“Broccoli Donuts”

Ry at our laptop being smart as always 11-27-18

“What do you want to do Aunt Amy?”

“Why don’t you play tic tac toe?”

And we did, per her Grandma’s helpful suggestion of how to occupy our time. I showed my bright niece ways to strategize to increase chances of winning. Even so, she genuinely whipped my butt in our first 3 matches because I mistakenly looked to block her pieces rather than promote my side.

Our homemade board was actually made of felt, with blue X’s that I named blueberry pretzels after deciding to call my own green O’s exactly what they appeared to be, unappetizing broccoli-flavored donuts.

Prior to playtime I gave my niece her spelling test & also helped the second grader with other things from her homework packet; one part involved answering questions about 4 different stories, kinda like 4 mini book reports. One question about a book wanted details in more than one complete sentence.

I offered: “You can say ‘The book was funny’ if it made you laugh.” So she did. But we still needed one more statement.

“How do you spell ‘crazy’?” asked the 8-year-old. I advised her to instead use the term ‘silly’ so she didn’t name call a character in the book ‘crazy’.

Neither of us suspected that listening to our every word was her fourth grade brother on the other side of the wall using the laptop. The ears of the unassuming hotshot instantly picked up on my brain blunder & by golly, quicker than cold comes in a Michigan winter came his incessantly impeccable input:

“Actually, ‘funny’ & ‘silly’ are synonyms

so technically that’s the same sentence.”


The End

By Aunt Amy






“Can you type in my password?”

So she did. It’s really hard to balance a toddler on your lap & reach your arms around the child to log into your Desktop account & then on top of that, find the kid a tune on the laptop that they like to jam to, & all this while simultaneously making sure they don’t fall off your lap & get hurt in the process. Headache 101.

So I was IMMENSELY RELIEVED that my Mom was in the vicinity to ask her to do the keyboard typing on my behalf. Until . . .

She bent down, grabbed the black mouse to click on the box to type in my long password, regrettably failed to realize the “caps lock” button was mistakenly left on which disarms the “shift” button’s ability to capitalize any letters, looked up at the screen & out of her mouth shot a phrase that when I heard the beginning of –

“Oh, SH” 

– I instinctively took all possible precautions. So, clutching my sweet nephew even tighter than before, I leaned my head down towards his little noggin in hopes to soften the oncoming verbal blow after she realized the error. Here it comes . . .

. . . Fully Flabbergasted & Royally Relieved was I to hear an outcome other than the one I’d been bracing the child for. 

I never loved the letter “f” so much before in my life:

“Oh, SHIFT!”

The End

By Aunt Amy


“Boys Will Be Joys”

“Grandma, help me pack Monopoly up!” her polite grandson called after his Dad arrived & he had to leave.

Grandma told the boy to leave it because she’ll take care of it; for the 4th grader on the pitch black winter evening, it was a school night.

The day prior another of my 7 nephews shared a joke after I started the joke swap by sharing one of his cousin’s latest laughable lines. My nephew delivered the funniest “Yo’ Mama” joke I’ve ever heard. In no way, of course, does the following humor reflect the considerate & thoughtful youngster’s own personal attitude. It’s just something he heard somewhere & went a little something like this:

“Yo’ mama’s so fat when she was in the ocean, a whale swam up to her & sang, ‘We are fa-mi-ly!’”


How fun for me to be an aunt to 10 remarkable children, everywhere I turn something new & amusing happening. Nothing beats the chuckle-worthy honesty of growing little ones. Like, for instance, my 2 oldest nephews informing me upon witnessing me in the act during mealtime many years ago when they were just 6 & 8 –

way too young to realize that my facial paralysis was the unavoidable cause of it –

that it was very bad manners for me to chew with my mouth open. Likewise, returning to Monopoly, I couldn’t help but overhear my nephew & his Grandpa together enjoy their lively match. I don’t think either of the 2 realized at all just how loud they each got while they played the game.

“I can’t buy it,” said Grandpa referring to his inability to pay for the property he landed on after rolling the dice. “I’m po’.”

“Me too. I can’t afford anything!”

“You’re not really a criminal?” Grandpa asked his grandson later.

Replied the little guy who’d obviously landed atop the jailhouse – “Just visiting.”

And on & on they went. Guy talk. Increasing in volume as they spurred each other further on.

As a lover of all English language items myself, I was especially tickled hearing the astute 10-year-old utilizing his impressive elementary school education to scold his opponent. Evidently, well into their game the slang being slung his way grew rather intolerable:

“Stop saying “po’”,” the boy warned his Grandpa. “That’s grammatically incorrect.”

Ry & Dad play Monopoly 11-15-18.JPG

The End

By Aunt Amy




Sep 11, '14.JPG

“Quack, quack!” I heard from my bedroom all the way down the hall coming from the kitchen. Then “Yaaaaaaaay! . . . What does a cow say? . . . Yaaaaaaay, haha! . . . Say hi for Papa!” Soon both my parents were making loud animal noises on the phone with their 1-year-old grandson who they couldn’t get enough of. What a great set of fun & loving grandparents! My Mom never misses a chance to teach her grandson about all different animal sounds and the like; she loves telling the little guy what animals are known for, like the quacking of a duck or the slowness of a turtle or the baaing of a sheep or the mooing of a cow.

