The Grands, the Great Grands and a Son

Time to finish my belated trip account to Salt Lake in February, my daughters graduation in May and other summer travel and travails.  LOL

FEBRUARY –

I’m spending time with the grand and great grands and a son right now and what a ride it’s been. I visit them from time to time but not for as long as this trip has been.  In part it is (was) because my son who lives with my grand daughter Becca (his niece), had an unusual seizure and was ill for awhile. With all that she does, he was in no position to help her with their usual routine.  Caring for him and everything else she does was really more than the poor girl could take on alone as you will see as this story progresses.

Normally, I wouldn’t have been there at all as I was scheduled to see them in a May for my other daughter, her aunt’s graduation.  More on that in the sequel.

While I’m there I see that he is on the mend.  Still weak but better.  Apparently his new medication compounded with two jobs triggered something.

After a few days, he and my granddaughter are dancing to some MTV video.

Ian an Becca

It may seem odd, but these two are like brother and sister as their ages are fairly close.  This was their form of exercise and they had a hard time keeping up with the dancers in the video.

Each morning begins with feeding 5 dogs (the three puppies are fed by mommy) followed by putting them out to do their business, yes there’s a grand total of eight!

three labsThree labs, one long hair Chihuahua and  a Pom-chi with three puppies.  The sweet dog with the grey muzzle has since passed away.

Luna

My hubby and I still have a dog and cat. Like us they are getting old but we hope they go before either of us does. For two reasons:  One: the thought of them having to be traumatized by new owners at their old age would be devastating to them. As it is we left them with a relative for a week and although they did well, they were clingy when we returned.  It would be akin to abandoning a child or putting them up for adoption. Two:  We want to travel and do other things once my hubby retires and you just can’t take them everywhere, period. At 16, Chloe doesn’t travel well anymore anyway.

THE ROUTINE:

Besides the dogs, we had the kids, well there are only two,  who have to be fed and dressed or made sure they are appropriately attired for school. Ally kept donning on her princess or ballerina clothes and combing her hair amid loud protestations was a fete in itself,  not to mention a significant amount of cajoling to even get them to leave the house. Most of that was my fault, as staying at home to be with “Grandma Jo” was their preferred choice. So, we compromised and Grandma Jo went to school for Grandparents day!

lunch-with-grandma.jpg

(BIG MISTAKE!!!  You do know that small children are petri dishes of bacteria, right? It hit me when I got home and lasted a TWO months!!)

I silently praise God that those days of hustling kids off to school are done, while at the same time, periodic moments of nostalgia with my kids would swoosh over me, remembering those days.  I am sure many a mom reminisces the good times, the hugs and story time.

THURSDAYS –

Then there are Thursdays, Becca calls it the trifecta schedule.

Off to ballet for Ally while Kash takes guitar lessons across the street. While they are in their classes, mommy runs to McDonald’s to grab “dinner” before H.O.C.K.E.Y!!!

A week into my visit, it snowed.  I leave the following Friday, so I was a bit anxious. Is it going to do it again?  I’m not used to driving in that white stuff anymore and visions of me sliding all over the highway haunt my sleep.

snow covered car

Yikes!

WORK

My grand daughter lost some days of work when Ian was ill but tonight she had a late shift, so before she leaves I want to clear the driveway for her. Kash helped for all of a minute pushing snow around before he finally sat on a drift and watched grandma do the work.  In all fairness, a shovel full of snow is quite heavy for a seven year old.

In the meantime, Becca wasn’t looking forward to work that day.  She works at a high end hotel Spa as a massage therapist.  Flights had been cancelled the previous day due to the “storm”, which meant they would be busy.  She didn’t mind busy, but she noticed her two last appointments were male and she groaned.  I immediately got the picture. She’s a beautiful girl so I wondered and asked if it happened often that she was propositioned and she said “it happens”. She is a lovely girl, so I wasn’t surprised.Becca

Unfortunately, there is still the stigma that goes with her job.  Massages at this hotel are pricey and she has served many luminaries during their stay. However, these guests on her schedule were not stars or anyone whose names she recognized. As it turns out, it generally went fine.  One gentleman asked her if she dated and she said, “No”, which may have been a veiled invite, but it was not obviously so. Thanks to all the “Me Too” media coverage of sexual harassment, it has been much better, she says.  The second client did not ask her anything so personal but was by nature just plain “obnoxious”. My granddaughter is her own person and quite forthright, only once has she had to turn a client in for misbehaving.  Apparently, he had overstepped his bounds with one of the other girls before and she was afraid to say anything.  Not Becca. Fortunately the hotel backs their staff  to the point of even banning some  very wealthy repeat customers that are discourteous to their staff.  Her co-workers are both male and female and all are treated with equal consideration.

