All the Presidents’ Monday

I’m not used to having Presidents’ Day off, but it was recently decided that the library should close when the rest of the city departments do, instead of giving library staff  ‘floating holiday’ time.  As a city employee, I appreciate this—it saves on money and resentment.

Can’t say I’m too pleased about losing six random days of writing time, though—vacation hours are for family, but the holidays were mine.  But it came in handy today, since the kids are off, my husband has classes,  and Watson is driving back from Tennessee, where my MIL will be visiting family for the next couple of weeks.

It’s going to be interesting, not having my MIL around—we’ve been living in the same house for five years and we’ve settled into a routine, modified when Watson joined us.

A lot of that routine, to be perfectly honest, is absolutely to my benefit.  I’m gone for roughly ten hours a day, so most of the daily housework tasks tend to just . . . happen . . .  when I’m not around.

Timing is everything.

But my MIL will get  breather from the kids’ exuberance and the kids will have one less adult looking over their shoulders.  It’s possible that this will hold true for Watson and my husband as well.

And it turns out that emptying and refilling the dishwasher, picking up the living room, and changing the sheets on the beds is kind of . . . satisfying.

At least for today.  We’ll see how it goes when the novelty wears off.

In the meantime, the kids and I will be having a dance contest in front of the TV during my MIL’s usual afternoon nap time.

Timing is everything!

Not so Random Thursday — the MIL Birthday Conundrum

Tuesday was random enough for the weekly requirement, so I’m breaking with ‘tradition’ to ask you all for help—even those of you who reached this site by googling cider recipes and newborn panda photos.*

Here goes:

What are my husband and I going to get my mother-in-law for her eighty-fourth birthday?

We’re already taking her out to dinner so I don’t have to figure out how to make chicken Marsala and we’re picking up pumpkin and/or cinnamon ice cream on the way home.  But we want to give her something to unwrap, too.  The kids are probably going to get her a mug with a version of Grandma is the Best on it, but the adults are fresh out of ideas.

She crochets, but isn’t interested in fancy yarn and has four spares of her favorite crochet hooks.

She loves the Cadfael mystery books and owns the entire set in paperback—maybe a set of the DVDs with Derek Jacobi?**

She loves to bake.

She’s a Cubs fan, but has a cap already.

She isn’t big on spa days.

She doesn’t drink.

She doesn’t wear t-shirts with pithy sayings.

She has “all the jewelry I need,” doesn’t have an inch a space for more artwork or family photos, and doesn’t listen to music much—nor does she go within three feet of any electronics more advanced than her cell phone, of which she is not fond.

She likes crossword puzzles, but we gave her a set of books and a dictionary last Christmas.

We have one week to figure it out.



*The one time I went for cute over content and it’s the third most popular post since I started.

**By which I mean starring Sir Derek Jacobi.  I doubt I could afford to have him hand-deliver the set, as marvelous a present as that might be . . .

Lollipop, lollipop . . .

I took the kids and my MIL out to lunch today at the new Japanese buffet—there was sushi everywhere.*   The kids were given enormous lollipops with their fortune cookies** and were still working on them when we reached the grocery store.

Sugar and grocery shopping.  Yeah.  Rookie mistake.

Sunny in particular was all over the place, careening around and bouncing off innocent shoppers like a little curly-headed pinball with this lollipop stuck in her mouth.  

At one point she decided to rearrange an entire shelf of soup cans and  I was forced to give her The Look.  She eeked, ran to hide behind her grandmother, and hugged her tightly around the legs.

My MIL got this shocked look on her face, reached behind her and said, “Oooo!  Sunny, don’t poke me with your lollipop stick.”

We stared at each other.  I lost it first—but she was louder.

The kids, lollipops still in their mouths, just stared at us, the crazy grown-ups howling in the aisle.

“You know this is going in the blog,” I told her, when I could. 

And it did.

*Luckily, there were also noodles, chocolate pudding, rice, jello, assorted veggies, etc., so no one actually starved.

**My fortune: An unexpected windfall will be yours. I showed it to Janie, who swallowed a prodigious spoonful of ice cream, said, “Windfall,” and pointed to the fan directly above my head. That earned a high-five and a first bump.