Archive for the ‘Mother’s Day’ Category

The Mother’s Day Gift that Keeps on Giving Through Father’s Day

June 21, 2020

Our son, Aaron, flew out to Idaho with his two kids on April 15, 2020 after their daycare in Alpharetta, Georgia, shut down because of Covid-19. How could he and his wife, Wei, both work full time jobs from home and take care of four-year old Franklin and 14-month old Bailey running wild at home? The Georgia Covid numbers were much higher than here in southeast Idaho. We wanted to help them. So we developed a plan – he’d fly out here with them, grandma and grandpa (David and I) and aunty Megan would babysit the grandkids, while Aaron worked remotely from our home office. Wei stayed back in Georgia working from home, we’d figure it all out as time went on.

Fast forward to mid-June. All told, Aaron, Franklin and Bailey stayed with us two months. Georgia opened up again, and Aaron and the kids flew back to Atlanta on June 11.

We enjoyed lots of adventures sheltering in place at our house in Idaho over that eight-week period with Aaron and our two grandkids. We took family walks around the neighborhood on some fine spring evenings (maintaining social distancing of course):

April 26, 2020

In retrospect, it’s a wonder to me how David and I raised three kids. How could I have been a stay-at home mom?  While the grandkids are precious, filling our lives with constant delights and surprises, it is honestly quite exhausting to entertain a 4-yr-old and 14-month old at home throughout the day, every day. From the moment they wake up (with the birds it seemed) each wanting different breakfasts, to the moment you finally get them both tucked into bed at night, you run around like a staff of five, with the feeding, diaper changing, cleaning up spills, pulling toys and games out of your butt to entertain them, in this case, separately, because Bailey is too young for legos, and loves to step in and destroy whatever Franklin has built with one stroke.  Thus, our dining room table, and kitchen counters were quickly relegated to Franklin’s legos, and airplanes, and … whatever else got tossed on on them out of Bailey’s reach.

‘Situation normal’

Although, Franklin was a big help to David when mowing the lawn.

Megan and Bailey were best buddies at the get-go. Girl Power!! At age 4, Franklin is absolutely certain that he’s too old for naps.  I would beg to differ on most days as he would fall into a perpetual whine by 4 pm, lying underfoot as you attempt to make dinner, dragging his ‘pillow’ around. Bailey is down to one nap a day, our strategy was to keep her active and busy till 1 pm, give her a bottle, then nestle her in the pack’n play for hopefully a two-hour blissful reprieve.  

Imagine the ecstasy I felt on Mother’s Day, May 10, when, miraculously, both Franklin and Bailey went down for naps at 1 pm. Megan retired to the basement to watch Netflix, David sat at the computer to do crosswords, wow, perfect time for me just to crash on the living room couch, grab a power nap, bask in the quiet, reflect on the legacy of my motherhood …. lying there on the couch looking up at the ceiling, hey, what’s that? I hadn’t even fully positioned my body into comfort mode when I noticed a wet spot on the ceiling above me.  What?  How can that not be a water leak?

I called to David to come down and look at the ceiling in the den.  Well, what do you know?  A Happy Mother’s Day gift from the upstairs toilet. What the hell? We should deal with this right now, while the kids are sleeping. David cuts the wet chunk out of the ceiling. Chunks of plaster come raining down, he pulls out the saturated insulation. “Go flush the toilet and see what happens.”  Sure enough water hits him in the face from the hole in the ceiling, dang we weren’t quite prepared for this.  We spend the rest of nap-time getting the plaster mess splayed over the carpet and couch out of there before the kids are into it.

What’s wrong with this picture?

So, yeah.  I guess when we replaced the tile in the upstairs bathroom, like, five years ago, the toilet hadn’t been reset properly and had been slowly leaking all this time.  Except we didn’t flush it that much, so the spills didn’t penetrate the ceiling till Aaron and the grandkids were using it.  

For God’s sake! Don’t flush the upstairs toilet! Not pretty.

David just set the wet chunk of cut-out ceiling on top of our heating/air conditioning unit outside to dry out.  

