Bill, James and the Tot

grace

Last week was crazy.

AGMA had to work all week (the horror!!) and then we went to visit the Grands on Friday.

Between those two things, and the fact that tRump is indeed President and that it was NOT a bad dream, I was exhausted.

But visiting the Grands is always fun even if visiting with their parents is less than fun.  Long story that you don’t want to hear…

AGMA’s hoping time will bring them around.  Again.

Things weren’t too good before and after B, the oldest, was born.  We didn’t feel very welcomed when we would visit and got served a lot of cold shoulder.  With no sauce.

But after V was born nearly 3 years ago, things got much, much better.  The reason why is a mystery, but we were encouraged to visit often.  And when we were there, we felt very loved and welcomed.

After years of being emotionally distanced by them, it felt like a fairy tale ending where everybody lives happily ever after.

But, how does that old saying go…nothing lasts forever?

Dammit.

I noticed the change starting when DIL was 6 months along with their 3rd.  The distance started creeping back in.

Then we were told that we could not be there for the birth or even afterwards for the foreseeable future to meet our new grandchild.

WTF??

“Ah oh,” AGMA thought,  “they be going crazy again just like they did after B was born.”

And yes indeed.  They have.

They did invite us up to meet TT two weeks after he was born, but the notice was so last minute that airfares were quite high.  So Hubs decided to stay home.  I was NOT going to miss meeting my new grandson so I pulled out the credit card, swallowed my pride and bought the $400 ticket.

Thought a miscommunication, we also booked a trip for both Hubs and I to come up this past weekend.  I don’t think our son or DIL wanted us there, but the tickets were bought…

And Hubs finally got to meet TT (8 weeks old now.)  He was TOTALLY smitten.  I mean, he’s even crustier than AGMA, and he was complete jelly around the little guy.  He must have taken 200 pictures of him.

I now believe in love at first sight.

Who knows how long he would have had to have waited before we got “approval” for a visit?

Our welcome was cool, but at this point, AGMA didn’t care.  I was over their cray cray.  I just wanted to see my grandkids.  And to make sure they know they are loved by their Nana and Bumpa.

During our visit, as I was lying on a couch with TT sleeping peacefully on my chest (OMG – does it get any better than that???),  I started praying for him.  I prayed that he would grow up to be a man like my recently departed friends, Bill and James.

Bill was a Deacon at my church.  I got to know him through volunteering for 2 years with our morning sandwich ministry.  AGMA’s church is in downtown Atlanta which has a massive homeless population.  Every Monday through Friday, we hand out bag lunches, bottles of water and cups of coffee to homeless men and women until 9:30 or until we run out.  I volunteered on Mondays.

Bill was in charge of this ministry and also the food pantry that gave out groceries to people in need.

Bill retired about 5 years ago.  What I didn’t know at the time was that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimers.  He continued to attend church and try to sing in the choir until about 2 years ago.

He was a gentle man of great faith, and devotion to both God and his family.  He also had great compassion for “the least of these.”

He saw God in the needy and destitute rejected by society.

He passed away on August 9th at 70 due to complications from Alzheimers.

James really wasn’t a friend, but I felt like he was.  He was a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, just outside of Atlanta.  He’d been a priest for 20 years before he decided to enter the Monastery in 1994.

AGMA started going to retreats at the Monastery in the mid-2000’s.  It’s in a beautiful setting and I loved interacting with the monks.  They are witty, intelligent, engaging individuals who have lots of outside interests.  I spoke with Fr. James a few times and loved his humor and down to earth attitude.

James was a photographer and a writer.  He published 6 books, two of which contain his photographs of scenes around the Monastery along with inspirational writings.  He also wrote for various publications like the Georgia Bulletin, the Living Faith devotional and the local newspaper to name a few.

AGMA knew that he was a man of great gentleness, humility, and faith though his photographs and his words.  He had the ability to turn something very ordinary into something sacred and extraordinary.

He saw God in the simple, commonplace things around him.

He passed away on August 15 at 71 due to complications from a lung biopsy.

And so I prayed for that tiny precious little boy sleeping peacefully on me, lulled by my heartbeat.  I prayed that Bill and James would intervene somehow to help him grow into a man who, like them, would be compassionate, loving, faithful and able to see the sacred and holy in the ordinary.  That he could see the divine in those marginalized by society.  That he would have a heart capable of great love, great kindness and great forgiveness.

And my resentment of the cray cray of his parents dissolved into prayers for their marriage, and their physical, mental and emotional health as they try to navigate life in these uncertain times with 3 little children.

Thanks Bill and James, for not only watching over my sweet TaterTot but for giving AGMA a much needed attitude adjustment.

I’m sure I’ll be talking to ya’ll again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A sandwich and an apple

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AGMA’s tired.

