T Minus 25 Days to “Baby Bird” Liftoff

IMG_2378

Our “baby” is getting married next month. (My mom called me her baby until I was 22 years old; my baby is 24!) This time in a parent’s life is almost as emotionally nerve-wracking as the first day of preschool for the oldest child. I can picture that moment so clearly my mind, like it was last week – dropping “oldest” off in her classroom with words of encouragement and a forced smile on my face, then crying my way out the door. I got over it pretty quickly, but it was a poignant, bittersweet milestone, that’s for sure.

With “baby,” not only am I saying good-bye, losing my “back-up memory” and my helper-around-the-house, I also have the added fun of considering Covid-19 in our wedding and reception planning. I have a previous blog about our “wedding committee” group, which is a large organization of friends from our faith community who get together to prepare food and serve at each others’ weddings. (https://grandmascoffeesoup.wordpress.com/2019/06/16/a-barn-raising-reception/)

IMG_2006

It’s an amazing bunch, especially (for me, at least), all the mom camaraderie. So many amazing women, unselfishly serving each wedding couple and the nervous mom-of-the-bride with support, encouragement, years of problem-solving skills, sewing skills, prayer, and the gift of calmly tendered clarity. Even with all of them, though, this pandemic-fighting factor is a new conundrum. Leafing through the “entertaining” reading of 20 pages of our governor’s wedding reception guidelines has me putting on the old thinking cap, trying to figure out how we adhere to all of those rules. Things like “No self serve food or drink stations” has us reinventing the “buffet” line, eliminating the coffee and the appetizer tables, and purchasing only bottled and/or canned beverages for drinks. We’re ordering face masks, along with pre-packaged plasticware w/napkins & seasonings. I have to buy bottles of hand sanitizer to use as table decor. Guests are supposed to sit further away than usual, and cannot congregate too closely on the dance floor. I’ve considered setting up a protest sign station, letting everyone make their own little sign, just in case some government spies infiltrate. Since there’s no limit on the number of peaceful protesters, we’ll just hold up our signs and send those pesky troublemakers back to their headquarters! The Bride-to-be nixed that awesome idea. At any rate, we, and our guests, will get through this safely, with all of our friends’ helping hands and many heartfelt prayers.

IMG_2008

When it’s all said and done, Hubsters and I will have an empty nest after almost 32 years of children in the house. There are no training classes for this life-changing transitional event, so I wonder how we’ll fare. We can’t afford world travel or a summer home, and, we both work from home, so we’ll just be here, in our same little cape cod, getting by on our own. A few friends have shared things with me. Early on, the main problem is WAY too many leftovers and loaves of bread going bad. As the strain grows, my friends confessed, their husbands began to micromanage everything they did, and as the wives grumbled quietly to themselves, they realized that they were doing the same thing to their husbands! We’re used to having kids to feed and guide and advise and discipline…it only makes sense that we will turn to one another to keep those skills honed. Luckily for me, we have grandkids nearby who I visit once a week, and our family up north has already booked me for a few weeks in October for “new-baby support.” I can continue to ply my hard won mothering skills on them. And Papa will open up his bag of tricks to entertain the daylights out of the grandkids when they come to visit us. But in between times, Hubsters will be reminding me daily not to pour grease down the sink (a fact which I am fully aware of), while trying to convince me we no longer need to use the dishwasher, and I will be admonishing him to wipe off the bathroom sink counter, and prompting him to put his own dirty dishes in the dishwasher!

IMG_1298

Yeah, it’s gonna be some fun, being all alone in this house, just the two of us… Good thing we have three floors to spread out in (counting the basement), along with our own pets & hobbies, and our daily, shared prayer time to sustain us through this upheaval. We should be settled in quite comfortably in our new “arrangement” by the fall, just in time for the next Covid flare-up/lockdown…….

