding.  (For the record, I love WWZ for the writing style and the sociological commentary the book delivers.)

But it is that time of year when attentions are turned to the gross and disgusting, or at least the fanciful and fall festive.  There are some Halloween traditions that I have perhaps chronologically outgrown.  Actually, that's not true.  They are just traditions that should be enjoyed in a traditional way - that is, WITH someone.  I find it difficult to find someone my own age who would like to join me.  Luckily, there are grandboys around to humor me.  Carving a pumpkins falls squarely within this diatribe.

Bryce and Tyler were coming for dinner last week, so I made sure to have a pumpkin at the ready.  I even cut the top so if they backed out on me, I would still feel obligated to carve the orange orb. Bryce will be turning 10 in a few days, and I'm never quite sure where the too-old-to line is for any given activity.  I am aware, however, that it is a moving target.  I'm all about target practice.

Tyler was totally non-plussed at the idea of carving a pumpkin.  Bryce was equally disenfranchised at the thought of scooping out pumpkin guts.  Problem solved - Granma got to play in the goo.  Apparently, though, just-shy-of-ten is the perfect age for playing with a (safety) knife.  I'm happy to report that Bryce not only did an excellent job of carving, but he was having too much fun to let me take a *stab* at it.  I am old enough (just barely) to let him keep all the carving fun to himself.  The final product, I'm sure you will agree, is spook-tacular.  (I agree, that was even too corny for me, though I didn't apply the delete key...)

Knowing it had to be a blog, I asked Bryce to pose with his creation.  THIS is what you get when he says, "nah," and I, with my best Granma puppy eyes, says, "Ahhh, come on."  Here is a zombie I can love unequivocally.

Happy Halloween, Bryce!  Thanks for the play-date!  I love you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Picture Perfect

Granma and Naomi
I'm a writer.  OK, I'm not quite as famous as, say, Stephen King or Erma Bombeck.  But the three of us have something in common:  we write because we must.  Well, Erma doesn't write anymore, and I didn't/don't know either personally.  But I feel confident in my assessment.  I think better with my eyes closed sitting at a keyboard letting the words flow out my fingertips.  And the words from my fingers are more trust worthy and true than the ones from my mouth.  Of course, I make great use of the delete key, as well as Control X and Control V.  Verbal conversation is much more problematic on that front.

My husband, Ken (the Grampa to my Granma), is a photographer.  He frequently sees something different than the rest of us when he has a camera in his hand.  It's a zen thing - I've seen it, I admire it, and I am not capable of it.  I take snap shots, which are very different and rather pedestrian, though they make me happy.  Viva la difference.

We could probably debate endlessly on whether a picture is really worth a thousand words.  We could, but it takes time for me to relay to my computer keyboard the essence of my 1000 words.  He tires of the wait and wanders off with his camera to capture the world.  BTW, his Lightroom and Photoshop programs are pretty time intensive, too.  What can I say?  It works for us.

Last week, though I got to hold two very special baby girls, Faith and Naomi.  They are not quite 3 months old, tipping the scales at 4 pounds each, and it's the first time I have even touched one of them.  To hold those little girls and feel them squirm and kiss their peach-fuzz heads.  Christine captured this picture (thank you!).  And for once, I just might be speechless - and wordless.  My fingers don't know what to type next.  It's not exactly that I have no words, it's just that so many words flood my senses that I can't keep up!

However, see sentence number one of this blog.  They require me to write a few words as they bubble to the top:

Glorious Gifts of God
Pure, unadulterated LOVE

Naomi with the sticky-uppy peach fuzz
Faith with the well coiffed hair
Score one for photography.  These pictures says more than this writer can put into words. This Granma is in love all over again!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Houdini, I Need Your Help!

When watching grandboys, one of the most important Granma super powers is her hearing.  There are two things that make this particular super power a problem, and therefore all the more coveted.  First, Granmas have, by definition, put a few miles on their ears.  It kind of makes me feel 90+ to admit that, but it's true.  But the bigger problem is on the grandboy side, especially when grandboy becomes grandboyS.  Two grandboys do not make twice as much noise as one - they make three times as much.  Three grandboys make five times as much noise as two.  Those are just rough estimates, mind you, made by a Granma with aforementioned diminished hearing.