I awakened at 4:20 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I knew that Son #1 and wife just checked into a hospital in Chicago 5 minutes earlier to start…

The Great Baby Watch of 2019!

My third grandchild is about to be born.  Maybe.

He/she seems to be a bit reluctant to appear.  Evidently it’s pretty cozy there in my DIL’s womb (what a great word!)   I don’t blame the munchkin.

It ain’t all rainbows and unicorns on the outside.

I mean, my God, Donald Trump is President.  That’s enough to make a little one want to stay put until, say, 2020.  It’s enough to make me want to find a roomy womb to crawl into to wait until, say, 2020.

But instead, AGMA had a colonoscopy.

Nice segue right?

Colonoscopies are actually rather comic affairs and a great subject for a blog post if handled delicately.  Or not.  Here’s my first post on the experience.

AGMA’s had 3 in the last 8 years.

2011 was a standard preventative screening.  The 2016 was because I was having “issues”.  This one was a “hey, let’s take a look to see what’s going on in there cuz it’s been 3 years.” one.

Since this isn’t my first rodeo, AGMA tells the doctors office what kind of prep I want.  OTC all the way for me.  None of that prescription prep stuff if they want me to actually drink it.  Yuck.

I used a store brand version of Miralax and mixed it with orange gatorade. It was pretty tasty.  For the first 3 glasses.

After that, I got kinda sick of orange gatorade.

And I got sick of jello jigglers too.  They’re fun and games when you first start jiggling and eating them, but since that’s basically ALL you can eat for the entire day before, they get pretty old pretty fast.  To mix things up, I decided to have a couple of cups of chicken broth.

I know – I’m a wild woman.

What AGMA finds fascinating is the huge part your mind plays in the prep process.  You know you basically can’t eat the entire day before the procedure, so you don’t really get all that hungry.

I wish I could trick my brain into thinking every day was the day before a colonoscopy.

Anyway, the gatorade elixir worked its magic and AGMA could boldly declare later that night “This house is clear!”

The next day, we toddled off to the outpatient surgery center where they treated me like a queen.  Seriously.  Warm blankets, warm socks, a nice cushy bed.  Almost made the day before worth it.

Almost.

Three different people quizzed me on what I ate the day before.  I thought that was odd.  Until hubs and I heard the guy next to me.  Then we realized why they quiz people multiple times.

“A sandwich and an apple.”

That was his answer to the “What did you eat yesterday?” question.  And he too was getting a colonoscopy.  Maybe.

The nurse asked if he had received the prep instructions from his doctor’s office.  Yes, he had.

The nurse asked if he had read it.  Yes, he had.

I couldn’t see the nurse, but I could actually hear her eyes rolling back in her head.

He had two options:

  1.  They could try to “flush” him out with water in the procedure room, if the doctor gave his okay.  Wouldn’t you hate to be one of the techs to draw the short straw to work in THAT procedure room?
  2. He could cancel the procedure for that day and would have to do the prep all over again for another appointment on another day.  Minus the sandwich and apple.

At that point, AGMA was rolled out of my cubby to the procedure room so never found out what option sandwich guy went for.

I truly hope that sammy was worth all the hassle.

Per standard AGMA, I chatted up everybody in the procedure room (my doc included) until the anesthesia tech started the propofol.  “See everybody later.” I said and promptly zonked out.

I think they just wanted me to shut up.

Did AGMA mention that I LOVE propofol?  It is GREAT stuff and you wake up back in your cubby feeling like you had the best nap ever.

Unfortunately they cut me off a little early and I woke up in the procedure room as they were getting me ready to wheel me back to my cubby.

Bastards!

But the good news was that everything looked great – much better than 3 years ago.  And I don’t have to do a repeat performance for another 5 years.

Yeah!

Now for the public service announcement…

As much as I like to make fun of colonoscopies, they DO save lives.  According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the US.  It’s also the second most common cause of cancer deaths when men and women’s numbers are combined.  Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women.

Two years ago, during a normal, screening colonoscopy, Hubs had a large polyp removed.  Turns out there were cancer cells in it.  It was caught very early and he just had to have a minor procedure to remove the area around the polyp.  He had clear margins and didn’t require any other treatment.  He returns to his colorectal surgeon on a regular basis for rechecks.

Early screening saved Hubs life.

If you’re over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, get thyself to the GI doctor!   And if it’s been over 10 years since your last colonoscopy, call today to get an appointment for another one ASAP.

I love all my blog friends and want all of you to be reading AGMA for years to come.

In the meantime, The Great Baby Watch of 2019 continues…

I can’t wait to tell my new grandchild when he/she gets older that I blogged about his/her birth in a colonoscopy post.

I hope they have an AGMA sense of humor…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happened Nana?

V

Ah…out of the mouths of babes…

We were up visiting the MAGITW (most adorable grandchildren in the world) a couple of weekends ago.

