Friday, November 30, 2012

My grandma, Anna

I was sitting on a chair, elbows on the table with my face resting in my hands thinking... thinking... thinking....

If you looked at the table you'd see a butter dish, a serving dish with Trenary toast, a candy dish with lemon drops in it, a bottle of honey, the newspaper folded so that only the crossword puzzle was showing, two or three tea cups, and a paper with seven dash marks across the bottom of the paper with the typical hangman's gallow above it.  Sitting to my right was my Grandma.  I was nearly hung in this game and I was thinking....

My Grandma had offered me a clue... she said, "It's obvious."  So I kept thinking.... and she kept telling me, "it's obvious.  You should get it, it's so obvious."  I wasn't getting it until.... Oh!  Oh-the word was O-B-V-I-O-U-S.   My grandma just smiled and said, "I kept telling you it was obvious."  This was her subtle humor.

As a pre-teen, I was gangly, awkward, and self-consious in fact I was mercilessly teased about my looks.  Despite the fact I was lacking in the looks department, I wanted to be a model when I grew up, knowing full well that I would never be.  However, my grandma encouraged.  She opened her closet and asked for a modeling show.  My sisters and I would grab the stool and quickly climb to reach for her hat boxes, reach into the depts of her closets and come up with the most unusal and cute outfits.  We'd put them on and parade around the house.  The house was small, so our red carpet cat-walk was a simple circle that went from her bedroom, to the living room, to the dining, room, into the kitchen, and through the bathroom back into her bedroom.  My grandma would sit in her rocking chair in the dining room and watch as we passed by, and each time, she'd tell us how beautiful we were and what great outfits we had on.

Upstairs my grandma had a crawl space, she hid there once when we were playing hide-n-seek and scared my sister Diana.  Also upstairs, she had a poster that read "You know you're getting old when..."  the funniest saying to me was: "You know you're getting old when you go to wave and your under arm waves first."  Also, upstairs was a secret hiding place that our dad had built into the wall.  We had been told of this place for many years, but never knew where it was.  I don't recall the day we learned or even if it was our dad who showed us but... a secret was a secret.

There are so many stories one could tell about my Grandma Anna.  Her birthday is in December, she passed away while I was in graduate school 2002.  I miss her still today.  In fact, when I drink tea tonight it will be in her memory.

Monday, November 19, 2012

sugar bugs

What is it with sugar bugs and kids?

My nephew Garrett was sitting on my lap and pointing to varioius parts of my face.  This was the conversation:

Garrett: Is this your nose?
Me: Yes
Garrett: Is this your ear?
Me: Yes
Garrett: Is this your chin?
Me: Yes.
Garrett: Is this your mouth?
Me: Yes
Garrett: Is these your teeth?
Me: Yes
Garrett:  You have sugar bugs on them?
Me: I hope not.
Garrett: Yep, you do!

And then....

As a Speech Pathologist it isn't unusual to direct a student's attention to my mouth and specifically tell them to look inside to see what my tongue is doing to make the correct production of a sound.  Well... today, this is what happened in therapy...

Me: I asked a student to watch what my tongue does when I make the /sh/ sound. 
Student looking in my mouth: Oh- you have sugar bugs on your teeth. 
Me: No I don't think I do.
Student- Yes because you have a silver dot on your tooth! 

Kids they make you feel good about yourself.... I'm sure the dentist will appreciate it when I ask her to replace the silver filling with a white filling. 


Avis Mae (Jamison) Lampi is my mother.  She was born on November 4th in Milaca, MN to William and LaVon Jamison.  She was born the ninth child out of ten.  At 20 months of age LaVon, my mom's mom, passed away giving birth to their tenth child.

William remarried Marie.  Marie was a widowed mother of three.  Their combined families became a family of twelve.  And no I don't have the math wrong, my mom's brother Robert Paul died at a young age.  In the following years their family of twelve became a family of sixteen. 

My mom is a caregiver, this is evidenced not only by having taken care of her own children, but by her work as a physical thearpy assistant, and her willingness to take care of others who may be down on their luck or in difficult life situations, or simply, others she takes a liking to.

