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