These are always bracing visits.

AGMA always thinks I’m doing pretty well physically until we visit the MAGITW.  They have a way of breaking you down and making you feel your age.  I realized my self-deception on this visit within the first 24 hours.

It all started with the bounce house.

My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, V, has been a pacifier addict since she was a tiny babe.  Her “paci” was a source of comfort, stress relief and just plain ole good times.  80% of the pictures I have of her up until now has been with a paci in her mouth.

Like she did with B, V’s older brother, when he was small, the Paci Fairy made a visit to their house.  In case you didn’t know, the Paci Fairy – a distant relative of the Tooth Fairy – takes away all of the pacifiers in a house, but in their place, she leaves a gift.

On this visit, she cleared out all of V’s pacis and left a bounce house.

A full sized, air inflated, skull cracking bounce house.

Sweet!

So of course Nana AGMA had to give the bounce house a try.

Of course.

I cranked up the inflation thing-a-ma-jig.  The bounce house filled up with air, and B, V and I piled in.

Up to this point, I was still under the delusion that I was in pretty good shape.  Then the bouncing commenced…

It was fun for the first 2 minutes.

Round ’bout minute 3, AGMA started wondering, “What the hell was I thinking????”

B, my grandson, is a large 4 year old who’s a bit hyperactive.  He was literally flinging himself against the sides of the bounce house with all his might.  So much so that I was afraid he was going to collapse one side and all three of us were going to tumble out.

Evidently the frenetic bouncing got to V too, who is still getting the hang of using a potty.

She slid down the little exit slide and announced, “I have to go pee pee.”

Panicked, AGMA tried to get out of the bounce house to assist her, but in my haste, I fell down several times.  B thought I was intentionally flinging myself around so he decided to body slam me a few times.  The last time, as I was sliding down the exit slide lying sideways.  He slammed his full weight down right on top of my left shoulder which jammed my right shoulder into the hard floor.

I remember thinking, “Oh – this is not good…”

Fun times.

And as it turns out, it was all for naught.  V peed in her pants anyway.

Oh well.

AGMA feels like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy.

So, in addition to screwing up my right shoulder, all the bouncing and falling and flinging aggravated AGMA’s lumbar discs that have been squished due to my scoliosis, causing lumbar nerve compression causing my right leg and hip to ache for the next 5 days – 24/7.  Fun times…

“Mr. Feder, you seem like a really delightful guy!” to quote Roseanne Roseannadanna.

The bounce house was NOT inflated again during our visit.

Screw you Paci Fairy!

My granddaughter, V, is actually an incredibly sweet and kind child when she’s not acting like a 2 year old.  She likes to take my glasses off and wear them.  Then she orders me to “Ki Nana!”  And I have to play-act cry that she has my glasses until she gives them back.

It’s the dance we do.

At one point during this visit, before I put my glasses back on after being ordered to “Ki!”, she got up really, really close to my face and looked deeply into my eyes.

At that moment, I was looking into the eyes of pure innocence.  And kindness and goodness and gentleness.  Looking into her young, full of love, beautiful blue-gray eyes that have so far seen nothing of the harshness of the world, I was transfixed.

Then she winkled up her nose and whispered…

“What happened Nana?”

And pointed to the bags under my eyes and the age spots around them.

“Oh sweetie,” I replied,  “Nana just got old.”

AGMA felt like Wendy Darling when Peter Pan comes to visit and and finds a gray haired Wendy with her grandchildren.

Nana just got old.

It happens.  If you’re lucky…

But don’t take it all too terribly seriously.

Betcha AGMA’s back in the bounce house in June.

Aging gracefully my ass!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of sh*t can happen in 5 years!

92_year_old_marathon_runner_san_diego

In 2015, at 92, Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a marathon!  She passed in 2017, but what an inspiration!

So somewhere in the bustle of the holidays, my never ending sniffles, and out of town guests, I missed my 5th anniversary on WP!  It happened like on December 30th (give or take a day.)

Happy Anniversary to my little ass, Aging Gracefully!

Holy cow, that was a fast 5 years!

When I started AGMA, I had a lot of time on my hands.  Blogging seemed like a good way to fill some of it.  I’m a bit ADHD, so I needed something to keep me busy.

