to your mother


Friday, May 27, 2016

Five on Friday

I have a lot of pictures on my cell phone (perhaps 40?) which bogs down my memory (my phone has no internet access and the typewriter part slides out...that's right I said typewriter). I often have to delete a picture in order to take a picture. You see, usually when I take a picture with my phone it is impromptu...I'm not expecting a picture-taking moment. Life just happens and I don't have my camera (yes, I still have one of those...sensing a living-in-a-technology-cave theme?) I keep these pictures on my phone so I can relive the feeling of "awwwwwww, I remember how happy the kids were on the last day of school last year" and " awwwwwwww, I remember when I didn't know how to spell diareha and kept texting Emily about diarhhiea and misspelled it a different way each time and it made me laugh so hard that it was a joyous moment in my life kind of like that Chewbacca mom video but I live in a techno cave so I never thought to take a video of it and becoming famous. Wait a minute, where was I? Oh.

During my 3:00 a.m. thoughts a few nights ago I thought "Hey, I can post those pics on my blog, write about the memories and then whenever I want to relive those memories I can look on the blog. I'll post five at a time so it's not overwhelming. Hey, I'll post five each Friday. Wait. Did I tell Dad I was coming up tomorrow? Doesn't matter, if I did he will probably forget anyway. Wait. Have I shaved my legs recently? If I teach preschool I'm going to have to shave my legs more often, those kids are always rubbing on my leg when I do a read-aloud. Did Mike ever change our address on Dollar Shave Club?" Racing thoughts. Yes. Yes they are.

 This card was from Don. In typical Don fashion, he sent it to me at the perfect time. The sparkling smiley face - the simple lowercase hello - sunny and happy - just what I needed that day. After a few weeks the kids coveted the card, picked off all the jewels and hid them away in their rooms. We have since moved and two years after receiving this card I found one of those jewels on the living room carpet. Joy.

This is Halloween circa 2014. Julie was a mermaid among a sea of Elsa-s and Anna-s. I was so proud. Her originality brought me a smile. Joseph looked though the costumes in his closet and decided to be a race car driver. Yeah! Simple enough just put that suit and goggles on and walk out the door. No. Not that simple. In true Joseph-the-thinker fashion, he needed a car that would be around him so he could actually look like he was driving. Angry Mama arrived because loving Mama felt overwhelmed. Loving Mama took a deep breath for perspective and angry Mama took the backseat. I covered a box with red paper and Joseph proceeded to decorate and design the rest. I helped a little with the hood but the rest he did on his own. He even cut out a hole for the gas tank and taped a bag to the inside so he would use the candy he collected as fuel. People got a chuckle out of filling his gas tank.

 Mike took this selfie in 2014. He texted it to me with a message about how much he loves me. Mike does not take selfies. The pictures he traditionally sends me are cars he wants to buy or a picture of self-rising flour and bleached flour in order to ask which I want while he is grocery shopping (neither sweetheart, but I am soooooooooooooo grateful you are doing the grocery shopping. Sooooooooooo. Grateful.) Two reasons this warms my heart. 1. Mike looks genuinely happy.  2. This handsome dude DIGS ME.

 Joe had lost his second tooth. The two windows in his smile made me smile. Still does.

I looooove the look on Joe's face in this picture. MaMa, otherwise known as Dad's brother Myron's wife Maxine, gave the kids stickers to decorate their jack-o-lanterns in fall of 2014. She said she liked them because then you didn't have the mess and hassle of carving. Well, we did the sticker ones but the kids didn't realize this was to replace carving and they screamed, yelled and threw one hell of a fit were very disappointed. We went back out and bought two more pumpkins to carve. At the time I thought I could hear Maxine laughing all the way from St. Mary's County...She raised 3 boys and a girl, you know...she KNOWS about kid-sized disappointment.

