Monday, February 13, 2017

A WIDOW'S VALENTINE'S DAY


Mr. Ralph was very romantic.  He didn't need Valentine's Day to buy flowers or treats or to light candles.  So I'm not sure why I feel a bit sad this year.

I volunteered to babysit so the kidults could go out but so far they have not made reservations so who knows.  My plan is to let each boy make their own heart shaped pizza.  If I get motivated, I might make snickerdoodle dough and let them make heart shaped cookies.

Yesterday I bought small red bags, Valentine tissue paper, a small amount of candy and I'll put in a $5 bill for their banks (saving for Legos).

It sure would be nice to be sharing all this with Mr. Ralph.  Bet he will be on my shoulder!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

NO LONGER AN AWKWARD WIDOW

After three and a half years, I can usually talk about Mr. Ralph without crying.  Not always, but most of the time.  It's a joy to be back with Kate and her family.  She misses her Dad almost as much as I miss him.

His birthday was January 31 and we wanted to celebrate.  Usually they go to his favorite restaurant but it is no longer Italian ... now very spicy nouveau Mexican.  It's hard to take a three year old out to a restaurant, so we brought in Mr. Ralph's second favorite food .... Chinese!  I made a cherry cobbler for a special dessert.


Even though Deacon never got to meet him, he talks about him as if he did (and does!)

Some blogger friends change the name of their blog, maybe starting out as widow friends, but change to suit their now lives.  I think I am just going to keep the same name.  Just know that life is not as awkward.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

WORDS. DEFINITIONS. CONNOTATIONS.

Words are amazing.


Maybe that is why my blogging is such an enjoyable hobby.  The Thesaurus is my best friend, especially when driving home an idea.

I can usually get my point across to others by using words.  Of course, I have to be careful when sending something short and quick so that I don't seem abrupt.  And I add emoticons to help soften a request or complaint.
So imagine my surprise when I posted on a young lady's FB page only to be barraged by accusatory comments regarding the word "thug."


She posted an opinion page from a small city newspaper disparaging protesters who cause so much destruction and trouble.




I commented "One stupid person's stupid opinion. I do wish there was something we could do to STOP the paid thugs that go to the protests... especially those who were arrested TWICE for bringing violence to protests. Give everyone some peace of mind ..."

One of her friends posted 

"thug" is a word that has deeply racist implications, hth! to which I replied 


No, no, not what I meant at all!   I'm using this definition for THUG: 

noun

1.  a violent person, especially a criminal.
          synonyms: ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal


A different friend chimed in with "The word "thug" has racial undertones that have been reinforced through media and socialization. Rarely (it has at times) has the word been used to depict whites whereas it has been normalized or often equated with inner-city Black males who may or may not be part of any organized crime. It has also become synonymous with impoverished people of color. Reference The New Jim Crow, Unsteady March, Responsibility for Justice, and other texts that lend a critical race lens to communication and depictions. 

I accept that you do not mean it in a racialized way, but the truth is that your intentions have little to do with the history of the word."

Me:  I will try not to use any more words until you approve them! 🤓

Him:  I am sorry that you believe you are being censored simply by being educated.

Me:  I don't quite feel "educated". Which dictionary is OK to use? Webster-Merriam?  Wikipedia?  

Him:  I respect your decision to only utilize a single type of information to attempt to make your point. As a former English Teacher, I would find it problematic to teach students the basic definition of words absent context. It is amazing how language develops and takes upon deeper meanings-- sometimes positive and other times negative. Maybe you should look into some linguistic books?

Me:  Once someone brought up the idea that thug WAS a racist word, I did check several sources. I pointed out (and posted, twice) the definition I was using in this case. No need to suggest linguistic books. I'm respectful enough to define my words should someone not understand them they way I meant.

Him:  why continue using the word knowing the context then, if you did the research? Why not choose an alternate word knowing the racial undertones?

Me:   My sources do not mention the racial undertones .... but I did change my original statement to "criminals" instead of "thugs". That work OK?

Him:  I appreciate you being willing to alter your word usage as it can be damaging to some populations. 

Whippersnapper!  It was my own fault for not simply taking down my first statement.  I must have been argumentative yesterday.  There's no last word with a liberal millennial these days ....








Wednesday, January 18, 2017

COMPETITION

Really, I am in competition with no one.

I just try to be better than I was yesterday, or last week.

Maybe I am just a nurturer at heart (started babysitting at age 11) and I enjoy giving hugs and compliments.  Now that I am an active part in this small family, I am finding so many ways to help.

(beating cabin fever with new costumes)

Last week I bought some granola.  The next day it was gone!  It turns out that Jesse LOVES granola yet rarely buys it because it is expensive.  So I looked up a recipe and went to Costco.  I've made two batches in five days!  I like mine on top of plain Greek yogurt.  Jesse even likes it for dessert!  I made one recipe with honey and one with maple syrup.  Both are excellent.

