Grammy Notes

PHOTO: I kept tropical fish for about 30 years, until I couldn’t manage the upkeep any more. My 90-gallon show tank has been sitting empty in the living room for a long time. Over the week-end, I had a massive brainstorm to clean it out and put the Three Kings in there. They’re GORGEOUS ceramic pieces, about 12″ tall, that I won at a Christmas raffle back in the 90s. They instantly became my favorite holiday decor. I’m seriously thinking about making some kind of thematic back drop for them and letting them live in there full time where they’re safe, visible, and making the tank pretty instead of the giant eyesore it’s been since the last fish died.

On to a special edition of Grammy Notes! My cup is runnething over, because the Texans are in town for almost a whole week! Their PN nicknames shalt henceforth be Prince, Princess (aka, our second born), Jay (m. aged 9), May (f. aged 7), and Rey (f. aged 4). Here are my Precious Memories from Monday, December 19, 2022.

The day started off with a smelly towels crisis at their hotel that was averted by Nonno bearing gifts of scent-free terry cloth (but no gold or myrrh).

Master Chef Prince rose to the challenges posed by an unfamiliar kitchen with no grill (imagine!), a mother-in-law with allergies, and not enough butter. (Who runs out of butter?!) But He Overcame and produced a YUGE brunch worthy of royalty … two kinds of sausage, eggs short ordered to one’s desire, grated cheese, sauteed honey-fermented-garlic, buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup, and a giant bowl of the most scrumptious mix of black, red and blue berries.

The day passed quickly with a flurry of activities, broken by “Kids, we all need to go OUTSIDE FOR SNOW PLAY” while Grammy grabbed a much-needed nap. I have no idea what all Nonno was up to, but I suspect it was a similar blur of high quality time involving games, books, eating and talking. Somehow or other, in the midst, the kitchen got cleaned and Prince went shopping (again), then cooked (again), and served dinner … melt-in-your-mouth steak cooked (again without a grill).

Sharp-eye Rey discovered my Corduroy book and stuffy combo, so we read together and learned what happens when the letter h gets paired with c, t, and s, what “aw“ (as in, “That’s so cute!”) sounds like and how it’s different from “oh” (as in, “I am so surprised!”), and how “I have” and “I’ve” mean the same thing. We also practiced the differences in tongue and lips between bee and dee and talked about how knowing those can help a girl remember how to make the B, D, b, and d letters.

I was thrilled to continue the crochet lessons with Jay and May that were begun during their last visit, back before the plandemic. Their supplies and projects have been waiting for them in my old camera case under the glass table in the living room. Both of them made MAJOR strides in learning the tricky, but critical pinch/pinch/pinch method for keeping perfect tension and stitch size. May struggled with her much smaller hands. I told her what a “learning curve” is and why it takes a lot of stick-to-it-iveness to do crochet, because there is so much to learn all at once right in the beginning.

Both of them managed to produce quite a few perfect single crochet stitches all on their own! Jay also mastered single crochet turns; he is determined to finish a wash cloth to take home. May, who is working on a little hat, inadvertently learned about increasing and decreasing, but we talked about the math and she decided to leave one of each in that row, since the total came out the same. Both of them were intrigued to realize I had crocheted the bowl cozies we use in the microwave. Jay asked how they work, since they’re not done in straight rows like their projects. So I demonstrated the magic circle, which garnered me some wide eyes. LOL

We started the Big Doll House Seek and Find with the living room, emptying all the movable pieces on to the table and exploring everything until each child had found all the items on the list. Jay objected somewhat when I pointed something out to Rey. I said, “She’s the littlest, so she gets a handicap. Do you know what that means?” Eye roll: “Yeah.” 🙂 Then littlest Rey caught something the rest of us had missed. Namely, that the teensy weensy “candy canes in a glass jar” are really peppermint sticks, not candy canes. A few things came unglued here and there, but Grammy was chill and just glued them back on. Good for Grammy!

May and Rey spent quite a lot of quiet time alone in my office, experimenting with my art supplies, after which we had lessons in “Why we never, ever leave the brushes IN the water“, after which we learned how to properly wash and dry paint brushes! We also learned why the colored pencils are stored point up while the colored markers go point down. (Princess: “Does this mean I won’t find markers on the floor with the caps off ever again?” LOL She wishes.) May really, Really, REALLY enjoyed my electric eraser, so I plugged it in to recharge while demonstrating to her how to use the big brush to sweep all the eraser crumbs into the trash. Later, I showed Jay how to replace the eraser she’d used up.

Jay reminded me how to play Mancala; we ended 1-1. Then, I finally got to fulfill a years-long Grammy dream of teaching him how to play Backgammon … not just the rules, but also the strategy. We ended that 1-1 also. I saw some people playing Othello and Uno and I don’t know what else. The kids had NO trouble remember where the toys live, but were bug-eyed that they have expanded beyond the white shelves and now also fill the cupboard under the fish tank! Jay spent a lot of time playing war games with LEGO minifigs and asking me who I thought would win. Rey had a lot of fun with the castle, the school bus, and the little people. The kids all live in the castle, but I don’t know if Batman ever found the school or if he just drove around randomly looking for it while the unbelted children rioted in the back of the bus. 🙂

Prince and I got some quality time to talk. Princess and I mostly cleaned together, but hopefully we can have a good girly talk catch up before they leave. I’m holding up well so far and Princess is very concerned about making that last. Daisey is struggling with the commotion; she’s had two potty accidents and requested some time outs in her crate. I asked the kids to mostly leave her alone, because she’s an old lady now and has some health issues. May said, “Thirteen isn’t old!” I said, “It is in doggy years!” I realize some toy poodles live a lot longer, but Daisey isn’t going to be one of them. She’s let them pet her a few times and Jay has given her her heart meds twice. They taste wonderful and he wants her to like him. 🙂 I think they also took her for a walk with Nonno while I was napping.

The only down side of the day was that, we were having so much fun that nobody thought to take any photos! This morning, I puttered around, cleaning the kitchen and making stew out of some of the left-overs, then came here to rest with all y’alls before the gang arrives for the afternoon and evening. Please pray for my health and energy to hold out until Friday. This time together is so very precious!

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One response to “Grammy Notes

  1. Well, with all that going on, I guess we can spare you to miss a few Bits & Bytes. 😀

    Lord, give chrissy strength to endure all the happiness of a blessed family Christmas.

    We had a mini-Christmas today at daughter & son-in-law’s. They’re leaving tomorrow, possibly in a blizzard, to be with his folks for Christmas. In New York. Can you imagine?

    Staying-home local family may meet at their house for real Christmas. Or if we get snowed in, we’ll just hide under the covers until the arctic blast is past. It’s Oklahoma. It won’t last long. Prroooobablyyyy… It’ll be Christmas on Christmas Day, whatever happens.
    The Innkeeper got a bad rep

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