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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Grandma Virginia

Saturday, January 26th, my Grandma Virginia passed away after a beautiful and long life.  She was a big influence on my life in so many ways that I may not have begun to truly recognize until the end came closer.  I'd always called her "Gramma".  I always had the silly notion that she'd always be around.  She was like my second mother so it seemed natural to believe that.  As her health began to deteriorate, I began to do things that I can honestly say I'm proud that I did.  The book I'm writing...she's in it.  I'd asked her permission when I first started the book, far before she was ill and her only request was that I didn't make her "a lady of the night".  Gross!  Of course not!  But her role in the story is important and I'm so happy she's in it.  I didn't just use her name...it's her.
When she began to grow more and more tired, I took her to her room and brought my computer with me.  I have only shared my story with one person.  I sat with her and essentially read my Gramma asleep as I read her the prologue to my book.  She gasped at moments and let out an, "Oh!" here and there.  I took that as a sign that it was either good...or horrific.  I don't know.  However, knowing Gramma, she liked it.  I also proceeded to tell her the premise of the story and the direction it was going to take.  It was a proud moment for me to be able to share something with her that was quite personal and dear to my heart.

My Grandmother, Virginia Kochrian, was an amazing woman.  Her heart was big, her hugs were strong, and her kisses and "I love yous" were given all the time.  The memories that I have of her are truly endless.  The legacy that she leaves behind is a great one and I can truly say I feel blessed to have had the honor of being one of her many grandchildren.  Gramma was a tough woman with an unbreakable spirit.  When my grandfather passed away, she knew she had her family to pull her through.  And though there was a loss that left a large hole in her heart, the love of everyone in her family pulled her through the tough times.

Grandma Virginia was one of the last "true" grandmothers.  She did things that grandmothers simply don't do anymore.

The wonderful things I remember of my Gramma...

Knitting blankets for every grandchild
Teaching me to knit when I was very young (but it only ever turned out to be a short scarf or small oven mitt)
Laying on Gramma's lap for back rubs while she talked to mom and dad.  If she stopped, I'd jerk my back to remind her I was still there.  This was a constant thing for us.
Candy for when we walked through the door for all of us grandchildren.  Mostly Andes chocolate mints.
Dinner almost every Sunday with Gramma and Grampa.
Gotta finish everything on our plate...if we did, "Good job!" even in my 30s. But always encouraged to eat more, of course.
The beautiful garden she and Grampa tended.
The pink bathroom with green wall paper that always smelt like roses.
The guest room that I'd always stay in if I was sick as a child or needing to get away as an adult...the furniture belonging to my Great Grandma Ruth.
MARINERS!
SEAHAWKS!
COUGARS!
STOCK MARKET!
The wood stove...Don't touch it!  It's hot!  (Why was it where people always had to walk by?)
Lover of gambling, slots were her favorite.
Dancer
Strawberry blonde hair
Our drive to California and talking the entire drive.  We didn't turn the radio on even once.  I learned so much about family history.  We had a plantation?!!  Wow!
Gramma and WebTV and the discovery of Col. Fribley from the Civil War on the internet.
Her chair and Grampa's chair.
Me choking on an ice cube while she and mom ran around frantically trying to get me warm water. I got out myself.
Her humming along to her music.
Her locket with Grampa's ashes placed inside.
Gramma sneaking into the delivery room thinking I wouldn't notice...I did.  No way I was kicking her out when she wanted to see the birth of one of her great grandchildren.
Farrah and Gramma sharing moments for years with her locket. Farrah was so fascinated by it.
Remembering Grampa's reaction to the locket when Dianne said how much it was (for their anniversary)...I thought he was going to have a heart attack right then.
After Grampa passed away, Gramma and I still had the tradition of calling each other...she'd wish me a happy birthday and I'd wish her a happy anniversary.  It was a special date we shared.  We never stopped doing it.  (Not sure who I'm calling this year...)
Rhubarb sauce
My favorite cookies she'd bake (one had potato chips in it!)
Spending hours going through photo albums with her.  She'd tell stories about her friends that I didn't know, but I always listened because she loved her friends so much and always wanted to share stories.
The light-up globe and always looking it over.
The wooden blocks.
The arc.
Falling from the yellow stool to hit my cheek on the corner of one of the wooden chairs, leaving a permanent scar on my right cheek bone.  I love it!  I curled up on the couch, on the pea green pillow, wrapped up in one of her knit blankets until mom could rush me out to the dr.
Holidays!  Christmas and Easter were always so special.
Dinah!
Cherry pies, Boisenberry pies, Peach pies
Making jams
Flodda mornings
She looooved sweet pickles.  I wasn't a fan, but I indulged with her.
The awesome sandwiches she'd make because I stopped by and she figured I must be hungry.  Last favorite sandwich was a pork sandwich made from Chinese pork slices, spicy mustard, and lettuce.  So good!
Newspaper clippings.
Romance novels.
Polished rocks.
Mirrors in her bedroom that made it look like I was part of the Rockets...I'd dance and kick my legs on her bed and my several reflections followed suit.  We were a fantastic group of dancers!
Sitting out on the back patio under her giant fuscias.
Strawberry milk.
Vacations to Hawaii.
The trip to Maui with just me and Breann.

