Just Jazzy 92

D and J have gone to Cuba for a week so I get to enjoy the delightful company of my granddaughter until they return.  We’ve done some shopping that wasn’t necessary and eaten a lot of stuff that isn’t good for us and read our books long into the night.  There are many ways to have a holiday.

jazzy 92 001

It’s not a real day off unless you spend it doing things that are completely pointless.

Adding Up the Little Things

Piglet (Winnie-the-Pooh)

Piglet (Winnie-the-Pooh) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Last night when I was standing in the kitchen vacantly staring into a cupboard for five minutes, W asked me what I was looking for, and that made me remember it was ice cubes.  Whereupon I went directly to the fridge and found them.  I should mention here that W is a serious maker of ice cubes.  Our trays are never empty.  If we ever get an ice making fridge he will probably cry.

Then he asked me why there was a small hand-held mirror sitting on the kitchen counter.  That would be because I picked it up instead of my empty coffee cup to bring it from the computer to the dishwasher.  (And where is the coffee cup?) Oh… I’m not really worried about that, I’m sure it will turn up.

Now if you think this is heading towards my being grateful for slowly losing my mind, you would be wrong.  What I’m thankful for is W’s ability to refrain from making disparaging comments about my various scatter brained and brain-dead moments.  Sometimes he’ll make his confused face, or raise his eyebrows or roll his eyes, and sometimes he’ll do all three of those things at once, but he doesn’t really say much.  There might have been a time in our marriage when he did say a lot of things, but apparently nothing helped or made any difference and I suppose he’s finally just given up.

A few months ago we got a bill for our household insurance (they send the stupid thing three months before it comes due so they’re just asking for trouble, really) and I put it away in a safe place, and then about a week later they sent a credit statement of fifty some dollars for the same account.  So I decided I would wait for them to get out their calculators and send me a revised bill with the proper final amount owing on it and then I would pay them.  But that didn’t happen, and instead, much much later,  we received a rather rude letter telling us our account was past due and our insurance would be cancelled if we didn’t pay the mystery amount immediately.  I called them assholes.  W. agreed that they were indeed assholes, but urged me to pay them anyway.  So I did.

What he didn’t say was OMG, you have GOT to get ORGANIZED and KEEP UP with this shit!   So I am very grateful for that. Because he could have said it, and it would have been true, but then I would have stomped off and thrown some things, so he saved us from all that.

I don’t really want to get into the grocery fiascos we’ve had where we end up with three identical peanut butter jars and matching boxes of cereal, or enough salad dressing to last a lifetime – except that it doesn’t because of all those annoying expiry dates that you can’t believe are a year old already by the time you look at them.  W has just quietly taken over most of the food shopping.  He makes one list – ONE!  and doesn’t misplace it.  I married a grocery shopping genius. Wish I’d known that long before now.  Who knew men were capable of picking up more than just beer and fishing tackle.

W still lets me muck about doing most of the cooking but then he helps to clean up.  Amazing.  He either loves me a lot or he simply can’t stand looking at the mess for the next 12 to 24 hours.  I don’t really care why he does it, I’m just incredibly grateful that he does.  And he also turns on the dishwasher and knows how to empty it.  When he brings home take out I’m not sure which one of us is the most ecstatically thankful and appreciative and more than willing to rinse out the styrofoam containers and pop them in the recycle bin.

He always tells me who’s playing hockey or football or basketball on tv and then later he tells me who won, so I never have to watch any televised sporting events.  He lets me know when something interesting or earth shattering has happened in the world so I never have to pick up a newspaper and read it for myself.  He changes my tires and checks the oil in my car and even takes it to the car wash for me when we can no longer remember what color it used to be.

He clears the snow from our driveway and drives me to work when it’s forty below.  He says he’s concerned about my car sitting out in the cold all day, but I think he might also be concerned about me getting stranded with a vehicle that won’t start.   He lets me paint and hang pictures and rearrange the furniture however and whenever the mood strikes me.  (I’ve had a lot of bizarre moods over the years.)  If he’s not exactly supportive of some of my interests and hobbies and pastimes, he has never discouraged me either or interfered with my pursuit of them.

