Conrad Confessions

My fun-loving mother so sweetly nicknamed me Conrad when I was oh-so-little. I recently asked her why and she honestly can't remember other than she knew I hated it proclaiming "I NOT CONRAD!" Much teasing went on in our house. We were merciless with the teasing. Conrad would get to me, but there was one name, two simple little words (or just the acronym would do), that you didn't dare utter unless you wanted to start the WWIII....

C.B. eerrrr. I shutter to think of it! it stands for.... sigh... Cry Baby. argh!

C.B., C.B., you're a C.B. .......evil. evil. evil.

And, I WAS the baby in the house. the youngest of two... But, it wasn't just me that these words could bring to a boiling temper tanterum, oh no! not just me. :) Right Nache? Yes, my sister couldn't bare to be called a C.B. either. We were all awful in the teasing department. I beleive this is where I learned to find a lot of humility.

Not only a blonde moment, but an Amy moment

Well, I'm not a nurse, doctor, chiropractor, or any other professional whom would have had to deeply study the human anatomy. However, I've been told that there are some things that we somehow should just know.. like, Da!

These are the things in life that often escape me... I'm the "da".

A key factor into this Amy Moment is that this had taken place very early on in my dating relationship with Brandon. Much before we were ever living together. This is back in the day when we actually had those things you call "dates". This is key.

So, we're spending some cozy time at my place; just hanging out and watching TV. Brandon was sitting on the couch and I came over to sit on his lap (like young couples do). He responds "oh, don't do that. I have to pee & you're pushing on my bladder." I stared at him - I'm sure as though I thought he was full of hooey. (that's sh!t in Amy language).

He says "What? I really do have to pee." And, in my infamous wisdom, I unfortunately respond "Ya, but guys don't have bladders."

Seriously, I'm not sure why he didn't run for the hills.

He thought we'd entertain this theory and asked "Well, then where do you think we keep it?" and, in yet another bright moment I answer "In your peeny." (girls have hoo-hoos)

In short, I was wrong.

This has been a favorite family story. In fact, it was shared with his aunt, uncle and cousin on their way to see our new born neice. As we were all oogling and awing over little Hannah, I was asked about bladders... nice.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as they have because I'm fairly certain, I will never live it down!

Machinery + Amy = bad times for Brandon

Well, I've done it again folks. My handy work has caused my husband a wee bit of stress and work, and possibly money. So, it's winter in MN and with that comes snow and snow plows. Now, I'll build my defense... there was NO snow on our driveway and it had not been snowing. Therefore, who would think to look for large piles of snow at the end of the driveway? That sneaky snow plow came by left a nice gift at the end of our driveway, but who knew? not me.

So I blindly back out of the driveway and not until my back wheels had gone into it and I heard the loud crunching and scraping of the underside of the car did I realize that I'd done a bad thing. But I was half way thru, so what can you do? So I continued across and into the street. I put the car in drive and accelerated, and it seems, but I can't be certain, that the car is a bit throaty. So I test it, and yes, it's true. crud. Luckily for me, this was our older Grand Am and not the newer Mazda. but still..

Learning from my mistake, I decided not to do the same thing twice when I returned home. So I parked on the street and got the snow blower out. I started to try to clear the snow, but the snow blower was not chewing thru it. This is when i learned it's actually ice and that snow blowers do not chew thru ice very well. So the thing clogs and shuts off. I panic, because this is Brandon's new toy. I cleared out the ice and with great relief it starts back up. I pull the lever to spin the blades and there's a loud clunking sound. aaaaah crud. I swiftly put it in the garage and get a shovel to finish the path. and then I anxiously await Brandon's arrival home from work.

He recieved the news about the car well... but not so much for the snow blower. I really, really, really hope that it's minor. maybe a piece of ice is lodged in there and all it needs to do is melt? can I be that lucky??? we'll see... I keep his life exciting. I'm pretty sure.


A lesson in history

Okay, so not only was anatomy NOT a strong topic for me, but history was also not so great. This came to light for Brandon one night when we were watching the food channel. We love the food chanel.