Little did I know that the next 5 years would turn out to be crazy eventful.  And my days would soon be overflowing with “opportunities” to be busy…

  • The most adorable grandchildren in the world (MAGITW) made their appearances in 2014 and 2016.  And there is soon to be a 3rd MAGITW!  Stay tuned this summer…
  • I decided to start “running” marathons, and have 6 notches in my belt so far.  I ran my 1st one 2 months after starting AGMA.
  • My love of thrifting turned into a little Ebay business.  The problem is that AGMA loves thrifting more than listing the items on Ebay.  And I’m running out of places to store the crap…eh…treasures.
  • I gave up the space I was renting and made the decision to switch my massage practice almost exclusively to corporate chair massage.  And business has been good. Very good.
  • Because of the series of most unfortunate events on November 8, 2016 and after, arranged by Comrade Putin, I’ve become a Resistor (NOT the electrical kind.). This has taken up quite a bit of AGMA’s time.  But it’s time well spent (refer to the 1st bullet point!)
  • I’ve been able to indulge my passion for travel both domestically and internationally like never before.  With a very flexible work schedule, family & friends flung all over the US, a bit more in the bank account, and the desire to sample local wines in every country in the world (still working on this…), AGMA has racked up beaucoup miles in the air and in the car.  Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about!
  • Some “not aging gracefully” health junk has taken up way too much time.  I’m not a fan and ignore whenever possible…   But I’m pretty pumped because I had my BIG birthday a few weeks ago.  It’s Medicare time now baby!

Whew.

It’s been a rockin’ and rollin’ 5 years.

But I love this little AGMA blog and ADORE my blogging friends.  Yinz guys (to say it in my native Pittsburghese!)

And I’m looking forward to another 5, 10, 15, dare I say 20 (?) years of blogging.

By 2038, I predict I will have at least 4 more tattoos, will have run at least 30 marathons, have an Ebay business that Jeff Bezos will envy, will have finished my wine quest (hic), will have a great grandchild, and will have visited the Big Orange Cheeto and his posse in prison at least once since being sentenced in 2019.

Nah – maybe not that last one…

But you can read all about it here on AGMA so stick around!

P.S.  I am forever grateful to the now “retired” blogger, Dobster, who gave me wonderful encouragement in those early months of AGMA.  I still miss him – he quit blogging cold turkey one day in 2015.  It was jarring and I felt like I’d lost a friend.  If he hasn’t already, I hope he returns to the blog-o-sphere one day.  His posts made me laugh.

Diversions

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AGMA thought October was going to be a crazy month…

Two weeks ago, on 10/3, I flew to Chicago.  At O’Hare, I met my friend who had been flying for over 30 hours to get to the Windy City from her home in Australia.

She looked amazingly perky.  AGMA would have been bleary eyed, grouchy and hangry.

But then she is 20 years younger than me…  Bitch.

We spent the next few days hanging out with TMAGITW (the most adorable grandchildren in the world) and seeing the sights in a rainy, cloudy Chicago.

Then on Sunday, 10/7, we both ran in the Chicago Marathon.

What???

AGMA finished.  But I was very sloooooow.  Let me put it this way…  You could have flown from Chicago to Dublin, Ireland in the time it took me to run/walk the marathon.

Where’s my Guinness?

And, against all odds (medical issues and under-training), my friend finished as well.  It was a show of true grit and determination on her part.   She wanted to give up at the 30K mark, but, because she was running in the 2nd largest marathon in the world, she pushed on.  This was her first marathon.

AGMA was incredibly proud of her.

I’m convinced that the main reason we both finished was because we had:

THE.BEST. CHEER. SQUAD. EVER.  

My sweet B (almost 4 years old) and my darling V (almost 2 years old) were at mile 9 and then again at the finish holding their sign, GO NANA RUN   

The picture my DIL took of me, B, V and my son with the sign will be one of the photos that will go in the the “pictures for the photo montage at AGMA’s memorial service” box.

I honestly can’t even begin to describe how special that run was because they were there watching and cheering.

Crusty ol’ AGMA got a tear or two in her eyes.

Then, on Monday the 8th (still very sore from the marathon), my Aussie friend and I flew back to Altanta.  AGMA began her 7 day stint as the Atlanta hostess with the mostess.

I can even begin to list the  “stuff” we did while she was visiting.  We spent 7 days on the run.  She’s a very laid back, easy going guest (I mean, she’s Australian…), but AGMA still felt pressure to make sure she had a memorable visit by doing and seeing as much as we could.

Hence no WP post last week.  Sorry!

She jetted off to NYC this past Tuesday.  I wonder if she was as tired as I was?

Probably not.  Bitch.

But no rest for a wicked AGMA…

This week has been hectic with playing catch up from the previous two weeks, working a job, seeing School of Rock (so cute!), helping new citizens register to vote, 2 physical therapy appointments, a haircut, and and and…

The rest of the month isn’t going to be any better.

Warning: posts may be few and far between for the next few weeks.

But the busyness of the past 2 weeks has been a wonderful diversion; a much needed break from Cadet Bonespur’s unhinged insanity, social media bad news, and the Georgia election frenzy.

I was touring Chicago when sexual predator Brett “I like beer” Kava-NOT was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

I missed the first reports of Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal and savage dismemberment death at the hands of the Saudi’s in Istanbul because we were in the North Georgia mountains.