For example, my uncle had a daughter (who had been adopted due to his life circumstance)- that none of us knew about until we were older.  My mom was at work one day talking to a co-worker of hers and found out that this co-worker happened to be my dad's niece, April (this is her birth name not her adopted name).  That Christmas my mom made sure she had a little something from our family to let her know that even if we didn't know her, we'd be happy to welcome her into our family.  This is just one story of how she has taken others under her wing until they are ready to be on their own again. 

It isn't unusual for my mom to:
1) ask if there is a special dinner or meal that I'd like to have if I am going home to Michigan. 
2) bring me Trenary Toast from Michigan when she visits in Minnesota. Or-
3) during the Holidays to invite everyone and anyone who doesn't have family around to join in on our holiday happenings.

If you've ever tasted my baking--thank my mother for allowing me to mess up the kitchen at a very young age trying out my baking skills.  I got my love of Snicker bars (although I don't care much for chocolate) from my mother.

It was my mom's birthday on November 4th.  I didn't miss it.  I just didn't get around to writing until now.  Happy Birhtday, Mom!  I love you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Red is my favorite color...

We all have oddities, it's a question of whether or not we embrace them.  Sometimes, (not always) I eat my M & M's by color.  It is with 98% certainty that on the days I eat M & M's by color, RED is saved for last.  Not because red tastes better, but because red is my favorite color.  I do not always follow the same pattern.  In fact sometimes I eat the color that has the most first and sometimes I eat the color that has the least first.  It all depends. 
Today it was...
Orange first,

yellow second,

followed by brown,

and then green,


and lastly, red.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

the boogie man

At one point in my life I worked three jobs and was enrolled in undergraduate studies full time.  I was tired a lot!  Regardless, one of the three jobs was to work midnight shifts as a personal care attendant for an elderly woman who owned a restaurant and hotel in Marquette, Michigan.  Behind the hotel was the Marquette State Prison.  My job here was easy, it was to help my patient get ready for bed, administer her medications, and then go to sleep myself (I had my own bedroom there) with a monitor on so that I could wake up and get her to the bathroom if she needed to go.  On one occasion we received a phone call to say there was an escaped prisoner on the run and if we see him to alert the authorities. From this point on, I never slept very soundly there.

One particular evening many months after the call from the prison to be on the watch out for a prisoner (who I believe had already been apprehended again) my patient asked if I would get her ready for bed.  So I proceeded to get the bathroom set for her typical routine.  As I was helping her this was our conversation:

Patient: Rachael, I don't want this nightgown.  Will you get me a different one?  And when you do be sure to watch out for the boogie man.
Me: [Patient], right!  There is no boogie man in your house.
Patient: Yes there is.  Watch out for him!
Me sarcastically:  Ok!  What night gown did you want?

Once I knew which nightgown my patient wanted I proceeded to leave the bathroom, walk through the kitchen, enter the living/dining room, and there stood a man.  I continued to walk through the living/dining room and into her bedroom, quickly turned around and went back into the living room and screamed at the top of my lungs, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"  I turned around and went back into the bedroom, only to turn around again and walk back into the living room to scream "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"  There stood a real live man, laughing.  It turned out being the patient's son who still to this day I don't know if he'd been in the house the entire time, or if he had come in as I was getting his mom ready for bed.  He simply asked, "Why are you screaming after you walked past me?"

It was simply this, my brain must have registered that I knew the person; however I keep wondering why would you enter your mom's house unannounced and stand in the dark shadows of the living-room corner.  CREEP!  So, readers beware.... there are some real boogie men in this world.

p.s. My patient claimed she knew nothing of her son being in the house or planning on coming to the house.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I didn't learn that from your information

Last evening while my niece and nephew played in the kitchen, I was discussing my upcoming writing assignment with a friend.  The assignment is to write about the taxonomy used in classifying Presidential Stalkers,(as in those who stalk presidents).  I was particularly discussing the John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln when it dawned on me that it might not be the greatest of subjects to discuss with my niece and nephew around and quietly mentioned to my friend, "It probably isn't the smartest to be discussing killing and death with these two around." 

Hallie with her ever so present listening ears turned around and said, "Who killed who?"  In efforts to not make it a large discussion I said, "Well a man killed someone a long long time ago.  Long before even your great-grandparents were born."  Hallie said, "Oh I know!  President Lincoln.  An actor shot him in the head!"  She paused for a second and then turned around and said, "And I didn't learn that from your information!"