Category Archives: Leaving the Nest – All About The Chicks

Personal stories about children leaving the Crow(e) nest (home)

#Alexa – shit, who knew?!

My mother-in-law is to blame once again. She raised four boys, making my husband both the oldest and the ring leader. Even as grown men, when they gather, toilet humor is a favorite topic.

When they are away from one another, the topic still manages to rear it’s smelly head. I can hear flatulence during phone conversations, see references in texts and most recently, hear broadcast with their newest accomplish, Alexa.

“Alexa, make farting noises.”

Like my brother-in-law’s holiday competitions, they come in all sounds, duration and levels of disgust. Alexa wants to be in their group so badly, she participates every single time. I didn’t realize she could stoop to this level.

The boys to men tell one another about their technological farts with tears in their eyes. I had no idea how uneducated Alexa was until now. And yes, it’s my mother-in-law’s fault. She wrapped the boys in swaddling clothes and Alexa in Christmas paper.

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#Alexa kitten

Virtual chick and my husband are still pissing me off. Richie now thinks his woman has a good sense of humor too. She continues to give him what he wants, especially when he says, “Alexa, make kitten sounds.”

Her electronic speech is impacting our children and I take that very seriously.

It’s a laser show gone bad but without the lights.

In the past our cats have experienced maddening exercise routines with a laser. They chase that red beam anywhere. But when Alexa inserts herself with what she thinks are clever kitten games, I am not amused. That mesh-faced bitch sits in the corner of our kitchen counter with the ability to manipulate our cats.

As soon as Alexa starts meowing, our cats ears perk up. They creep around the house and slink into every nook and cranny like four-footed feline Sherlock and Holmes. They try to solve this new sound mystery but have not rescued the virtual crying kitten in our house. Alexa has damaged their ego and heartstrings.

My poor babies.

Watching our new feline sound stage show is heartbreaking. I need payback. Maybe I can shut down their new found sense of humor and blow her fuse for a change?

#Guess

Friday night but my disciplined husband keeps his weekly work routine and goes to bed by 9:00.

Past 9:30 but this cinema buff keeps her weekend desire to watch old movies past midnight.

Classic Hepburn was a given. Including Spencer Tracy and Sydney Poitier was like adding salt and pepper to a favorite dish.

Guess who’s coming to dinner was my 1967 choice. Looking back in time at this social issue was the comedy-drama I wanted.

15 minutes into the movie and I wonder why I hear my husband going out the back door? I figured he needed more wood to ensure the fire made it through the night. My mind stays focused on the screen and I pay more attention to the gallery and nice digs than I do to my own artful home. When I hear the stairs, I finally turn my head thinking Richie decided to join me.

But it’s not Richie!

Guess who’s coming to dinner was my 2018 reality. Gawking in surprise at my non-social butterfly baby girl was the comedy-drama I needed.

She had not flown in on United but I was thrilled to be reunited with her.

I didn’t have a Tillie to make us sandwiches and it was too cold to eat outside but I did whip us up some cheesy scrambled eggs to eat in the kitchen.

I never made it past the scene where the doctor meets the dad. On the interesting flip side, Tarah’s dad visits his doctor in the morning.

Our reunion tonight was comedic. I can’t wait to see what drama unfolds tomorrow…in both households.

Alexa my ass

With only two of us left in the house, the dynamics are split 50-50 between doing whatever we want after dinner and not listening to each other when we are in the same room. The way I feel about this flip-flops between marital bliss and frustrating madness. Tonight was worse than the latter because there was another woman.

I’ve been in denial about it since Christmas but tonight she inserted herself into every conversation:

Hubby and I were talking about our daughter that flew out of town this weekend.

“If she’s in Houston, what time zone is that?” my husband thought out loud.

“Texas is Central; she’s only one hour behind us”, I responded confidently based on my business travel days.

“Alexa. What time zone is Texas?”

The lady in the corner confirmed my response in her matter-of-fact tone.

That aside, we sat down to the nice chicken I had baked. On the counter was my clever attempt at, not apple pie, but little apple empanadas. Both dinner and dessert were kind of a big deal because my husband does most of the cooking.

“Why didn’t you look up an apple pie recipe?”

“Seriously, do you know how many fall apple pies I’ve made at this house down the street from an apple orchard?” A little hurt, I added, “The contents are the same. It just looks different. I wanted to try to make some individual ones.”

“Well, Alexa could have helped you with a recipe.”