And I missed the initial report that the Georgia Secretary of State and elections czar, Brian Kemp, who happens to also be running for governor against a very popular African American woman, Stacey Abrams, was not processing 53,000 new voter registrations (mostly minority voters) because of a 2017 enacted “exact match” requirement.  This, of course, was passed to suppress minority voters.

You can read about it here.

Of course, civil right groups are suing claiming that the “exact match” requirement violates the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

And they would be right.  But it probably won’t matter in Georgia, a state where the GOP has elevated voter suppression, election tampering and gerrymandering to fine art.

So AGMA’s two weeks of sightseeing, running and tour guiding were lovely diversions from the relentless sh*t that Americans have to face everyday when they look at social media or watch the news or read the newspaper (do people still do that?)

Can we go back to having a President who causes a scandal because he sports a tan suit or his wife wears a sleeveless dress?

Life was so much simpler in the “good old days”!

 

 

 

“Three year old wandering around in aisle 7”

Tantrum

AGMA had been home from her European mis-adventures for a whole two weeks.  So, it was time to go somewhere again last week.

Honestly, I can only stay put for so long…

This time it was Chicago where TMAGITW (the most adorable grandchildren in the world) live. We left 70 something degree Altanta to go to 30 something degree Chicago.

It’s true love.

But I was thinking of amending my acronym to TMAGITWAACTYO (the most adorable granddaughter in the world and a cute three year old) after the first part of our visit.

Our grandson is nothing but pure energy with some thin flesh coating. He just turned 3 in December so he’s still got some lingering ‘terrible 2’ issues. He’s got a strong personality/will, and more often than not, some tears, some screaming and a fit usually gets him what he wants from his parents.

I have nicknamed him Little Napoleon (LN.)

And it seemed like LN was not getting what he wanted quite a bit while we were there. Lots of crying and screaming and temper tantrums.

AGMA was clearly concerned about this behavior and it’s future ramifications.

More immediately, AGMA was concerned (read that, terrified) because Hubs and I were going to be the chief cooks and bottle washers for 24 hours while Son#1 and DIL did an mini-vacation downtown.

But I think my son started rethinking leaving the kids with us after I lost LN in Whole Foods the second day our our visit.

Yes – I lost my grandson in Whole Foods. In the middle of Chicago.

You may judge me.

I won’t go into detail, but there was a full 5 minutes when his whereabouts were unknown to all but the Creator.

AGMA was scared sh*tless.

So there I was running down the main aisle of WF screaming his name.

I found him on the far side of the store (or course) with some really nice store employees who kept telling me, “He’s fine, he’s fine. Everything’s okay.”

My heart started beating again.

There was also a woman around my age with a cart who was shooting daggers from her eyes at me like I was Bette Davis beating LN with a hanger. I think she was the one who found him wandering around. I tried thanking her, but she just glared at me.

She was definitely judging me.

On a positive note, the little guy managed to score a box of cookies during his wanderings. So of course I bought them for him.

And wouldn’t you know it, the first thing LN tells his mom when we get home is, “I got lost in Whole Foods.”

Dammit.

AGMA wanted to gradually introduce the subject. Perhaps in explaining the source of the cookies?

But my DIL was not too terribly upset (perhaps because he returned home with us and was not purloined away), and used what happened as a lesson for him as to what to do in the future if he wanders away.

AGMA was impressed by her lack of hysteria.

But later that night when Son#1 came home from work, oh boy…

I casually mentioned losing LN for a few minutes in WF. Son#1 seemed to have heard that LN was stolen by white slavers who were going to ship him off to an Ivanka Trump sweatshop to put zippers in dresses, and we barely wrestled him away from them.

Son#1 was furious. But in a quiet, seething, scary way. He really couldn’t say much when I willingly admitted my wrong, profusely apologized and assured him I would NEVER take my eyes off LN again. And I meant it all.

But the fury continued on slow simmer from him for the rest of the night.

Awkward…

BUT, he was not angry enough to cancel their stay-cation plans. Hmmm…

Now pressure was on. AGMA couldn’t screw up again or else…(???)

LN’s old enough to understand the concept of his parents going on a date, so when they left at 11 on Saturday morning he was okay with it.

My 16 month old granddaughter, just starting to talk, emitted a constant stream of, “Ma ma? Da da?” At which point LN gently and sweetly assured her that they were on a date and would return soon.

Yeah. Sure. Like in 23 hours.

But the truth is that we all had a wonderful time together!

There was very little crying and no fits or tantrums. From any of us.

LN and his sister didn’t fight over toys or take random whacks at each other. We played and we ate and we napped and we played some more.

It was like a frat party for toddlers.

Every time Son#1 texted, “How’s it going?” I had to text back, “Great!”