So, I was laying in bed while Brandon was folding his clothes. The Throw Down with Bobby Flay was on and they were doing a Philadelphia cheese steak cook off. For their guest judge, they had none other than Benjamin Franklin himself. Me, in my Amy-moment-fashion, says to Brandon "That's not really him, is it?" note the question mark. and damned if I didn't say it in question tone too. When Brandon turned and looked at me, the look on his face gave me the answer to my question. then he asks "are you serious?"

I pulled the blanket over my head and wondered why I couldn't have made that a statement rather than a question. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin is long passed? and I have to say, although I've obviously never seen the man, it was a damn good look-alike. so there. that's my defense.


Women make the world go 'round

Yes. yes they do. I'm fortunate to be surrounded with strong intelligent women. I have been all my life. I know I've spoken a lot about my Grampa Shorty, but really, he and I couldn't have had all our shinanigans without my Gramma Bernie. My sister and my gramma were always together shopping and what not, whereas I would choose to get muddy and cause chaos with Grampa.

Even so, Gramma did take us girls on "dates". We'd go to movies... Gramma would bring the largest purse ever and fill it with candy bars and sodas... :) sorry movie theatres! She'd take us shopping. We'd get a set amount of money and get to pick out whatever we wanted for Christmas, but then Gramma would take the gifts and wrap them... by the time Christmas rolled around, we'd have mostly forgotten what we purchased. We'd go to the local pizza parlor and Gramma would bring lots of quarters so we could play Ms. Packman and Gallaga!!! ah yeah. We'd go to Circus Circus (a large arcade). Again with lots of quarters, but we also happened to have a close family friend that worked there and he'd bring us buckets of tokens and tickets to play and win all kinds of crazy toys. We'd be there for hours. Gramma would just sit and drink coffee in the dining area and us girls would just go until we got bored.

When Gramma wasn't entertaining us kids or shopping with Angie, she was working - or cleaning - or roofing the house - or cleaning the cars - or sweeping the porch. Seriously, if I had a fraction of the energy of that woman, I'd.... probably drive Brandon more nutz. :) And she still does all of that. She still works; full time. She loves to work and stay busy. Gramma did take several years off of work to care for Grampa when his health deteriorated. Amazing the stuff she put up with to care for him - and apparently he wasn't the easiest patient - imagine that!? :)

Gramma always has worked later hours - getting home several hours after most kids should be sound asleep. Grampa and I would wait in the front window to see Gramma's headlights turn into the drive so we could turn on the yard light for her and greet her. She'd come in and promptly proceed to make us dinner. Yes, that's right. She just worked a full day and got home late at night, only to make us dinner - we had a long day too of... playing, afterall. We'd eat things like fried egg sandwiches, mashed potatoes with creamed corn, braunschweger sandwiches with butter... just really yummy, nutritious, late night food. :)

What's with Gramma's and food? :) Gramma Bernie always stocked the house for us with all sorts of goodies. Angie and I each had our own cupboard fully stocked with all our favorite snacks. Slim Jims were always a hot commodity.

Gramma managed to keep us well fed, and entertained and with the house kept, working full time, all while putting up with Grampa Shorty and maintianing her class. She's truly a classy lady.

Who the heck invented stairs?

Stairs are my nemisis. You'd think it's an easy concept. You navigate them by going up one step at a time, or going down, one step at a time. Sounds simple enough... but oh no, I haven't mastered this concept. I think it's mostly because I'm careless or rushing or... maybe it goes back to when I was a kid and I'd run full speed in one direction while looking in the opposite direction. yep, that sounds right.

I fall down stairs. I fall up stairs.(yes, it can be done) I've forgotten that there are just two more stairs before the bottom - this can really hurt. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't yell out in pain after a loud thunk of some sort and Brandon comes running "Amy? Are you all right?" I only hear my real name when I'm in trouble or out of concern. 8 out of 10 times, it involves stairs. They hate me.

I can laugh at myself, and as I've mentioned, I also enjoy laughing at others. And I'm not the only one who's ate it on the stairs.

When I was an evil teenager (as all teens are) I lived with my Dad and his then girlfriend, Sue. Her and I were home alone, I was in my room - my teenage lair, when all of a sudden I heard and felt the vibration of a loud "thunk-a-bump-a-thunk-a-bump-a-thunk" and then nothing. silence.

So, I go to investigate. I called out "Sue?" and heard nothing. I went over and stood at the top of the stairs leading down to the basement, and there she was. Laying at the very bottom looking up at me, arms and legs spread out.