My list can go on forever, and who knows, I might come in from time to time and add to it.

But my very favorite memory of her and Grampa was when Breann and I went to Maui with them, and Grampa chased Gramma around the condo pinching her butt.  I was 12 and remember thinking...I want that in my life.  This is the type of love I want to have.  Forever love.  They were two people that I looked at and could feel their love for one another no matter what.

Gramma, I will miss you dearly.  However, knowing that you are joining Grampa warms my heart and comforts me.  I have more memories than many people have of their grandmothers, and I truly feel blessed for that.  You were an awesome woman, strong willed, and compassionate.  Your qualities and strengths are ones I hold onto and hope I inherited.

I love you forever.



I will miss you, Gramma.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fumes...

Oh God.
Oh no.

I'm just sitting here trying to enjoy a delightfully unhealthy raspberry muffin and two ladies walked in and sat by me smelling of every flower, plant, tree, weed, and probably fertilizer known and unknown to mankind.
Cough! Cough!  Hack! Hack!
Holy shit.  I'm suffocating.  I can taste their perfume!  It's tastes a tad like what I imagine Windex to taste like.  You know, poisonous.
Should I call poison control?  Have I inhaled too much?  Is this going to cause permanent damage?  Dammit, every time they make any movements it wafts over to me.  I'm sure it's getting into the muffin. Should I stop eating it?  But I'm fucking starving.
Cough! Cough!  Hack! Hack!
It doesn't even smell good.  You know, I can handle strong perfumes to a point, but when it's this strong and directly 3 feet away from my nostrils...it is almost impossible.  It reminds me of a woman who was in my culinary arts class who was a raging alcoholic and tried to "hide" the leftover stink with half a bottle of cheap-ass rose scented perfume.  Horrific memories just relived, without the gin.

Hey ladies, go take a shower with an SOS pad and burn your clothes.  Don't come in here smelling like that shit again.  Quality, not quantity.  You failed...twice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Am I 12 Or Something?

I looooove music.  Love it.  Music has found a way to get me through some rough times, it has helped inspire me to do really cool things, and it has given me energy when I've been completely drained.  But lately, my taste in music has...I don't know...changed?  I'm not sure how, though.  I enjoy listening to Pandora.  I listen everyday when I write and when I take Farrah to school.  Different stations, mind you.  My writing requires music that is current, but has a smooth and sexy sound to it.  When I'm with Farrah or at home needing that extra energy boost, then it's the up beat, dance-my-ass-off music.  However, I've found a pattern along the way that has suddenly come to my attention no matter what station on Pandora I'm listening to.

Oh, wow, I love this song!  I'm going to give it a "thumbs up".  I'm going to download it from iTunes!  Who is this?
One Direction?
What?  Who is that?  A boy band.  Hmmm.  Okay.

Oooo, another great song!  The lyrics are pretty good and sweet.  Who is this?
One Direction?  Again?  Okay.  Download.

Wow! This song is so fun and upbeat and it makes me feel like dancing like a maniac.  Who is this?
One Direction?  What the fuck?  Okay.  Download.