At some point that evening, we told LN that some dates are overnight dates, and that Mommy and Daddy would be back around lunchtime the next day. He was way cool with it. And amazingly well behaved.

Little V just kept saying, “Ma ma? Da da?” But she continued to play the heck out of those little flower stickers.

They both had moments when they freaked out a bit, but they were very short lived. And we all slept really well that night.

Thank God!

Overall, AGMA Nana and Bumpa did a stellar job. Other than the Whole Foods debacle.

I’m never going to live that one down.

Obviously, the kids were overjoyed when their parents came home on Sunday. But within 10 minutes there was crying, screaming and tantrum throwing. Which continued for the next hour. Both of them.

The kids that is.

Hmmm….

Who knows?

Maybe Hubs and AGMA are child whisperers. Maybe our lifetime experience in child rearing gives us an upper hand over relatively new parents. Or maybe somehow we managed to communicate firm but loving boundaries for the kids to operate in and they liked it.

Or all three?

And the good news is that we saw our grandson transform from LN back to TMAGITW.

Nice.

Pink Paradise

pinkpig

AGMA’s headless chicken act worked.

It was a great weekend last week with the grands thank you very much…

That is other than the 6 inches of snow we got on Friday that left us homebound for about 24 hours.

Because I live in Atlanta, and we don’t get 6 inches of snow at one time. Ever. Or sustained periods of freezing temps. And the official snow removal strategy on the state and local level consists of “wait until it melts.”

Remember the great Snowmageddon of 2014?

We don’t do snow well here.

On Thursday, weather.com reported a chance of a ‘wintery mix’ on Friday with little to no accumulation. Perfect. We planned to take the MAGITW (Most Adorable Grandchildren In The World) to The Pink Pig on Friday.

Imagine AGMA’s surprise when I awoke on Friday to the dulcet tones of a Winter Weather Advisory warning of up to 6 inches of snow for the Atlanta area.

Huh??

Seems that little rascal of a winter storm Benji was dipping farther south than anybody expected. That little sh*t…

Planning excursions for a 1 year old and an almost 3 year old is tricky. Everything has to be planned around naps, meals and BMs.  TMI?  AGMA, being the OCD person that I am, took at drive to the Pig to scope out the location and pre-bought our tickets. I was prepared for everything.

Except a snow storm.

But let’s talk about The Pink Pig. Please.

Her full name is Priscilla the Pink Pig. It’s an Atlanta thing. And from what I understand, much beloved by folks who grew up here.

The original Priscilla opened in 1956 on the roof of the old Rich’s Department Store in downtown Atlanta. It was a monorail that was painted pink with a snout, pig ears and a curly tail. The kids were literally caged in.

I guess so they wouldn’t have any jumpers…

Rich’s was acquired in the 1970‘s by Federated Department Stores and the downtown store was closed in 1991. The PInk PIg relocated but closed down in 1995 because it was too expensive to run.

Sad face.

But Priscilla was miraculously resurrected in 2003 as a train in a big tent on the top parking deck of the Macy’s in Lenox Square Mall in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.

Happy face.

And it was to that outdoor, unheated tent that AGMA bought my precious grandchildren in a snowstorm last Friday.

I probably won’t win the Grandparent of the Year award.

The Pink Pig is less than 5 miles from AGMA’s house. Even with the snow starting, it only took 15 minutes to get there.

So far so good.

The Priscilla character was sitting near the entrance of the tent on what appeared to be a swine throne. The idea is that you get your picture taken with her and then you can purchase said picture as you leave. Naturally.

And everything was pink. Really pink. And the train ride lasted only 4 minutes. (But AGMA bought the tickets with the DOUBLE ride so we got to stay on for about 8 minutes.) And the displays were sort of cheesy with narration by Priscilla with a very southern accent. And the adults were squished into these tiny seats in the train. And it was frickin’ freezing in that tent.

But my 3 year old grandson was totally enchanted. And the 1 year old didn’t cry.

Score one for Nana AGMA.

By the time we left the charming Ms. Priscilla, our cars had over an inch of heavy wet snow on them.

Ah oh…

We took two cars to The Pig. Hubs and AGMA each have a Prius. ‘Nuff said.

To give Son#1 and DIL a little respite, Son#2 who lives in Altanta and ADORES his nephew and niece, rode with AGMA and the kiddos. This was fine for the 15 minute ride over.

But this is Atlanta. In the snow. In the short time that we were canoodling with Priscilla, everybody, and I mean everybody, who works anywhere outside their home in Atlanta decided that they needed to go home. Right now.

So our 15 minute drive turned into an hour drive. Can you spell g-r-i-d-l-o-c-k?

It was SnowmageddonII.

Then, about 5 minutes into the drive home, Grandson started chanting out of the blue, “I want a sucker.”

We found out later that his mother had promised him a sucker if he was a good boy at The Pink Pig.

