Breakfast at Camp Chaos

I’m not sure where to start. I’m at my mom’s house and I’m supposed to be “helping” her clean out her screen porch so my brother can move back home. Yep, you read that right. My brother’s moving his family back in with my mom again. I like to call my mom’s property “Camp Chaos: if you’re crazy, you’re welcome.”

My mom says I can type up a quick blog post instead of helping her but I know that’s a bad idea because by the time I get done typing this, the baby will wake up, it will be lunch time, my nieces will be hungry and the whole process of feeding, changing, playing, rocking and yelling at the older kids will start all over again AND still the screen porch will not be cleaned out. This is why nothing ever gets done around here. Sometimes I just want to go to the nearest Home Depot and hire a bunch of immigrant workers just to do silly things like clean cat boxes and haul trash out of my mom’s property. It’s that bad. We are all losing our minds.

Of all times to have no time to blog, now is the time I have the most I need to blog about. I miss those old days when I was bored at work and I’d type out every little feeling that floated across my brain. Now I have to be a grown up and hold it together. I don’t have any time for venting or even just recording events for posterity. It makes me sad.

So here’s a quick run down so I can get back to helping my mom:

My brother’s birthday was last Thursday. This last Saturday we had a big family breakfast in my mom’s yard. I thought it was such a fun but bad idea. My mom’s place is messier than it has EVER been (which says a lot if you know anything about how messy my mom’s place is). The thought of extended family coming over to eat breakfast on the lawn next to the fifty some cars parked in the over-grown lawn, the giant inflatable pool that deflates daily and floods the over-grown lawn, the five-hundred-and-one chewed up kiddie toys that the dogs think are treats, the trash, the cans and bottles that are supposed to be getting recycled but only ever manage to get recycled all over my mom’s yard and whatever other crazy mess resides in plain view and brings the value of my mom’s whole neighborhood down… You name it, it’s probably on my mom’s lawn.

But nothing stops a good party when you’re related to me. The relatives came, they gathered in plastic chairs under the shade of the trees and umbrellas. They sipped coffee and chatted while my mom, CC and Auntie Kedge worked inside beside unpacked boxes and piles of garden tomatoes that are ripening faster than they can be eaten. My dad operated the grill as usual and the fare was better than anything you’d ever get at any fancy buffet. There were homemade cinnamon rolls, fluffy scrambled eggs with cheese, pancakes and bacon, kielbasa (of which I got none), orange juice and fruit salad… We may not always keep a nice house around here but we never miss a meal. Which might explain the family tendency for rotundness.

So that was that. I have other things I want to blog about like my Grandpa having cancer and how out of control I feel when I visit my mom and I can’t do anything to help my brother and his family and their desperate situation…. I want to say it’s just tough times but I think it’s always tough times around here. I think this is just how it is and we have to make the best of it because in the meantime, my nieces are growing up and this is their childhood. Maybe I’ll spend a little less time blogging and a little more time yelling at them. Just kidding. I’m going to try and yell less.

update from the sticks

I couldn’t write a blog post this morning because I didn’t have any pictures to post at the top of my blog. (Yeah, I have silly rules for my own blog. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I break them. Fire myself?) So I’m out here in the sticks and NOTHING is photogenic. It’s about 104 degrees in the shade and we have to stay inside my mom’s dark non-photogenic mobile home with the air conditioning blasting away or else our faces will melt ride off our heads. It’s that hot. The drapes are drawn to keep the heat out and her walls are lined with dark wood paneling (just like those skanky old Calvin Klein ads). That means I can’t’ take any pictures without using my dreaded in camera flash. I hate using my flash. I can’t do a timed exposure because most of my subjects (ie Baby Bug) cannot hold still.

That is my excuse for lagging on the Monday morning post. But, as you can see, I finally found a picture (with the blasted flash) that is acceptable.

I came out to the Sticks because my Grandma was in the hospital and then she was moved to a nursing home. She is okay. She’s just in there for a few days so she can get better enough to go home. She is getting old and her heart is weak so she has a tendency to catch pneumonia and other miscellaneous ailments that older people get. Pneumonia or not, she’s still her punky old self. She cracks jokes with the nurses and flutters her eyelids like she’s done her entire life.

When I close my eyes and think of my grandma, I see her fluttering her eyelashes at me. Not like a flirtatious Minnie Mouse but more like she’s rolling her eyeballs under her lids and she’s sighing to herself, thinking that she is surrounded by a silly kids. Which she is. The other image that comes to mind is her bending over weeding. Just like those garden ornaments you see that are wood cut outs of a fat woman’s back side. That would be my grandma. Up to her ankles in water, pulling weeds from her garden that she’s flooded with the hose.

I would have taken a picture of my Grandma in the nursing home but she wasn’t feeling very photogenic. It would be really bad manners to catch her in her nightgown in bed without her hair curled and her pearls on. I did get a few of my cousin who is visiting from Seattle but she forbade me to put them up on the internet. Maybe because we were playing with our camera’s and I got a shot about three inches from her nose. We will always be silly kids.

Thankfully, my Grandma doesn’t seem to mind us visiting and being silly. You should have heard my Mom and my Aunt. They were like the peanut gallery with a running commentary to every question the nurse asked my Grandma. My Grandma could barely get a word in. Mostly because it takes her longer to think because she is tired and in some pain, but it didn’t help that we were all interrupting (me and cousin with the hijinks and of course the baby put her two cents in too). The process took forever…. but I suppose it’s better to have too much family than not enough.