Aw, I'm having a sad day, but something about this song is making me feel so much better.  Who is this?
Wait...let me guess.  One Direction.  Jesus H. Christ, what's happening to me?!!  Okay.  Download.


Ummm...these are boys.  Young boys.  Is it even legal for me to enjoy songs by them when they're singing about some other dude screwing their ex-girlfriend. (I assume they share her because they're all singing about the same girl in the same song).  Luckily, I've seen that they are of legal age to be screwing a girlfriend or the same girlfriend, or whatever.

It's just a little weird to me that I truly do enjoy their music, but there's a piece of me that wonders if I'm not just trying to relive my past a bit...


Yeah.  I think that is a good possibility.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Distracted

When is it difficult to write a book?  When you're sitting next to a group of old ladies discussing...a book.  I'd seen the one woman start moving tables and chairs together and I knew what was coming next.  More old women to join her...right next to my table.  A book club.  And since they can't hear well, they talk loud.  Like, real loud.  I saw an open table clear across the coffee shop and started to gather my stuff in desperation to quickly move so I could actually get some work done without this distraction.  No such luck.  Another lady had walked in and took it.  In fact, she made eye contact with me when I looked at her with my computer and cord in hand and then she pretended like she didn't just totally steal my table to save me from the book club next to me.  Real nice.  I should've taken the crumbs from the scone I just ate and made a trail away from the table to lure her away from my table, but I figured that might have been going over the top and I could find a way to survive this.
And here I sit, blogging instead of writing my book because I am distracted.  The women are talking about the book, one of their daughters' wedding coming up, how to email, and their lunch.  During all of this, there is loud music playing today and I am directly under a speaker.  So, to drown it all out I have my earbuds in and the volume up with Coldplay vibrating against my eardrums.
All of this is a mix of not-gonna-get-shit-doneness.  I'll attempt it again, but I'm concerned what I've worked so hard on will suddenly seem like an eight year old wrote it.  It might already be like that, but I'm just sayin'.

Ladies, please wrap it up so I can, too.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dinner...

I went to a local little drive-thru 50s style restaurant for dinner this evening.  Fine dining for me and Farrah!  I ordered our meals and we pulled up to wait...and wait, and wait, and wait.

Farrah:  What's taking so long?  This is sooooo boring!

Me:  Honey, I ordered the fish sandwich so they had to send someone out to the river to catch it, gut it, and clean it.  They're on their way back now to cook it.  (All with a straight face)

Farrah:  But...wait...what? What???  Huh??

Me:  Everything is fresh here, Farrah, so we just have to wait.  (Now starting to laugh a little at myself)

Farrah:  Mom, are you serious?  You're not serious, are you?  You're laughing.

Then I burst out laughing hysterically.  I kept picturing some guy walking back from the river with a fishing pole and the "catch of the day" and her believing every word.  It's just too easy sometimes...and I can be very convincing when telling her stories.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dayum!


How do you not laugh when a child swears?  Really.  We're playing Wii bowling, I got a spare, and Farrah says, "DAMN RIGHT YOU DID!!!"
"What did you just say?"
"Nothing."
"Seriously, I need to know so I can correct it.  Did you just say damn?"
"I think...um...yeah."
"Well, don't say that."

That's how I went about "correcting" it and proceeded to laugh with her asking me not to laugh at her.

Damn, she's hilarious!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

What's-Her-Name's Wedding Shower

I'm 95% positive I've never written about this, and I am utterly disappointed with my lack of awareness of such an important story.  Mind you, there's still that 5%.  I may have written about it...but I doubt it.

This is not a story about my wedding shower, but rather someone else's.  Years ago, when we joined Gold's Gym in Smokey Point, Mike made a friend that he worked out with from time to time.  They became buddies and decided that maybe the women should meet.  Excellent idea.  We had dinner at our house and it was awkward but fine.  We were later invited to a 4th of July neighborhood party at their place by the guy.  Their neighbors were dicks.  One told us a story about how his cat had pissed him off so he grabbed it by the tail, swung it around and through it outside.  Everyone there thought this was hilarious...HAHAHAHAHA!  Idiot.  Though, I'm not one for confrontation (especially a complete stranger who's patio I was sitting on), I had to educate him in front of everyone.