But at the time, we had no knowledge of this bargain that was struck nor did we have a sucker. The suckers resided it the diaper bag. That was in Hubs car.

Initially, we calmly explained that we didn’t have a sucker and had no way of obtaining one at the moment. Oh what fools we were…

No surprise that this did not seem to make an impact on him. After several attempts at explaining the situation, it became clear that he wasn’t going to quit chanting until he received said sucker.

“I want a sucker!” It got louder and started mixing with tears.

“I want a sucker! I want a sucker!”

Son#2 texted Son#1 regarding the dilemma. Son#1 texted back, “Welcome to my world.”

Truth.

20 minutes later we distracted Grandson by opening the window. Some of the snow fell into the car. He started laughing.

There is a God.

Meanwhile, 1 year old Granddaughter sat quietly in her seat playing with a few toys. And every now an then she made a cooing sound. Awwww….

It could have been so much worse.

After both cars safely landed at AGMA’s house, we were basically stuck there for the rest of the day. The roads got so bad that Son#2 didn’t go back to his home that night.

My entire family under my roof for 24 hours.

AGMA was in paradise.

Yeah, it was a great weekend!

Nog, lots of nog

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

And AGMA’s ‘bout ready to hit the egg nog. Hard.

Extra bourbon? Yes please.

I mean, it’s only 4 days after Thanksgiving and my left eyelid is already twitching. And every now and then my head does this jerk to the side thing.

The holiday season of stress is upon AGMA.

It doesn’t help that, in addition to seasonal pressures, our country is well on its way to deconstructing.

The orange Satan and his evil minions have done unspeakable damage to the United States both at home and abroad in so many arenas. Even if they all get arrested tomorrow – the PERFECT one size fits all holiday gift – at this point, it would take years to try to undo the damage they have wrought.

And if their “reverse Robin Hood” tax plan becomes law, the crippling debt it will cause both individually and governmentally will take decades to reverse.

(And by the way, you can call, email, fax, Tweet, Facebook, carrier pigeon or pony express [but make sure they have a fast horse] your Congressional Senators and Representative in the next day or two in opposition of the GOP tax scam. And if you aren’t a US citizen, go ahead and contact a GOP Congress person anyway!)

“What about net neutrality?” did I hear you say?

AGMA’s so glad you asked.

If that gets reversed on 12/4 or 12/5 (the FCC is due to vote on it around then), we can all have a big ol’ goodbye party to say farewell WordPress and the Internet as we know it…

(So as long as your are in the call, email, fax, tweet mood, you can also email the members of the FCC and let them know what you think of their plan to destroy net neutrality. Try to keep your *&%$^#$@*s to a minimum. Or not.)

My left eyelid’s twitching.

Another reason for the amped up stress is that in a week and a half, my son, DIL and MAGITW will be coming to Atlanta for a visit.

Wonderful! Exciting! Fantastic!

But…

This is both a blessing and not.

On one hand, my precious grandchildren will get to see AGMA in her natural habitat. Hubs will make sure they don’t feed me any of their popcorn or use a flash.

We’ll get to show them off to friends and neighbors who have heard about them ad nauseam. AGMA will be parading around them neighborhood in the little red wagon we spent $100 on two years ago and have used exactly twice. I’m thinking of doing an Evite for that…

And we can do all those cool things that grandkids can only do at Nana’s house. AGMA’s at a loss as to what those things might be though. I’ll figure something out…

But, on the other hand, this means that our house has to be totally decorated inside and out. And junk picked up and stuffed somewhere. And babyproofing attempted. And cookies baked and meals planned and shopping done. And activities planned. In 9 days.

Now my head is doing that jerking to the side thing.

One additional bit of stress AGMA wants add before they get here is to find the time to go though my son’s ‘boxes’.

You know, the boxes that you store for your kids that has junk from their formative years. Baseball cards, yearbooks, newspaper clippings, school & sports honors, etc. The boxes that never seem to leave your house no matter how old your kids are.

THOSE boxes.

We’re going to be driving up to Chicago for Christmas, and it’s AGMA’s fervent hope that we can take most of those boxes with us. He has house now. It’s only fair that the boxes clog up one of HIS closets for the next 20 years.

But oh my…  The memories are intense.

I was trying to ‘pre-sort‘ thought a box this weekend. ‘Pre-sorting’ is the process of pulling out the stuff that is full of meaning and memories for AGMA, but that have a good chance of getting thrown out by said son.

“What do you mean you don’t want to keep the outfit we brought you home from the hospital in??”

Stuff that would just about kill me to throw out. So AGMA will just put that stuff in ANOTHER box and label it Son#1 Memories. And put it back into the closet. And dig through it every couple of years.

And sigh as the sweet, pungent memories of his childhood and a much younger AGMA flood my heart and my eyes.