IMG_2046

Peter Rabbit Has Vacated the Premises

“Get a hobby,” they said. “It will relax you,” they said, “give your life purpose.” Yeah, right… One of my hobbies is vegetable gardening (as my faithful readers know well). It’s usually a fairly easy, fulfilling pastime for me. My usual … Continue reading

The Mimi & Papa Comedy Hour

  I have developed such a talent at witty come-backs that I often leave my family speechless. Take, for example, my response to my children’s lunch requests (when they were little kids). “Mom, can you make me a peanut butter … Continue reading

Kids These Days

Based on some of our neighborhood children, I’m concerned about the future leaders of our country. Take, for example, this scenario: I was in the front yard, working in my flower garden when a young boy walks up to me. He … Continue reading

A Look at My Lockdown Lists

IMG_2228.JPG

 

The past couple of months brought out the best and worst of man’s survival instincts. All you had to do was go grocery shopping and you witnessed the worst of it…hoard-shopping! Those “front-line” store employees tried their best to limit shoppers to two packs of toilet paper, four bottles of hand sanitizer, three canisters of disinfecting wipes, etc., but when you have a crazed maniac with a cart full of soap and cleaning supplies who stares you down with bloodshot eyes and says, “Either you ring this stuff up, or I walk out the door without paying,” do you choose to A) argue with a madman, or B) ring up the merchandise as quickly as possible? (This apparently happened in my favorite local grocery, but luckily I was not there to witness it.) And, yeah, the cashier chose B. We’d all choose B, because confrontations with the crazies are more dangerous than coronavirus! Crazies aside, though, it’s all gone fairly smoothly at our house.

 

Besides the occasional angry mob, we’ve survived it all quite well. I make my own breads from alternative “flours,” such as almond flour and chickpea flour. I usually order those online, anyway, and they don’t seem to be hoard-worthy products. Since my husband won’t eat my bread, he had to make do with sub-par white bread for a couple of weeks, and I had to deal with a few missing ingredients, but overall, we’ve eaten as well as usual. We never suffered from the “toilet paper pinch,” since I had purchased that warehouse size package of BIG ROLL toilet paper two weeks before the virus arrived on our shores. We even have a couple of packs left from that!

IMG_2226.jpg

Here are some other things that I’ve never run out of:

Clean underwear (because who needs to change every day when you’re going nowhere?)

Same thing with bras. Why wear a bra when you’re home alone all day? That would be like putting the horse in the stable with his saddle on – very uncomfortable and impractical!

Chocolate (there are some things that you just can’t live without, no matter what)

Virtual jigsaw puzzles on my iPad

IMG_2225.PNG

These are some new skills I learned during the lockdown:

Making my own door wreath out of stuff I could find around the house; styling my hair; napping; procrastination; lounging; face mask etiquette; and recipe ingredient substitution

IMG_2224.JPG

Things I wanted to do but never got around to:

Dusting the entire house; cleaning out our huge cedar closet; reorganizing our storage shelves; quilt-making; writing a book; learning a new language; reading War and Peace

 

 What I plan to do when I am free:

First and foremost, go to Church/Mass!; plant my vegetable garden; finish planning our daughter’s upcoming (July!) wedding; visit my friends; visit my grandkids; get back into the “clean underwear every morning” habit; buy looser-fitting bras, and…get a haircut!

 

And, how about you? What’s on your lists?

Rainy Day Lockdown Doldroms

Still stuck at home, and like all of you, trying to make the best of it. Some days are better than others. The warmer, sunnier days are great. Those allow for walks outside and some natural vitamin D production. I … Continue reading

The (Covid-19) Masks We Wear

I don’t know about you, but I have had it up to here with the current home-incarceration decrees. Have you noticed that all of the people pushing these rules on us are busy running around on quickly assembled TV sets … Continue reading

A Deceptive Sense of Control, Wrenched Mercifully from Our Grasp

Disasters visit us, as sure as the sun sets in the west every night. Oftentimes we sit in the comfort of our own homes, as we watch the news reports of death and devastation on TV or online. Some disasters … Continue reading

Toilet Paper and Chocolates, a Girl’s Best Friends

I had to brave the grocery store battlefield again today. Forget about diamonds being my best friend. My new best friends are: 1) toilet paper, 2) chocolates, and 3) a bottle of Kahlua! And I was ready to plead, pawn … Continue reading

Covid-19’s Curtailing of Activities

You know how it goes with us comics. We can find the funny side of anything…and everything! The hubsters and I have been making dumb jokes all month. I’m reading a lightly-comical book right now that mentioned humor in dire … Continue reading