He does his own laundry!  We’ve been headed in this direction ever since I shrunk every woolen item he owned and turned all his underwear pink.  Whenever I put my clothes in the washing machine and forget about them, they will miraculously appear clean and dry and folded in a neat pile on my dresser half a day later.  Once I was going to complain about how the towels were folded but thankfully I was able to shut myself up before I ruined everything.

This man buys me spiced rum even though he hates it himself.  He listens to me complain about work even though he really doesn’t want to hear about it.  He never interrupts me when I’m reading, or doing things on my phone, or sitting at the computer for way longer than could possibly be healthy.

He asks me for my opinion.  He wants to know what I think.  He tells me I should do whatever makes me happy.

How in the world could I not be grateful for all that.

Number Eleven in the Book of Days

Why does December always seem to go blasting by us like a rocket ship on crack?  Not that I’ve ever seen one of those, but it’s the eleventh already?  Really?

Gingerbread

Gingerbread (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

Today was another very productive day for me at work where I compiled several long lists of things I have to get done in the next 14 days.  The gifts are pretty much finished (YAY!!) and now we’re on to ingredients for things that I just might get around to making, if I have the ingredients.  I try to bake shortbread cookies and butter tarts, and make at least one pan of fudge.  And that’s it, because the adults complain that they shouldn’t be eating any of those things.  (They also complain if they’re missing.)  And it’s best not to have an unlimited supply of sweet stuff and risk having the kids go into a sugar coma.

I even got around to doing some menu planning and thinking about kid activities like building a gingerbread house and making a fruit punch.  (To which the rest of us can add copious amounts of vodka after they go to bed.)  And that reminds me that we have to take a trip to the liquor store and make some kind of educated guess as to how much red wine grandma will need to make it through the holidays.

Here’s some great music to do your Christmas baking by – but I’ll warn you now, it will make you want to add a dash or two of Jamaica Rum to your gingerbread.

It’s Never Too Early (or Too Late) for Christmas Cheer

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a long day this has been – and it’s not over yet.  Not until I’ve finished my mug of Christmas Cheer.  I’m rewarding myself for making poor choices.  I decided tonight would be a good time to pick up some stocking stuffers, after working until 8:00 p.m. Most sane people would have headed home by then, wouldn’t you think?  It is now going on eleven o’clock.  I’ve been out there mingling with the crazies.

Actually it’s nobodys fault but my own for taking so long.  I have a really hard time making up my mind about things, as if the fate of the world rests on my decisions.  As long as there’s something funny and something to rot their teeth, kids are generally happy with whatever they get.  I know that.  But it doesn’t stop me from agonizing over things like tooth-brush colors.  Because God Forbid someone should get a green one when they prefer purple.

Even though they come in only one color, I hope no one is going to ask me for a hippopotamus this year.  I’d gladly sing the song for them though.  This has been one of my favourite Christmas songs forever.  No Christmas is complete without hearing it at least once, preferably by someone other than yours truly.  Enjoy.

A House Elf for Christmas

My house husband (he’s like a house elf except taller) is either bored out of his mind being home all day or really super excited about Christmas.  Just a second while I check the calendar .  It is still November, isn’t it?

Never EVER have we had our outside lights up, our Christmas tree decorated, and our cards on the table ready to be signed, sealed and sent before the middle of December.  Until now.  Every day some new Christmas thing magically appears on a doorknob or a shelf or a table or some random wall space.  Things I’ve had packed away and forgotten about are surfacing everywhere.  It’s a little scary.

For instance, there’s this card that I brought home from Scotland in 2007.  Because that’s what people do when they travel to Scotland – they buy Christmas cards and bring them home across the ocean.  I did that, so it must be true.

There was a box of different designs by Thomas Joseph and somehow I missed sending this one out to anyone. So now it’s a keepsake.  It was in a rather large box filled with a random assortment of unsent cards from years gone by which W is strongly suggesting I use up before purchasing more.  (Too late, but he doesn’t need to know that right now.)  And he also may have mentioned the many rolls of unused Christmas wrapping paper in the store-room.  As well as the fact that the whole house is full of an insane amount of shit.