He can throw it all out after AGMA saunters over the rainbow. I’m pretty sure I won’t care one way or another then.

Only 6 more boxes to go.

But oh my…

AGMA’d better do a Costco run for one of those jumbo tissue packages.

Priorities

candle_3011

When AGMA’s brilliant and witty progeny were growing up, they had very little contact with both sets of grandparents.

Not such a bad thing considering my in-laws and my dad were crazy.  Sort of.  My step-mother was wonderful, but she kinda had be in the line with what my dad wanted.

One set of grands lived in Arizona. Then New York. Then Kentucky. Then Tennessee. Then North Carolina.  Then back to Arizona.  True Amurkin’ gypsies.

AGMA could understand the infrequent visits from Arizona and New York.  But North Carolina and Tennessee were within a pretty easy day’s drive from Cincinnati, where we lived.  And Kentucky was right next door.

But still, their visits were few and far between.  Again, not such a bad thing for a myriad of reasons, but I know the kids would have liked to have seen them more often.

But they were busy doing other stuff.  They didn’t have the time.

My dad and step-mother always lived close – within a 4 hour drive.  But they rarely visited.  We always had to bring the kids to them.

But they were busy doing other stuff.  My dad said that they just didn’t have the time.

I thought it was odd at the time.  I mean, they seemed to always find the time to go other places. But never to see their grandchildren.

Now that AGMA’s a Nana herself, it’s beyond comprehension to me.

But it was all about priorities.

I understood on some level that building a relationship with their grandchildren was not very important to them.  Or at least not as important as other things in their lives.  Not important enough to spend the $$, time and energy on.

And that’s actually a great way to define priorities.

Where you spend the most of your time, $$ and energy?

AGMA is struggling with my priorities right now.  Time, $$ and energy is too damned limited these days!

High on my list are the MAGITW (most adorable grandchildren in the world).  Hubs and I travel to Chicago frequently; lately it’s been once every 4 to 6 weeks.  AGMA’s in Nana heaven.

Another biggie is travel.  After taking some big trips overseas when AGMA was a young woman, my travel bug had to go underground for most of my adult life until we had the time and the means again.  That didn’t happen until about 2010.

Ya’ll know I love me my travel adventures!

Running is another priority.  More than just the physical aspect and the health benefits, it enriches my life emotionally and spiritually.  Plus AGMA can eat and drink a lot more yummy stuff when she’s training and it doesn’t immediately plant itself on my midsection and thighs.

Maintaining extended family relationships is another priority.  It takes time and energy and in some cases $$ to do that.  I’ve been very intentional at building relationships with my nieces as adults, their spouses and their kids over the last 12 years.  And it’s worked!  My great niece and nephews pretty much adore their crazy great aunt AGMA.  And my nieces are more like girlfriends.

But since AGMA grand babies have made their appearances, my visits to said nieces & families have been scaled back.

Priorities…

And maintaining relationships with friends.  That’s important too.  “Friendships are like gardens – they need to be tended or they get overgrown with the weeds of neglect.”  That’s not an AGMA original – I think I read it somewhere…

But it’s true.

AGMA’s new role as an activist is important too.  There is SO MUCH to be done on the local, state and Federal level.  There are phone calls to be made, postcards to write, $$ to donate, social media posts begging to be read and re-posted.

#MAGA

Oh, and I’m still working part-time as a therapeutic massage therapist so obviously my clients are a priority.  They have to be if AGMA wants to keep earning the big bucks (sputter, laugh, choke!)

And AGMA, my blog.  That’s a priority for me.  Most of the time.  I try to set aside the time each week to blog, but it doesn’t always work with my travel and work schedule.

Which brings me to the origin of this post…

Frustration.  It’s been weeks since I’ve made reading your wonderful WordPress posts a priority.  And I hate that.  I tried catching up today with some of you but the volume was so overwhelming that I quit.  Ya’ll are great writers and I hate that I can’t read everything you write, but…

I only have so much WordPress time today.  And I need to respond to comments and write a post.

Priorities…

I know I waste time.   AGMA’s at that point in her life where my candle burns down pretty fast as the day goes by, and by the time evening comes, I’m spent.  So I just fiddly fart around and don’t get anything of substance done after about 7 PM.

Priorities…

There’s a glimmer of hope though.

I’ve rousted my bottom out of bed earlier than normal the past two mornings to do Centering Prayer.  AGMA used to do this on a daily basis and it was important to me.  But it got pushed out by running and travel and work and family and ___________(fill in the blank).  It hasn’t been a priority for me of a while.  And I’ve missed it.  I’ve missed the insight it gives me about myself and the world.  I’ve missed the peace and calm that washes over me when I spend some time with the great I AM, the Lover of my soul.

I can’t figure out how to make everything “fit” into my life, but I think I might be on the right track again.

Two days and counting…