Some things Granma's hear but ignore.  For example, a little while ago I was playing with three grandboys in their bedroom when I heard a small "click."  There were no tears, so we continued on our way.  The next sound, also heard but discarded, was the closing of the bedroom door.  The third sound, spoken very softly with a kind of four-year-old hush that grabs the attention of Granmas everywhere, was, "Ah-oh.  I just locked the door."

This may not sound like a problem until you realize that the bedroom door locks from the hallway side, their parent's solution for keeping should-be-nappers corralled.  Still not a major panic, since it is a standard passage lock.  I only needed something ridged and skinny to pop the lock from the inside.  A hanger should do it - except that they were all of the plastic variety.  Bedroom toys were limited to the stuffed variety, which are great for cuddling, but totally useless for picking locks or popping hinge pins.

Fortunately, besides myself and three grandboys, my cell phone was also locked in the room.  I called their mother for her suggestion.  No problem, there is a Q-Tip on top of the door jam for just such an emergency.  Apparently Christine has heard the click and close followed by ah-oh, too.  Perfect!  Except that the swab-passing-as-key was not in its designated hiding spot.

Not wanting to call again, I made another sweep of the room.  The baseboard door bumper seemed to be my savior.  Unscrewing it from the wall, the attached screw should work.  Close!  But just a little to fat to grant us the freedom I was hoping for.

When I later told my son, the boy's father, about my dilemma, his suggestion was to climb out the window onto the porch roof, jump off the roof, and come in through the front door to unlock the bedroom door.  I immediately spied a couple of problems with this plan.  First, I wasn't at all sure the front door was unlocked, which would have left an open window and two locks between Granma and grandboys three.  Secondly, and more to the point, Granmas do not jump off roofs - well, they do on occasion, but only metaphorically.

I had not yet reached complete 911 panic, though it was on the horizon, when I saw the various pictures on the wall.  Taking one down, I was rewarded with the sight  of a small nail - small enough that the rest of the nail was embedded only in the drywall, and not something more substantial - better than a Q-Tip if only because it was available.  The next sound I heard was the small click of a lock releasing its hold, it echoed in my ears along with my sigh of relief!

Not exactly an escape worthy of Houdini, I suppose.  But call me Granma MacGyver, if you please!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Been There - Haven't Found the Exit Yet

So I started this blog on the premise that I am the mother of three and the grandmother of five BOYS.  There have been some female additions since then,whom I love very much - welcome Bella, Faith and Naomi!!!  They are breaking me in slowly and surely.  (Did you know that grandgirlies will actually walk around the block with you while pushing baby dolls in a baby carriage?!  Who knew?!)

Last weekend the family gathered for a birthday celebration for Colin and Corey.  Born 50 weeks apart, they have forever had to share birthday honors.  Side note:  my brother Bruce and I are also 50 weeks apart.  I spent many happy decades taunting that I was as old as he was for two whole weeks!  Now the tables have turned and he reminds me that I'm as old as he is for those two weeks annually.  He should end up with many more decades than I got to gloat over.

Anyway, there were 14 of us vying for food, table space and talk time.  Quite the cacophony of sound and bodies - and an absolute favorite for me!  The three at the top of the page are a generation removed.  What a funny way to say that - they aren't removed from ME!!!  I keep them as close as often as I can!

The victory gloat!
The two to the left, though, I get full credit for - which means half credit since it does take two to tango.  And what might they be doing?  Dinner is finished (not a leftover to be found) and cake is still to come.  The table, which had been set with table cloth, flowers and cloth napkins, is now missing a couple of napkins.  Court, sporting the impressive beard, and Colin, his backside front and center, are giving their best boyhood display of affection running around the house - with napkins - soaked in water - snapping at each other - leaving welts.  So what do I do but grab a camera and document.

It's only a matter of time before the grandboys will join in the fraying of the napkins.  It's just one of those things that boys do - to each other and to their sisters, too.  If you need help, girlies, I grew up with three brothers.  It just requires the right amount of water, feigned disinterest and a snap of the wrist when he least expects it.  Then run like crazy for your mom and dad, looking innocent as you hide behind them.  Oh, snap!!