More cell phone memories to come next Friday...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Manor Manicures

Every Thursday is hair salon and manicure day at the Manor. It's fun to see the ladies all dolled up for lunch, the way their eyes get bright when you say "Boy your hair looks nice today Margaret!"

Mom hasn't partook(?) partaken(?) (Kellee, help  sister out here) in a hair cut yet. She has been keeping her hair a short, straight chin length for the past few years. But let it be known, hair dos at the Manor are $5 ahead to make sure they can fit you in. (Kellee, I feel like I can put a but at the beginning of that sentence but I'm not sure the rule. See how I didn't end that sentence with is? Well, whoopsie.)

After two weeks of no-not-for-me, really-I'm-fine, nope-I'll-pass Mom finally caved and got a manicure...
Thursday, May 19, 2016

When I walked into Mom's apartment, she laughed and giggled to see me, then she promptly put her hand out towards me. I took it, shook it, and used it to pull her into a hug. She pushed me away and put her hand out again, twinkling her fingers.

PA: Oh my word! You finally caved and got a manicure!
Mom: Yes! (twinkle twinkle twinkle)
PA: (trying to make a joke) Did you pay half price? (her right hand is curled up from the stroke...and the manicures are free)
Mom: (harumphing...twinkle twinkle twinkle)
PA: Oh my word! Each finger is a different color! 
Mom: (smiling laughing) YES! (she pats me as if she's forgiving me for being dense) 

Onward to lunch.

 Faith (personal care provider) approached Mom and says, "Let me see your nails, I heard they are something special today". Mom twinkles at her. "Oh they are beautiful and just your style!" The manicurist (personal care provider, I haven't committed her name to memory yet) comes by to admire Mom's nails. She tells me that, with no prompting from Mom, she decided to paint each one of Mom's nails a different color because Mom always wears mismatched socks.

People? This Manor place is a Magical place. These angels who are taking care of Mom are truly gifts. Painting Mom's nails different colors? The Manor just scored 1,298,456 points in my book (but who's keeping track).

And Kellee. This end-mark inside the parenthesis, outside the mind goes back  to English class at Glenwood Middle School. The room was kinda dim, there was a definite old-book-paper smell. is am are was were be being been do does did I memorized all that stuff but for the life of me I can't remember the parenthesis rule. I think it bothers me because of my grandma Loyd and Bat...those ladies knew what was right and wrong, I tell you.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cinco de Mayo Manor Style

I visited Mom at the Manor today...note it was TODAY.

Little did I know that the Manor was celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
On May19th.
14 days AFTER the 5th of May.

This Manor place? They roll like Loyd's like to roll. As Dad said after I reported on the day "Any excuse for a party...even if its late".  

The Manor dining room was very festive. Each table had sombreros made from a small paper plate and cup, pompoms glued around the edge with mini chocolate bars scattered around the rim. Mexican music softly played from a corner. Personal care providers were laughing and dancing with residents. The activity lady wore a sombrero as she wheeled  around a lunch cart, passing out pieces of delicious homemade tres leche cake. In a baggie at each place setting there was a rendition of a sombrero made from a round cookie with a gumdrop in the center. Attached to the baggie was a paper cutout of a red sombrero. This last detail is important...


I have a gazillion stories about Mary B. but for now I'll just tell you this one.

Yes. That is the paper cutout of the red sombrero that was attached to Mary B.'s baggie.
Yes. That is masking tape keeping the paper cutout red sombrero attached to Mary B's head.
Yes. Mary B., in all seriousness, ate her taco salad wearing her paper cutout red sombrero.
Yes. Mom loves - super loves - Mary B. And Mary B. super loves Mom.

More later on Mary B.  I just might need to start a separate blog for her, otherwise in a few months you all will believe that Mary B. is the actual person I go to see at the Manor.

Mom is adjusting well to living at the Manor. I'll blog about Mother's Day at some point, but I just had to skip ahead to today.  I didn't want you all to miss out on Cinco de Mayo Manor style.