Which it has.  Like, weeks ago.  Sitting atop that unit suits that piece of ceiling just fine.  

Meanwhile, we’ve been carrying on as if nothing is awry in our den.  

Except one morning we looked up, there was Tigger. He had apparently bounced so hard he crashed into the ceiling.

What mischief had he and all the other stuffed animals been into during the night?

 

Frankly, over the past 8 weeks, Tigger has been bouncing all over the house. Meanwhile, I’ve taken several still-life photos of the ceiling situation, and honestly, could that hole in the ceiling somehow, if you will, look like it was carved out purposely to complete, say, a three-dimensional wall/ceiling abstract grouping?

Good feng shui? Nice balance with the new ceiling treatment

I had about convinced myself that I could actually just live with it. What the hell. The hole in our ceiling is not hurting anything. No one ever sees it now except us, with this Covid-19.  Besides, it would serve as an interesting conversation starter if or when we entertain guests in our home again.

Alas, Aaron and the kids are gone now, been gone for … 10 days. We’ve cleaned the house, spic and span, restored the dining room to its old self. (How do you spell peace and quiet?)

Wow! We no longer have to eat standing up!

All the kids’ toys are put away, down to the last lego we discovered yesterday under the dishwasher.

“Hello!”

Boy does the house look spiffy! Uh, except for the gaping hole in our den ceiling.  It has to go. 

David is on it.  I say that because, well, I’m not. Can’t even cope with the thought of hiring someone.

Happy Father’s Day, honey. Kinda funny how this ended up ultimately being your gift on your special day. Something about … uh … balance? I dunno. One of life’s unsolved mysteries?

Meanwhile, we’ve got the memories. And about 1000 photos and videos of the grandkids. This is one of my favorites, appropriately shared on Father’s Day – Franklin and Bailey with grandpa:

 

Yes, we’ll miss them. But I think we’ll manage. We have accumulated a sizable to-do list here. 

 

 

China sales are up on eBay

May 19, 2011

Mother’s Day has come and gone and every year the pressure is on for my kids and hubby and ME to make ME feel special on Mother’s Day. “Get out of dinner free” is a surety, whether it’s replaced by the hubby manly-man-grill-action thing on the deck or eating out. And someone, even if it’s ME, can buy ME flowers. Or perfume. Or jewelry. Or a new spring outfit. Hey, in this liberated age, women (better!) know how to look out for themselves.

My husband always remembers his mother, 98 years young now, and when I look to him for validation and special treatment on Mother’s Day, it feels awkward: “You’re not my mother.”

My mother passed away 13 years ago. I have to admit that I was always a little miffed at her for bestowing on us, what I considered to be, a chintzy wedding gift thirty years ago: an incomplete china set my parents had inherited from my dad’s aunt. “You might use this.” Yeah, mom.

I had grown up with that ancient decrepit box of incomplete china from my dad’s aunt, which remained forever unpacked, carted along with every move, always relegated to storage somewhere. My mother gave it to me, finally, and as far I was concerned, our wedding was her opportunity to rid herself of it.

Alas, we lugged the box of china from one storage place to another through our first twenty years of marriage. Then, ten years ago, we bought a house that had two built-in corner china cabinets in the dining room. I unpacked that delicate old china and displayed it in one of the cabinets. Hmmm. Nice to look at, but we’ll never use it! It only has 5 dinner plates! We have a creamer here, but no sugar bowl. Missing 3 coffee cups and saucers, two soup bowls, 3 dessert bowls, and several pieces are chipped, to boot.

A couple of weeks before Mother’s Day I was chatting on the phone with my younger sister, Lisa, who collects dishes, and mentioned that china set. Did she want it? I described it to her, along with my gripe about how we ended up with the set in the first place.

She called me back:

“That was actually a nice wedding gift mom gave you, Jody”

“Huh?”

“I looked it up on the internet – it’s German, Tirschenreuth ‘The Eton’ from 1927. You could easily order the missing pieces and complete the set. You could USE the set and then pass it along to one of your kids as a family heirloom.”

“Huh?”

Lisa called me again.

