For Valentine’s Day this year I wanted to find things out-and-about that looked like hearts. This is a very weird holiday for almost everyone, so I figured I’d make it weirder and really stretch the imagination with a few of these “hearts”.
I was riding down Jackson St. on my morning commute and was coming up on a seagull with something in its mouth. As I got closer I was able to see that the seagull was eating half a slice of pizza. Cool cool. As I rode up even closer the bird took off above me (with the pizza still in its mouth), and as I laugh/screamed it dropped the pizza slice on top of this stopped car. Also - this wasn't fresh pizza so it made a nice 'CLUNK' sound. I watched as the driver freaked out not knowing what just hit the roof of her car, and I would have said something but everything went by too quickly and I'm sure yelling on the streets of Seattle "THAT WAS PIZZA!" wouldn't have made sense to her. I really hope that seagull got its piece of pizza back.
A couple of weeks ago my Grammy's husband, Grandpa, had a stroke and was checked into the hospital. He's alive/well and back home recovering. While he was in the hospital Tyler and I paid a visit. A few other family members were there when we arrived (my uncle, aunt, and Grammy). In between catching up and nurse questionnaires, Grandpa wanted to pop his dentures back in. I'd like to point out that I didn't actually know that Grandpa had dentures so I was really surprised when we walked in and saw him on the hospital bed with a very sunken-in face looking a whole lot like death. Anyways, he wanted to put his teeth back in but his stroke left him very weak and he wasn't able to do it on his own. Grammy began helping, but putting someone else's teeth into their mouth isn't as easy as it sounds so she was struggling. The teeth were semi-suction-cupped into his gums sideways, upside down, and the other sideways. Grammy eventually stopped and Grandpa's teeth had never looked better, and by better I mean they looked like those 25 cent hillbilly teeth you get at a novelty store. Ouch, sorry, Grandpa. And remember that while this is happening my uncle, aunt, Tyler, and I were still in the room and of course we were all watching and probably making weird faces not knowing if it was rude to watch or look away. Eventually, the nurse came back, washed Grandpa's teeth, and gave him back his perfect smile.
Some of you know my mom, A.KA Jana, Jan, Janiel, or Pokey. And some of you know that when Jan has something to say she'll drop the famous "...you know what?". This is usually (almost always) in response to our family making jokes at her expense. Other times she'll have a good piece of advice or wisdom to share, but it's mostly a self-defense mechanism.
"You Know What" is a segment in my blog/podcast of the things that Janiel does or says that I feel need to be written down. She has a lot to say and her words will benefit you in some way or another, most likely.
You Know What No. 1: "...cute little ear flap".
It's Tuesday morning and I get a phone call. It's Mom. She and Dad are at the ocean. "Heeeey Mom". She doesn't say hello but moves right into asking "what side is your cute little ear fold on?". For context, on the top of my right ear there's a folded piece of tissue that makes a tiny little lump. I tell her it's on my right side and I hear her repeat/scream/laugh to my dad "It's on her right side too!! Oh my gosh!! You guys have the same flapping ear!!". My entire life Mom and Dad thought that my "cute little ear flap" was from my hand resting on my ear while I was in the womb. We talked about how it must be genetic instead of my own fault, Dad: "I got it from somebody", Mom: "It's probably your mother, her little elf-like ears. This is a revelation!". My parents have known each other for 30 or more years, Mom talking to Dad: "I always looked at you, I don't know what happened". My Dad just retired and my Mom works from home, "You can tell we're just sitting around looking at each other".
I've been working from home due to some sort of internet connectivity issue at my work's new office. The timing of telecommuting and moving into a new place with Tyler couldn't have been better. I've been able to spend a good chunk of time here getting used to our new space, plus work stuff obviously. T and I love color and we really wanted to bring a tonnn of it into the house. Slowly but surely we're making our mark. Today while I was taking a little lunch break I thought it would be neat to shoot the different colorful corners we're starting to collect.
This last October my dad's dad passed away. Grandpa Fisher reached his late nineties and was being treated for dementia. Our family spent a whole lot of time with him at his assisted living apartment which was a part of a retirement/nursing home. The home specialized in the needs of veterans going through the stages of old age or dementia. Their dementia care unit was located in a separate area where you could only gain access by punching a code into a keypad that opened up two heavy-duty doors to the sweet sweet sound of a countdown alarm. Once you get past the doors you walk down a long hallway lined with apartments belonging to the various tenants of the unit. The staff is always making sure that their residents are comfortable physically and mentally.
During one of my visits, I had an especially special encounter with one of the dementia care residents. I had just MacGyvered my way through the unit’s entrance (A.K.A used a five-digit code) when on the other side of the doors I was greeted by Paul. I’ve been told Paul likes to keep track of things by making lists. Not your run-of-the-mill grocery list, but a list of the things he needs to do from the moment he wakes up to when he goes to bed. Paul was standing there with his list in-hand ready to take on the day (by this time it was already 5 P.M.). He looked at me, I looked at him, we said our hellos as I tried to maintain direct eye contact and ignore the fact that Paul hadn’t written down on his list to “put on pants/underwear”. This was quite a shame because a nice pair of slacks would have really complimented the long dress shirt/sweater/business socks combo thang he had going on.
Those kinds of experiences put me in a funny place. I was expected to act as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening and that Paul was fully clothed. I think we have a strong opinion on what is normal and what isn’t, but when you step inside a dementia care unit those opinions stay on the other side of the doors.
Paul and I continued on our way and the only comment I heard was one of the nurses saying “I think he’s switched up his A.M./P.M.’s again”.
Tyler (boyfriend) and I moved into our first place together and this is our sink.
This is the first official post of my new project: Life of Laurel. Soon to become a podcast, Life of Laurel (L.O.L), is an outlet I'll use to recap odd or completely normal events I experience in my daily routine. I will be writing according to what sort of things happen to me on any given day, so my well coordinated blog posting schedule may not be so well coordinated. I hope you enjoy the stories to come. Thanks for reading!