So on the one hand he’s telling me to get rid of all this crap, and on the other he’s wondering whatever happened to that plastic ice holder thingy that used to be in the freezer because he’d like to put ice in it.  The more I think about it and search for it, the more convinced I am becoming that I probably threw it out last summer.  I went through a crazy stage in my life where I was making a supreme effort to get rid of a bunch of the shit that our house is so full of.  And see what happens when I try that.  So I’m not doing it again without supervision.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way being critical or trying to discourage whatever the hell he’s up to around here.  Even though some of my cupboards have been rearranged and he hangs things up that should go in the dryer and vice versa and he threw out my half glass of wine that had been sitting on the counter for about 48 hours.  Maybe I was letting it breathe.  He could have asked.

Nope, I’m actually thrilled that I didn’t have to wrestle with the stupid tree this year or figure out where to hang that snowman with the dangly legs which end in giant jingle bells.  When W goes to bring in the paper tomorrow morning with that thing hanging on the doorknob, whatever happens next will not be my fault.

Christmas tree

I think it’s excellent that he discovered we already had parmesan cheese out of sight in the back of the fridge, but his timing was off and he should have let me know that before I came home with more.  He’s been doing most of the grocery shopping and apparently I just mess up his system, so perhaps I should gracefully hand that responsibility over to him in its entirety.  I’ve done it for forty years, the next forty can be his.

I can’t get out of the Christmas card writing though. If he did the cards with his House Elf handwriting most people wouldn’t have a clue who sent them.  Sometimes he can’t even read what he’s written himself. So I’ll let him off the hook for that Christmas chore.  And I’ll probably still cook the turkey.

But everything else – wow – he’s doing a bang up job.  I will try to stay happy cheering from the sidelines.  For the next thirty days.  It’s gonna be a long Christmas.

What the Psychic Told Me

I’ve just spent an incredibly fun week with my sister – Ron and Jo arrived yesterday afternoon from Calgary to pick her up,  and they’ve headed back towards home this morning, via the states.  Shopping, eating out, going to movies, messing around with our PHONES.  Someone will no doubt invent something soon which will keep ones phone permanently attached to ones left hand!  Bridesmaids is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a very long time.  We liked it so much the first time, we took Jo with us last night and watched it again!    And of course we talked and talked and talked.

Yesterday we visited the Russian Tea Room on Jasper Avenue where readings are done – definitely a first for me, and I think it might be fun to go back again, being a little better prepared.  At the end she said she would answer ten questions for me, and after wracking my poor little brain I think I may have been able to come up with five.  I really wonder if my life is so incredibly boring that she couldn’t get into too much about me personally, but there was certainly lots and lots of stuff to do with family.  She did point out right away that I’m a very strong person, an earth sign surrounded by Alphas, but the one who keeps everything together – the rock of the family.  And apparently to me, home and family is everything.

I picked the Tarot cards and a full life reading – might as well go for the full meal deal.  Right away she started talking about my “son”, but it turned out to be my grandson once we established his age at 9 or 10.  He is bright and creative and destined to do something very brilliantly different with his life.  At some point he’ll have a falling out with either his father or his father-in-law.  I hope it’s not his dad – can’t even imagine that.  My ‘around the same age’ granddaughter also has a hidden passion yet to be discovered.  It will take her a very long time to figure out what it is and may involve books or writing, but it’s something she has to discover on her own.  If she marries, it will be later in life.    There is a pregnancy in the family that I’m very excited about, but it’s not my immediate family.  That would have to be my brother’s first grandchild, unless I’m missing something here.  There will also be a conception in October.  Which would mean another baby next July.  I suppose there’s many possibilities for that one.