I couldn't contain myself. I started laughing so hard and I knew, just knew she would NOT be amused at my deep amusement... so I had to walk away. Yes, I'm awful for not having helped her up. But seriously, it rendered me... useless. Because I was caught in a fit of laughter and could not function. Maybe it's just me, but after hearing the thunks and looking down at her spread out at the bottom, it just struck me as damn funny. Sorry Sue! I'm glad you weren't truly hurt.

Ass over tea-kettle

One day, several years ago, my late Great-Gramma Mable (Dad's Gramma) had been diagnosed with breast cancer (not so funny, I know, but just wait...) Gramma was into her 90's and old age was taking it's toll, such as hearing.

As a family, we took Gramma Mable to her appointment to have this cancer removed. So, Grampa Vern drove with Great-Gramma Mable in the passenger seat and Gramma Adele perched in the center of the back seat, leaning forward to speak directly into Great-Gramma's ear. Dad and I followed in a seperate car.

As we were waiting to take a left turn across oncoming traffic into the hospital lot, Grampa decided to go for it. Seriously, this makes me chuckle. So he guns the gas of his Cadillac and the car lurches forward and left, while Gramma Adele goes ass over teakettle backwards in the back seat. All I could see was her feet go up in the air and then..... no more Gramma.

Oh, I cried so hard becuase I was laughing so hysterically. Needless to say, my grampa really got a tongue lashing which only enhanced my amusement. We were in the lobby, my eyes all puffy and my amusement barely contained, when they walked in. I don't think Gramma had realized that we witnessed it but she did once she saw me.

I don't know what it is, but I just cannot help it. I seriously find other's misfortunes extremely funny. Although my Gramma Adele found little to no amusement in it as she rarely finds Grampa Vern's mishaps funny, it was a welcomed distraction to the day's events and I'll never ever forget the image of her feet in the air! It just tickles me.


As you may have noticed, my grandparents' house was a unique and fun place to be. In fact, my parents had to schedule times for me and my sister to come home so my grandparents could have some time without us kids. While we spent a lot of time at my grandparents', I do have other family...

I've mentioned my sis, AKA: Ang, Nache, Angus, Angela Rae. She's my elder by 4 years and we've not always got along. Especially as kids. She showed little mercy, but I have got to say that after watching back the family videos, I was one annoying little girl. :) in fact, there was one home movie that I was viewing with my husband and he couldn't take it anylonger so he got up and while leaving the room said "boy, you were annoying"... oops.

My Mom, AKA: Bev, Duck, Duck Butt, Momma Poo, Beverly Ann. I hear a lot of "you look just like your mother". My mom is a creative individual. Like my Grampa Shorty (her dad), Mom is quarky and does what she pleases without concern of how she's perceived. She's built a 9' tall rocking chair which she proudly displays in her yard among dozens of other crafty ideas. She can make anything "hillbilly style".

My Dad, AKA: Scooter, Scee-Wee, Scott. He's an avid motorcycle rider, snow-mobiler, boater, really - he does all the activities that I love. I once went skydiving with Dad in AZ when I was 16 (I mean.. cough.. cough.. Angie did since she would've been the one of age) :) We went to Sturgis together for a few years too. Dad always said I rode my motorcycle like I stole it, but hey, I learned from the best! I've since sold my bike. :(

My Grandparents (Dad's side) AKA: The Folks, Vern & Adele, Gramma or Gram and Grampa. creative, I know. They've always lived "up north" on a lake in the warmer climates and in the past 10 years or so have traveled to AZ in the winter months. I love visiting them. Gramma has the best cooking ever and Grampa has always had the best toys (what is it with grampas and having lots of toys?!) Upnorth is where I learned to fish (still won't touch anything that moves), four-wheel, boat, water ski, snowmobile, shoot pool, throw darts, shuffle board, etc. As a kid I would bring friends upnorth for a week while my parents were in Sturgis. My husband absolutely loves our trips north and he considers them his grandparents as well.