"Did you know when you grab a cat by its tail, you're grabbing his spine?  So when you flung your cat out the door by his tail, you were actually doing so with a part of his anatomy that keeps him alive and moving."

It got quiet annnnnnd a little awkward after that.  I had already decided about 5 minutes in, I would probably never see these losers again anyway, so who cared?  I remember going in with what's-her-name (Mike's friend's fiancĂ©) to discuss drinks or something stupid like that.  She seemed very socially retarded.  The dumb fireworks were done and we were heading home.  Mike had been invited by his friend to go golfing for the bachelor party.  The day before that, I got a call from what's-her-name (see, not even important enough for me to remember) also inviting me to her wedding shower.  What?  Why?

Ugh.  I even remember hearing the obligation in her voice when she was inviting me...which only made me want to go more!  Hell yes I was going to go to her wedding shower that she actually didn't want me to go to!  Then she hit me with this:
What's-her-name:  "Well, it's a naughty themed wedding shower that my girlfriends wanted to put together."
Me:  "So, what, like playful or dirty stuff?"
What's-her-name:  "Hahaha! Yeah, like that.  Sorry, I know we don't know each other well, but I wanted you to at least know the theme so you didn't feel left out."
Me:  "Oh thank you!  That could've been weird. Haha!  See you tomorrow!"

Next day...
I went to Lover's Package (back when it was still called that) and it took me forever to pick out anything.  I didn't know this girl!!  I didn't know her friends!!  If it were up to me, she'd get some weird vibrator along with some whips and chains, but I didn't know shit about her.  Not even her damn name!!  I went for some candles, lotions, kuma sutra book, and a handful of condoms to decorate part of the outside of the gift bag with.
Got to the party and immediately regretted my decision to be spontaneous and go to this chick's place.  Everyone there was her mother, mother-in-law to be, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, older sisters, and a handful of younger girls about my age.

Oh shit...what was the theme of this "party" again?

I mingled to the best of my ability.  I actually sat next to a girl who asked me how well I knew What's-her-name, and I told her how well and she started to chuckle.  She told me she had only just met her about a month prior and had no clue why she was there.  What?  Was this girl like some wedding shower gift whore?  Terrible.

Present time!!!  As the presents started to get opened, my panic attack started to set in just as it should have.  I turned to the other unexpected guest and asked her what the hell was going on and that I'd been told it was a "naughty" party.  She looked just as uncomfortable as me and said she'd been told the same thing, but played it safe.  DAMMIT!  One after another:  aprons, appliances, dish towels, new glassware, etc were being opened.  I could feel myself getting sweatier and sweatier (and I don't sweat).  There it was.  Amongst the flowery gift bags with pink ruffly ribbons, was my BLACK scandalous gift bag with black and purple ribbon with condom packets mischievously dangling off the sides...and it was next.

And here's where I got pissed...
What's-her-name:  "Um...is this going to be appropriate for me to open in front of my family?" in a tone that was full of Mean Girl-ism.  I wanted to punch her in the throat.
Me:  "I guess we'll see, hmm.  I know what type of party I was told this would be so I hope you like what I got you!"

It was innocent enough and it worked out fine for me, because her dumb friends' gifts were last and were only a little worse than mine...but they KNEW her.  Well, ready to go home.  Wait.  I was blocked in.  And horribly so.  I didn't want to be a pain in the ass, so I accepted the bullshit wedding shower prison I was in...for about 5 minutes when I thought I was just going to hop in my car and drive over the grass and through the rose garden to get the hell out of there.  I announced I needed to go and unfortunately for everyone else, it required several of them to get off their asses and rearrange the parking so I could get the eff out.

I never saw her again.  And good god damn riddance.  She was a total douche bag.  And sorry, I was not going to waste one more second on this person that was breathing the same air as me.  Needless to say since we bought them a gift, we were invited to the wedding...which we respectfully declined.

Not my best work...but I was distracted by mentally reliving that nightmare.