The problem with that chick was she was just too easy.

I still had some of the little tarts left to bake now that we’d eaten dinner. I put them on a tray and popped them into the oven. My husband watched, I thought in anticipation of a vanilla ice cream pairing.

Rather, “Alexa. Timer. Ten minutes.”

That bitch in my house let my man know she’d do exactly what he asked.

I seethed until my reliable oven timer went off. Alexa could step off. I’ve managed this household just fine for over 25 years. We do not need her technological, electricity sucking, unnecessary two cents every time we do something. “Now that the pies are done, I am going to just go read a book and listen to some music.”

“Alexa. Play KISS.”

They could both kiss my ass. The marital interplay was maddening. I thought it best that we split up. With a grin on my face, I went into our unplugged living room to read – and it wasn’t a recipe book from Amazon.

End of the beginning

Sunday morning of a long weekend and I had no plans or desires to be anywhere but home. I’d been to mass the night before, nobody else was up and we had exercise equipment in the basement. I had no excuses left and time to myself, so it was finally time to work out.

I carried my pug down the basement steps and set him on a pillow. He was both my emotional support and witness for my Rocky routine. I set my IPhone on the ping pong table and started my playlist:

Rocky theme – It was natural to grab the jumprope first and start skipping to the beat. I quickly counted the revolutions, knowing I could easily put in 100, but maintaining until the end of the song was the goal. The song reinforced that I was “trying hard now” and belted that my body would be “getting strong now”. The lyrics”won’t be long now” were also inspiring, even though I had a long road ahead of me.

I hung the rope on a nail and put on my Everlast boxing gloves.

Eye of the tiger – I went head-to-head with my punching bag knowing I was my biggest rival. This was physical and psychological exercise. After a minute or so, I made sure I had quickfire feet going too. We were face-to-face, the bag was hanging tough and I was staying hungry. My reward for this workout was going to be a hearty homemade Sunday breakfast.

When the thrill of the fight and the song ended, I noticed white spots at the top of the bag. Figuring it was the start of molding from non-use, I panted my way upstairs to get Lysol spray for the bag and to prevent an impending heart attack, a bottle of water for me.

I sipped water as I looked out the cellar window. The outside temperature has been moving around zero degrees for a week now and our wood stove has been a lifesaver. It was appropriate that I moved my workout to the ski machine:

Hearts on fire – it’s been a few months since I used the cross country setup but the rhythm came back quickly. Exercise that involves arms and legs all at once are the most fun for me. “Time would not stand still” for me now. I was focused until I realized my heart really was on fire.

Starting was the hard part but now I was enjoying myself. Maintaining is going to be the challenge to get my body back in shape, in fact there’s:

No easy way out – I listened to this track as I worked with my free weights.

I saved my least favorite, abs, for last. I climbed on the ab machine and after 25 pulls, wondered who the hell named it a “glider”? I did as many as I could and then cooled down to Coach’s ‘motivization’ speech.

It was the perfect cool down. Next time I work out and it starts to burn, I am going to hear Mickey say, “I didn’t hear no bell!”

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

I am powerful beyond measure.

I need to believe it – on Sundays and every other day.

No more excuses – as my pug is my witness.

I have come out of the basement.

“Home” for the Holidays

When you pray that your children get home safely for the holiday

and everyone arrives at the house the afternoon before Thanksgiving

and then your kids go out for the night,

so you go back to the beginning and hope your babies get home safely for Thanksgiving.

#twenties #fifties

Photo credit: Instagram

Marriage Encounter

After 27 years together in this house,  I know my husband’s preferred routines. While other people would say he’s a softy, easy-going  and  down-to-earth, some of his habits are near militant:

– the man likes his steel-cut oatmeal in the morning;

– knives AND forks need to be pointed down in the dishwasher;

– a whirring fan sound from childhood must continue through every single, solitary night;

– the TV remote belongs next to Papa bear’s chair;

– his collection of T-shirts do not go in the dryer;

– a certain pen must stay in the memo holder, even though there’s a huge basket of pens next to it;

– hubby needs ALL his beard grooming products next to the sink; 

– the coffee corner is ritualesque and has a feng shui, so it should not be disrupted; 

– he does not talk until after the first cup “o Joe;

– he turns on the two salt lamps before bed…

…He is also not a softy, only sometimes easy-going, and always earth-shattering.

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Photo credit: Trisha Crowe