Showing off doesn't always pay off

One winter, me, my husband Brandon, and our good friend Tuna (AKA Erik), were all going out. I was often their sober driver. At this time we lived in a town house where we had a little extra parking spot that, in the winter, filled with ice. So, I'd learned this little trick when I was backing out of the driveway that I'd gun the car and turn the wheel and slide out and sideways, ending up facing out of the driveway. I thought it was a cute trick and I decided I'd impress the boys. So, I go for it and as we're flinging out of the garage, Tuna all of a sudden yells "My car, My car!"

Oh, but it's far too late. We're sliding across the ice and there's no stopping now. The rear end of my car smashes into the front end of his car. We all sit there stunned. Tuna, the sweety he is, says "It's okay, I'm sure there's more damage on your car than mine. And besides, nobody got hurt." It was nice of him to say, but it didn't appease Brandon. No. Brandon said "just go". that's all I got out of him for several miles down the road. He was not amused and he was thoroughly embarrassed.

So yes, if you're keeping score, I've smashed the back end of my car and the front end of his car. Hey, I AM a good driver... maybe a little reckless... or maybe, and actually this is certain, I'm simply accident prone... in everything I do.


I cause him more work...

Brandon and I have this agreement that we do not get eachother anything for holidays, birthdays, etc. However, I'm apparently in the habit of providing him the least desirable of gifts on his Birthday. Here are two tales of the two birthdays in which I gave my husband a headache for his gift.

February, 2007 - the week of Brandon's birthday. I have such a handy husband and the fact that he works at a dealership makes it all the more convenient for car maintenance. One morning, Brandon was kind enough to take my car to work while I took his. I left the house shortly before he did and was making my way thru the country back roads towards work.

At one point in the trip the road comes to a T and traffic backs up. So, I'm behind this town car who's turning left and I'm waiting to turn right. He procedes forward as though he's going, but.. nope... he stops.

I was looking for my traffic - assuming he was going - and BANG! The man gets out of his car and I get out of my car and we chat and decide to pull into a farmers yard. by this time, the traffic has really backed up. Several cars back, in my car, is Brandon. I call him and he answers the phone with "What'd you do?!" not a good sign... He says "What's you do?!" often to me, and for good reason.

Brandon joins us in the farmers yard and handles talking to the guy (who laughed when he learned my husband was there), exchanges info, and then Brandon tries to calm me down before we get back on the road. I don't know why, but I balled the whole way to work.
That's the day I gave my husband a broken bumper for his birthday

February, 2008 - This year we went all out. Every day we had something planned. Dinner with family, party at our house, super bowl at our house with family, trip to the casino, etc.
The non-stop events of the weekend proved to be very strenuous and wearing, especially on the birthday boy. His patience had worn thin.

So, why not give him a gift (Amy style)?! When his entire family was at our house I had told his sister that I'd borrow her a purse. I was looking and looking but couldn't remember where... so I thought I'd look on the top shelf in our closet (well, Brandon's closet).

I couldn't see and hadn't anything to step on, so I place one foot on a wire shelf then the other on the opposite and BOOM! Apparently, the opposite had been screwed into sheet rock only. And did you know, that sheet rock will rip out of the wall with the screws and brackets? yep! Story checks out.

All of Brandon's jeans, t-shirts, shorts, etc came crashing down. I ran to the hallway and signaled for Brandon's dad to come up and not tell Brandon. So, he comes up and assesses the damage. To my dismay, it was not a quick fix before Brandon finds out.

Brandon asks where I am and I hear Brandon's mom yell "You're not supposed to go up there!" shit! Busted. I think I killed the last thread of his patience and in front of his family... Kicker is: the item wasn't even up there!!
That's the day I broke my husband's closet for his birthday.


The day the lights went out

As encouraged by my dear friend Leslie, it's my pleasure to share with you an amusing tale of why my husband's life is never dull.

Let's see... One day, a day like any other, Brandon and I had gone out to dinner. When we arrived home we went to change into our "comfies" (this is ritual).

We hadn't turned on any lights but the bathroom light, which lit the bedroom well enough. So, as I was changing into my sweatshirt, all of a sudden it went completely dark!!! I yelled at Brandon a very stern "HEY!"

In return he yells from only five feet away "WHAT?!"

As I removed my hood from over my face, I mumbled "nevermind". And then proceded to turn my sweatshirt around.

That's the day the lights went out in Amyville.


Up in the treetop

When I was a kid, I was always climbing trees. If you needed to find me, just look up. I was likely to be as high up as I could manage. I was a little monkey, but A LOT less graceful.