Braeden usually brings his lunch to school.  Dad usually would pack PBJ, carrots and a bottle of water.  Mom would pack 8,315 little containers of tidbits but they only get about 25 minutes for lunch.  I asked him what he would like for lunch ... and he ate it all.  So each night I tell him what we have.  He is mostly vegetarian so I make sure he picks a protein ... hard boiled egg, protein bar, string cheese, yogurt ... then as many fruits and veggies as he thinks he will eat.  Of course, he's only had 5 days of school since Dec 14 ....
(this is what he does on his days off .... )

I may as well confess.  I even give Bosko (the 65 lb dog) a bite of my toast or sandwich as a treat.  Not from the table (although he still begs)(fun to sit under Mr. 2.5)  Each night I get the coffee pot ready to turn itself on.  Once a week I've been making cookies.  We watch a family movie once a week.  

I'm competing with myself to be a better woman and grandmother.  Mr. 2.5 is a strong willed child and Kate turned me onto 20 minute podcasts by an author who has learned from Magda Gerber.  I have learned SO much about how to better deal with him.  Respectful parenting and how best to cope with a high needs toddler.  Today Mr. 6 went to school and Dadda went on a cleaning spree.  I had Mr. 2.5 to myself six hours and all Janet Lansbury's advice worked!
(Chillin out in the laundry basket)

For now, the competition is not too stiff.  Just me, myself and I!




Sunday, January 15, 2017

FOR THE LOVE OF .....

Braeden sleeps at the foot of my bed so that we can get to bed early on school days.  Also, we we get up we don't wake up the others!  One parent sleeps with Deacon in the king bed and the other parent sleeps in the boys room on a bunk bed.  Odd, I know, but on the days Kate works, she uses the boys room.  Then they switch.

One of our first snow nights, Kate and Jesse decided to go for a moonlight walk.  We three were down for the night.  Soon we heard knocking on my bedroom door and fearful shouting of Gramma, Gramma ... Braeden jumped to open the door and little guy ran right into my arms.  

"No Momma, no Dadda and I scared."  

Braeden said "go get your lambie and your bobba!"

"No, I too scared."  

Don't worry, I'll get them ... and bravely went into the dark bedroom.

Both boys climbed into my twin bed and we snuggled (as I texted Mom) and Deacon asked me to sing songs.  I made up some silly songs and sang quietly (both giggling appropriately).  The parents were home in 10 minutes.

The best ten minutes of my life so far.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WHAT AM I THINKING?


I entered a random drawing for a community garden plot ... and I won!  There are two sizes, 10x20 and 20x20.  Oh my gosh!  Even 10x20 is huge!!  But that is what we got.

6 year old has loved growing a cherry tomato plant in a pot by the front door.  He and I are the only ones who love tomatoes so we would just pop them in our mouths.  Jesse also loves tending gardens and recently started a compost bin in front of the condo (a terrible big no no so hopefully we can move it to the new garden).

Luscher Farm is part of the Lake Oswego Parks and Rec department.  It was donated many, many, many years ago by Rudy Luscher.  He sold it to the City in return for them caring for the place and allowing him to live there until the very end.  I used to drive the Adult Center van and back then, at 95, he was sharp as a tack and hysterically funny.  He ran it as a dairy farm, with chickens as a side note.  It totals just over 100 acres with 180 organic garden plots.  It also houses a soccer field, two dog parks and a walking/ biking path along the perimeter.  The original home and barn now house classes and camps.  Our city does an amazing job with parks and offering classes for young and old.

Jesse and Mr. 6 are excitedly making plans about what to grow!  If it is too much for us to eat, we can donate to the City and they will give to the Adult Center lunch program or for Center members.

Stay tuned! 






Tuesday, January 3, 2017

PIPSQUEAK CONVERSATIONS

I wish that TV show was still on the air.  Art Linkletter and "Kids Say the Darndest Things."  The things that come from these little tykes often makes me laugh out loud!

2.5 year old:  (Apologizing to a toy soldier)  Sowwy liddle man.  You da bad guy. 

6 year old:  What's the difference between a hurricane and a tornado?  (we looked that up online)

2.5:  After Mom sternly put him back on the restaurant booth bench "Ow! Mom you BWOKE my awrm"  Whereupon everyone in the place turned and looked at us.

6:  I can't sleep in a dinosaur nest by your bed any more.  I'm a big boy now so let's just call it a regular bed.

2.5  Pwivacy pweese (when using bathroom)  Then he locks us out and gets into anything available to him.  Whenever he is QUIET, we go check!  (we now have a key by each door that locks, up on the door jamb)

6:  Are Grammas allowed to give boys a bath because, you know, down there?

2.5:  Can I come in your room and chill out?

6:  I don't like beef stroganoff.  I like beef, I like noodles, I like mushrooms and I like sauce to dip in.  But not all crazy mixed up together.  Yukky.

2.5:  (when it is time to pick up toys)  I too tired.  I better take a nap.

6:  Gramma, will you hold me like a baby?