She told me I’m separated from my husband.  That was a little disconcerting, even if she simply meant by distance.  But then I guess there’s all kinds of distances.  She said he has health problems but is in denial about them.  (Name me a guy to which that doesn’t apply).  I will outlive him.  It is highly unlikely that I will marry again.  Instead I will become the Ice Queen.  And my granddaughter is already the Ice Princess.  My son and his wife ‘take in strays’ and would like to save the world.  My daughter is the most spirited person in my life, and we have drifted apart and come back together many times.  She is a person who always gets what she wants, but mostly what she ‘wants’ is all wrong for her.   I have never much liked any of the men she’s been with,  although I don’t say so, and am just relieved when they’re gone, although also sad because I wish her happiness.

She told me my side of the family is all good, no big issues going on, but a lot of stuff going on with my husband’s side.  His father is not in good health and kind of done with living.  His mother will live to be 100.  (huge huge sigh from me…lol).  I did ask about W’s brother but she definitely skirted around that one, which makes me think the prognosis is probably not good.  For me, my blood pressure and circulation are possible areas of concern, and maybe some arthritis.  She told me I will have a stroke when I’m 93.  I made her repeat that number – how amazing if I live that long!  And she thinks the stroke might be fatal.  Gawd, at that age I don’t think I’d want any other outcome really.  She said I will never be rich, but will always be comfortably well off.  There is more money coming in the not too distant future.

She told me that I’m fed up and bored with my work and have lost all enthusiasm for it.  There is a move coming in the next 2 to 5 years, could even be sooner.  My husband does want to move and it’s possible that something will happen soon which will set the process in motion.  This next part of my life will see me being the happiest I’ve ever been, as long as I start preparing now deciding what I’m going to do with my time.  Otherwise I’ll sit around twiddling my thumbs going stir crazy.  She suggested that I like boats and fishing.  That got an eye roll.  I’m sure they’re in my future, but liking them is a stretch.  She also told me I think I don’t like to travel, but that it’s really something I secretly enjoy doing and I should do more of it.  There will be two trips this year, one inland and one having to do with an ocean, although not necessarily crossing it.  And this Christmas may be a good time to break with tradition and take a trip.  (Later Dana told me she and Jen have been thinking about a Mexican Christmas!  I’m sure they were wondering how they’d ever convince me to join them!!)  I’m so obviously a stick in the mud about so many things.

I have also come to a point in my life where I’m completely done with solving other people’s problems.  I just don’t want to do it anymore.  I want them to ‘get out of my head’.  She said that my sister and I are very different.  (Since other psychics have consistently told Ann she is a born healer, I will have to assume that a healer is something I definitely am not.)

Anyway, what can I say?  The whole process was just great fun.  Next time I’ll feed whoever it is a lot more information, and I’m sure that will give me a lot more interesting stuff in return.  And I’ll definitely dream up a few more questions!  Man, what a completely uncurious person I am.  Dana had her reading done right after mine, and I think the psychic quite enjoyed doing the mother/daughter thing.  There is a soul mate in Dana’s future!  I’m more excited about it than she is I think!!  Too funny.  We must just sit back and let the universe unfold as it should.  Or something like that.  And when you think about it, seriously, what else can you do?

All That Jazz

It is April 18th and I have missed many many prompts this month.  But hey!  I can catch up!  It’s not like I didn’t drop by Plinky and read all of them, but the mood and the ambition to answer them never surfaced.  Still hasn’t, if you’d like to know the truth.  No matter.  In the interests “getting shit done for no apparent reason” I am answering them now.  I’ve just finished doing three income tax returns and I’m totally bummed out telling the truth about stuff.   Time to make things up.  Or not.  It’s always a fine line.

Describe your most memorable birthday.  Perhaps that would be my thirteenth.  Suddenly a teenager and yet not feeling a lot different from my normal barefoot tomboy self.  Thinking I’d better get on it and take that shiny red birthday purse and run with it and start liking boys and teen magazines and rock and roll.  Growing up was a confusing process.  I’m not altogether sure I got it right.

If you were a genre of music, what would you be? Jazz, baby.  Without a doubt.

Describe what your handwriting looks like.  It used to be all nice and round and slanted in one direction and freaking perfect.  I won first prize at a fall fair once in grade eight.  Now I rarely write anything by hand, and when I do I usually print in big block capital letters.  I DO NOT KNOW WHY.