We lived on a dirt road in between suburban cities. Last dirt road within miles. There were four houses on our block, if you can call it that. One was my granparent's, the next was where my grampa grew up but was now owned by a non-relative, the next in line was a cousin's, and then my house. If you hadn't guessed, we lived very close to our grandparents.

So our school bus would come down our dirt road and pick us up at my house. Because we lived in a cold climate state and had to face the eliments, my parents built us a busstop shelter. Really, tho, it was a light salmon painted out-house. As we got older, we'd sooner face the elements than be caught inside it.

One spring in the 80's, while me and the neighbor boy (no relation) were awaiting the bus's arrival, I of course, was climbing a tree - I mean, what else would I be doing? These were the days when Zubas, diaper pants, hammer pants, parachute pants (call them what you will) were in style (you with me?). As the bus was approaching, I attempted to jump from the tree in my graceful style. My baggy bottoms got snagged on a branch part way down and not only ripped my pants, but held me dangling from the tree as the bus driver approached. I finally managed to get down and the driver was kind enough to wait while I ran inside and changed.

Luckily for me, we were the first pickup on the route. Even so, the neighbor boy witnessed it and I was horribly em-bare-assed.


Driving Miss Daring

I learned to drive at a very young age, and not just a car. Like the animals, Grampa collected all sorts of stuff. All of which we had full access to. We'd ride dirt bikes, mopeds, and go-carts up and down the deep ditches along the highway while cars zoomed passed (yes, I'm a thrill seaker).

We had tractors - when I was really little, we thought it was the absolute coolest that Grampa would give us "train tractor" rides. He'd hook up a string of mis-matched wagons (one of which had a porta-potty chair in it which served as a seat) hooked up behind his mowing tractor that had the infamous car-hood ornament secured to the front and we would chug along with all the kids (friends, cousins, anyone) piled on board, wherever we could fit. He'd make a big hooplah out of it, honking the horns (oh yes, grampa had many horns - the loudest and craziest possible, because he was loud, in everyway) and letting everyone know, here we come, ready or not.

We also had a yellow large tractor with a scoop on front that he'd give us rides in and we'd pick apples at the top of trees, unicycles (Yes, I can ride a Unicycle!), a three-wheeled bike with a basket on it, etc. (I do a lot of etc.'s because the list could seriously go on and on, but you get it, it was crazy.)

Grampa had a gold-colored crysler convertable. This was my car - I couldn't have been more than 12 yrs old. All Grampa said is that if I got caught (meaning pulled over by the police) that he'd tell them I stole it. This was enough to deter me from going much farther than our dirt road. One cold and snowy winter, I had my 3 bestest, closest gal-pals over. (sadly, I later grew apart from my friends because I moved) Us girls had just gotten done putting dreads, which were really just a bunch of itty bitty braids, all over our heads.

The four of us piled into the gold convertable with me behind the wheel (just us kids), put the top down and drove around with the 20 degree wind blowing thru our white-girl braids. good times.


Two pees in a pod

Grampa shorty and I were a pair. My sister Angie (aka, Ang or Nache) and my Gramma Bernie were a pair.

Every Saturday we'd go into the city, we'd drop Gramma and Ang off at the Goodwill to go shopping while Grampa and I would go slummin' in the city and hang out at the bar with grampa's "ingin" friends.

Disclaimer: Grampa wasn't exactly politically correct about, well, anything. My quoting of him is just that.

At this one particular bar in which we frequented (Rosies), Rosie had a lamp which had multiple color lights that went around and around. It wasn't so much a lamp as it was a beer logo'd bar decoration, but I was young and I was absolutely fascinated by it. I'd just sit and stare at it. Grampa thought I should have it so he purchased it for me. Rosie said I could have it, but Grampa was a generous man and he gave her some money so his little side kick could have her mesmurizing beer lamp.