Shortly after I left, besides me getting deathly ill, the kids too got sick.

Before graduation, Ally fell off the trampoline and broke her leg. The trampoline does have a surround netting, so it was unclear what happened.

For a child, whose bones are referred to as “green”, hers was a clean break (?) and such that it required surgery and pins placed.  It was, as you can well imagine, quite traumatic.

I asked her if she’d be getting on the trampoline again.  She said, ” next time, (I guessed that was a yes) I will remember to zip it up better”.  Apparently, she hadn’t zipped it all the way up and fell out the only spot open. She just turned 5.

To be continued…

 

 

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Fear – Working Through It

This is my home:IMG_2710

 

Two Men

Earlier today I had two unknown men run across my backyard and out our side gate. As I saw them run past my french doors, I kept my eye on them following them around to my other french doors in the dining room,  I noticed those doors were locked.  About that time Ferguson jumped up and started barking as the fumbled with the gate catch. I quickly jumped up and flipped the lock on the first set of doors.

I ran for my phone but I’d couldn’t get it back up quick enough.  I’d just shut it down and was rebooting it when this started.

These two guys didn’t look like vagrants.  What they did look like were two men running from the law.

Complacency

Our home overlooks a canyon, which of late has been housing some homeless.  I’ve never fussed about it as some of you may have noticed in previous posts, my feeling has been one of compassion.  However, we have a new batch and they have littered and destroyed the terrain below us.  They say you can tell a lot about a person by how they keep their home, perhaps that’s what contributed to my discomfort, I don’t know. Nonetheless, as my hubby and I looked out our backyard the other day we were grateful for the thick growth of thick trees and bushes below us which appear to be impenetrable. It has always made me feel safe.  If I can’t get through them then who can?

My Why

Right now, I sit here overwhelmed with fear. I can’t stop crying afraid to open my doors.

The night before the police helicopters had been searching for someone and on their bull horn gave a description. Could this be them? Was there a them? I thought it was just one guy.

I did finally get through to the police and they were nice. The dispatch lady tried to calm me.  The dispatcher said, no, it wasn’t the man they’d been looking for, they caught the guy last night.  She asked for their description which I gave to her.  She wanted to be sure I was okay. I told her I would call my husband as he worked nearby.  She thought that a good idea.  So, as soon as I could somewhat calm myself I tried to him.  I couldn’t get a ring and it went to voicemail.  I’m thinking perhaps he’d forgotten to charge it.  So, I called his work. By now, I’m crying in a panic rush but I’m not getting anywhere there either.  It kept asking for me to punch an extension which I didn’t know, always relying on the cell.  So, I hit HR, but get nothing.  No one answers. I do this three times trying different extensions.  It’s like WTF!

I’m angry and in a dither.  Through all this I actually debated whether or not I could show up at his work with no makeup and my hair still wet.  How vain am I?  VERY!!!

Yes, I’d just moments before gotten out of the shower. At least I was dressed but I’d not yet blow dried my hair or put makeup on. I thought I’d just hang out for a change and yes, I put makeup on every. single. day.  But yes, I got in the car and started to back out of the driveway when the police showed up, so I stayed and showed them around.

I took them to the backyard, which I’d not been out to and there were 5-6 police cars and vans searching the brush.  I looked up at the cop and he said, that what happens is when they cruise the homeless camp areas, the ones with warrants will run off and that is probably what happened.  Even though that should have eased my mind, it didn’t.

We talked more about home security systems for our home and weapons, should I want to add that measure.  Yes, we talked about that. They actually recommended less harmful weaponry that can ward off a perp but have limited range and not hurt anyone else, should you fire it. I can’t remember what, but that’s not much good to me.

Knowing California law, I sold anything I had (nothing serious, just enough for the coyotes, possums and varmints on the farm), now I wish I had something for the varmints that might come up my slope.IMG_2718

I was grateful that my door wasn’t hanging open like it usually is.

I finally got through to Russ, he had checked his phone and called me back and of course, came and checked on me.  I put up a stiff upper lip and he went back to work.

I felt like such a whiny, cry-baby lady.

I don’t know why it left me so rattled.  They weren’t in the least bit interested in coming into my home, but some how I felt violated and less safe. I’m alone 10 hours a day.  I go to the gym a few hours a week and go shopping on occasion.  I have very few friends that live nearby. Since I moved from Alabama, the people I’ve met here are too busy with their own lives and families.  I’m not one of those that locks her doors, my husband is fanatical about it. Now, it looks like I will have to and it makes me so angry and sad.

We are not in a bad neighborhood or part of town. It’s just a regular suburban home and yet… I no longer feel safe.

Right now I’m yearning for the farm.

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The Farm