Do you have any good tricks for remembering names?  Nope.  I promptly forget them in thirty seconds or less.

What did you do to land yourself in the back of a police car?!  No policeman has every asked me to get into the back of his car.  Other men have tried.  A couple may have succeeded.

Would you rather be a great singer or a great dancer? Since my talent in both of those areas is sadly lacking, I suppose it’s a toss-up.  On a normal day I would not pick either one.  Or great actor, or great anything.  Except maybe writer.  So I could supply all those singer/dancer/actor people with great music and great scripts.  And just hang around in the background being quietly great, rather than flamboyantly so.

What are the 3 most significant historic events that have occurred in your lifetime?  Significant is such a broad term with so many different degrees of significantness, depending on who you are and where you find yourself at random historical moments.  I was about two weeks old when the Chinese Red Army occupied Shanghai.   I was a month old when the state of Vietnam was formed, with Bao Dai as its emperor.  And a year old when the troops of Ho Chi-Minh attacked Cambodia.  I was blissfully ignorant of these historical events and not directly affected by them, as far as I know.  I have managed to remain in a similar state for most of my life.

When did you first start using a computer regularly? In the 1980’s and 90’s I guess.  Mostly I used to play solitaire for hours on end.  Now I play Farmville.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.

What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened to you so far this year?  I promised myself that I would write a blog a day.  Then I revised that to a blog a week.  Then I missed about three weeks all at once.  None of that was unexpected at all, if you know me and my procrastinating ways.   Usually I would feel incredibly guilty about it though.  So the strange thing is that I don’t, really.  Huh.

If you had your own television show, what would it be about?  I would bring back Arrested Development and have all the people who were  involved in it  just carry on from where they left off.  That was the best series ever, and I miss it terribly.

 What’s the oldest thing you own?  Does one “own” ones husband?  Because he’s pretty damned old.  Grandma’s rocking chair is older I guess.  But not nearly as interesting.

Name three things that are worth waiting in long lines for.   A public bathroom.  A table at your absolutely favourite restaurant.  (Although W. would strongly disagree with that one).  And the thrill of finally getting to the airport security scanner to find that the woman in front of you is trying to go through with three large bottles of wine in her carry on bag and CANNOT understand what the problem is.  It’s not like she’s going to be drinking it, so what is up the ass of those security people anyway?  True story.  Well worth the wait.

When was the last time you received a handwritten letter via snail mail?   Oh crap.  It was a week or so ago, and it was a kind of chain letter, and I was supposed to buy six lottery tickets and send them off to somebody or other.  I wonder where the hell that got to.

Describe your most recent shopping splurge.  Why, are you looking to be bored to death?  I bought three brightly colored mixing bowls from Walmart once.  Another time involved the purchase of some very large carrots.

If you could have dinner anywhere in the world tonight, where would you go?   Really?  Anywhere in the WORLD?  Buckingham Palace.  With the queen.  I like the way she talks.  And I’ve always wondered if she ever takes a tray and plunks herself down in front of the telly to watch What Not to Wear while she’s eating her royal repast.  And if she likes ketchup.  So many questions to which I will never know the answers.

Describe a time when you performed a random act of kindness.  I perform random acts of kindness every day, and I hope I will continue to do that for as long as I’m able.  It’s called common courtesy, actually.  I wish more people knew about it.

Did you pull any pranks on April Fool’s Day? Did you fall for any?  No, and No.  No no no no no.  Pranks are stupid and very often not a lot of  fun for the prankee.  Pranksters should be strongly encouraged to  find a more productive hobby.

Well, that’s it!  How EASY was that, to answer all these silly questions and still have time to……ummmmm?  Wow.  Now what am I supposed to do.  Look for that chain letter?  Get a head start on next years taxes?  Go somewhere and wait in line for something?  Plan my most spectacularly memorable birthday ever?  It’s less than a month away after all.  I could get right on it.  Tomorrow or the next day, or, you know, whenever.  Next year.  Never.  No point in pushing myself.   It would just make me feel bad if I didn’t push hard enough.