Every day of the week, my grandparents go to breakfast - at one of two local restraunts. In the afternoon, Gramma would go to work and Grampa and I would go out to "coffee" to "shoot the shit" with his old-geezer buddies at one of these same restraunts (when I go there now, they said I'm VIP! LOL). Ever watch Grumpy Old Men??? this was it, except not so much as grumpy, but dirty & funny. They'd harrass the waitresses and staff, share the same dirty jokes over and over, and we'd play cribbage.

sometimes, during the school year, I'd play sick so I could go to "Breakfast" and "Coffee". I mean, what kid wouldn't? I'd be allowed to have Pepsi , a plate of french fries, and a bowl of pickles for my meal - and they'd let me drink all the little creamers on the table too! When I was much younger, I'd walk into the kitchen, so little and barely talking, and say "ickle". The cooks thought it'd be funny to give me a tomato, but I knew... I wanted "ickles".
My Grampa Shorty loved to make people laugh or in the very least, get a rise out of people - whichever happened first. He was outrageous! He was kind. He was ... strong willed... :) He wouldn't give a "rat's ass" what others thought and "If you don't like my gate, don't swing on it." He was very, very well known for his potty mouth... "well i'll be a son-of-a-bitch".

Grampa Shorty was a character beyond all others. He was my best buddy and I, his. We were inseperable.


Funny Farm

Life on the hobby farm (oh, yes, we didn't farm cows here, we farmed shinanigans, laughter and fun) with Grampa Shorty included "truck rides" with kids piled in the back of the pickup truck barelling thru mud puddles and corn fields. The "monkey cage" that we climbed on top to swing off by rope swing and bounce off the tree (us kids were the monkeys). Summers of priming the pump to get a drink of water only for it to turn into a water fight. Climbing on roof tops and shucking feed kernal corn off the cob to throw down on grampa's head below. Cooking left over vegetables & seed for the animals over a barrel of fire "out back" (because animals liked their food cooked, you know!?!).

We'd get up insanely early on weekends to go to animal auctions where we'd purchase the craziest, most unique animals we could find. We had floppy eared bunnies, peacocks, donkeys, trainable pigeons (they did tricks when he whistled), white rats, a dog (Toby the fat chihauha) that thought he was a cat (he slept in the cat-coupe among the dozen or so cats we had), and so many more. There was nothing average about anything we did.

Grampa almost always had some baby animal - a bunny, bird, rooster tucked inside his flannel shirt or front pocket - and he'd bring them along to my preschool or he'd sneak them into the local restraunt to show off. He also was known for the donkey which he'd bring to my preschool and, yes, the restraunt too. It was a traveling hobby farm.

Name Calling

There's no better "starting at the beginning" than with Grampa "Shitty" Shorty. At a young, young age, this is what I was taught to call my grampa, by his truly. He thought it was cute, this little squeeky-voiced toe-head learning naughty jokes and calling him by a cuss. One can only sum it up by, that was Shorty! It really says it all.

He called me by: Angie, Ray, Steve, Bev, Frank - or really any other family member's name before he made it around to Amy. And sometimes, he'd skip all that and just call me something like Shithead or Asshole. :) No matter what, I answered and you know, that's just Grampa Shorty.

He had many names, some not always so endearing... Before the internet was ever invented, my Gramma Bernie would curse my grampa saying "ah, you Yahoo". How weird is that?! She should have rights!!! I called him Grampa. My friends called him Grampa - he was everyone's grampa. His friends called him Shorty or Shitty Shorty. My uncle Steve called him Captain. My mom called him Short. His birth name was Raymond. (No one called him Raymond, infact, few knew who that was)

Grampa Shorty was a character. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, can only describe him as such... a character. There's no other way to describe him. In following posts, I'll share the insane stories of life growing up with Grampa. The farm, the daily routines, the laughs, the fun. He was a vital human being and his stories are ... something else.

AmyLou Who?

Welcome! I'd like to introduce myself. really, I would. but where to begin.. ?

Here are a few of the unique names I've picked up over the years.... Last Minute Lou, PeeWee, LouLou, Pooh, Popp-o, Peeny (yes I know), Nunny, Ammers, Tutti-Fruiti, Ames, Charlie Brown (I really don't know), Amanator (watch out, she'll get cha'), Emmy Lou, Conrad, Precious, Bunny, etc.

I have so many aliases from so many stories and characters in my life. I hope to share these quarky stories and amazing characters so that you too can laugh, some at my expense, as laughter is so key to existence.

Please stop back periodically as I plan to share hilarity as it ensues &/or is recollected (in no particular order). gotta keep ya on your toes.. :)

Yours Truly,
... Me