“Jody, I have just emailed you three internet sites where you can order replacement pieces to your china set. Check it out!”

I did check it out and thought the idea ludicrous. But then I started thinking about my mother, and me, and how maybe her giving me that set represented a loving, special act that had been lost on me. After all, my parents had eight kids, I was their third daughter. Maybe I had been a totally unappreciative, spoiled, shallow, rotten brat about this, after all, it was me she had gifted that set to, and what the heck was I so miffed about?

So, of course, I did the only noble thing I could do at this juncture – in honor of myself and my mother on Mother’s Day!!

I embarked with unbridled fervor on a mission to complete the set. Pored over those internet sites. Only, I don’t know a thing about eBay. I have never ordered a thing off eBay, that I recall. So, I started clicking on those sites. I set up my eBay account, and … look here! Someone is selling four coffee cups, three bowls, three plates, plus a covered sugar bowl, in my set at a super bargain! Just for me! I know it! It’s a God thing! “Cha-ching!” Done! ‘Pay Pal’ is a swell pal of mine! Oh, an extra 20 bucks for shipping. Oh well. Just DO it! Order now so it gets here in time for Mother’s Day!

I found another great buy (relative to what, one might ask) from another seller – on a covered vegetable dish with my name on it. Click! Pay pal, enter password … done!

The covered vegetable dish arrived within 3 days. It was stunning! I set it on our dining room table and raised the lid on it, imagining steam rising up into my face from a heap of creamed brocolli at Easter dinner. I arranged it in the corner cabinet with my other dishes. Isn’t it beautiful!!!

The package containing the cups and saucers, plates, and bowls arrived. Uh… gees, the gold edge is worn clear off most of the dishes. And the saucers are literally stained from…. USE! Yuck! No wonder they were such a great buy. (Guess I should have read the fine print on these a little more closely??) I stacked the dishes up with the ones I had. You can’t really tell the three dessert bowls I just got from the ones I already had, right?

Of course you can! Crap! I could use those bowls as Easter cat dishes or something? That’s annoying!

Oh joy. And this plate arrived broken.

So now I deal with the seller on that? The lost $9.99 plus shipping to replace it?

Checking out the sites, it is clear that any piece of this china in good condition is going to start at 9.99. Plus shipping. Double crap!

After spending on myself for Mother’s Day, uh, the cost equivalent of a family meal out, two dozen red roses, a new spring outfit, and a pedicure, I have … well, okay so I still need three dinner plates, two soup bowls, replacements for those worn dessert bowls, four sandwich plates … and that’s just to complete service for eight.

Okay, so that’s 9.99 – 15.99 plus shipping times about … fifteen? That’s it!! This is nuts!

Ahhhh! Lookee here! A photo of the 37 pieces of 1927 German Tirschenreuth ‘The Eton’ china for sale on eBay!! 37 pieces in near-new condition! – at a mere price of 149.99! (do the math here – ahem, it’s an average of about 4 bucks a dish!) And a mere fifty bucks for shipping! That should cover it! I’m doing it. I’m totally springing for this purchase and getting this exercise over with!

The Mother lode of the German Tirschenreuth ‘The Eton’ china. Coming my way!

“Huh?”

The box arrived a couple of days ago. I’ve wrestled the monstrous thing into a corner of our living room. Can’t quite muster up the energy to deal with it. I gotta open it, unpack the dishes, you know, might want to see if all 37 pieces arrived intact and figure out how I’m going to shove them all in with the rest of the set in that corner cabinet.

But hey! You want to attend a formal dinner for twelve or sixteen or maybe twenty at my house? Got it covered!

Except, the gravy bowl is chipped. Whatever. I’m calling this project ‘done’. Meanwhile, the box containing the ‘mother lode’ could double as a card table or something in our living room until I feel like dealing with it.

I know. Let me just say, I treated myself grand for Mother’s Day. And I do believe my mother is smiling down on me from heaven. Or is she laughing…

Now, Do you suppose in about twenty years I should divide this set up so I can pass down two incomplete sets to my kids?

Well, I’m pretty sure www.replacements.com will still be in business by then.