Anyways, a bit earlier my Mom & I were running around doing our couple Friday errands: first Costco to return bad coffee, then one more quick stop before returning home. While driving our talking was prevalent.

“Put in ‘How long does caffeinated coffee stay in your system?’”

Reading from my cell Googled info: “‘It only takes 45 minutes for 99% of the caffeine to be absorbed . . . coffee’s effect lasts about 4 to 6 hours.’”                                                             

Nearing home, I revealed I already had 1 travel-size large mug of coffee causing my very urgent need to “use the facilities” (although I actually employed more informal speech as one does around close family members where you can let down your guard). I consequently prepared to jump immediately out after we pulled in our driveway & dash inside as fast as I could to our close half bathroom.

“Shoot, I forgot my sunglasses were on,” I chastised myself while fumbling to put them away as the car turned down our street.

With my walking difficulty in mind, my Mom was noticeably concerned about my upcoming hasty walk with my cane from her car to the house; the slanted uneven driveway, the slippery garage floor, the 3 steps into the house. However, her sweet & caring words as I made my speedy exit don’t quite add up given the VASTNESS of her animal knowledge described above.

Shouted from the driver’s seat

was a kooky comparison for me to be:

“Steady as a turtle!”


The End

By Amy on 11-9-18



“Tune In”

“The table’s yours!”

Instantly replied the witty 9-year-old: “Well, that’s really nice to give me a table for free but I don’t really need it.”

Ha! What actually happened was his Grandma had just made the large dining room table available. For my nephew & me to play Monopoly, one-on-one because time between just the two of us is important to the boy.

“What are snake eyes?” is 1 question the fairly new player to the strategic game inquired. I relished the opportunity to provide my eager-to-learn nephew with a basic grasp of the game. We together decided not to further complicate the game buying houses & hotels on top of real estate property. With him as the banker & me doling out purchased real estate, my sharp opponent, owning both more property & moolah, triumphed as champion.

His 3 younger siblings who were also over had a blast nearby, eventually drifting to where we were to show us their colorful cool capes they wore.

Shortly after arriving, the children munched on a healthy snack around the kitchen table. I joined the snackers with my own green pepper & cucumber. The kitchen TV was switched on to search for a kid-friendly program. The group finally settled on a show . . . or so they thought.

“How ‘bout this show?” their Grandma asked as she quickly positioned herself in front of the screen. Grandma NEVER disappoints! Playful & fun as always, she belted out a made-up-on-the-spot melody while very silly dancing side to side and flailing her arms “Da da da dee da!”

With front row seats to the impromptu entertaining live show, its viewers were certainly delighted and amused. And opinionated – apparently the eldest boy had soon seen enough of his gettin’-down-with-her-bad-self Grandma.

Remote in hand, he pointed it directly at her & blurted:

“How do you change the channel?”

Max and remote 11-7-'18

The End

By Aunt Amy


“Chocolate Puppets”

POST ON DAD'S BDAY; title 'Beats a Poke in the Eye'

“Are you milkin’ it?”

Surely not! A city girl like me squeezing the underside of an animal to then consume what comes out of it? C’mon! Actually, we stood side by side at the kitchen sink, me filling a cup of water from our Berkey & him patiently waiting for me to finish till his turn. The water filter device had slowed way down, to an unimpressive drip . . . drip . . . drip, thus provoking his unique inquiry.

“I’m not waitin’ here 6 fortnights to get some water.” With him I agree – tap water worked just fine for me for 30+ years before this purifier came along.

The preceding interaction had occurred prior to my snack in the kitchen while watching a “Home Improvement” rerun where I heard Tim Taylor seeking advice from his obscure neighbor Wilson over his high backyard fence. Their zany dialogue provided this very story’s mismatched title. Just roll with it.

Back to earlier between my Dad & me, our conversing continued. The dialogue to follow focused on his upcoming activity – he was preparing to go swim laps at his gym.

“When I was in high school I had about 10 or 12.” That quote was elaboration on his answer once he finally correctly understood my question I multiple times repeated till he got it; I had posed the query while water was dripping from the Berkey thereby hindering proper hearing.

So, only the 3rd & 4th words of my question – “How many swim suits do you have?” – were all he’d initially picked up.

And the phrase “swim suits” isn’t anywhere EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE – I’m talkin’, not even on the same Universe much less the same Planet – to what my dear Dad thought his ears caught.

And, well, that would explain him repeating the 2-word question he thought he’d heard while shooting me a bewildered stare like I’d just fallen off my rocker:

“Prune juice?”


The End

By Amy 3 hours before my Dad turns 69!

“Males Tales”

“Do you want to play train?”

“No?” answers my new-to-talking 16 month old nephew. He swaps affirmations with negations; simply put, “yes” means “no” & vice versa. And in question form on top of that!

So the toddler in fact does enjoy opportunities to pull around our house with a string a colorful roughly 2-foot-long toy train. Go figure.

With my niece & nephews over we had a grand ol’ time. Pulling a play train, playing charades, using the laptop, eating a healthy meal that included cheesy scrambled eggs, making silly videos of ourselves.

After the kids left, my niece to her basketball game with her Mom & baby brother, & my 3 oldest nephews to a U of M basketball game with their Dad, my parents readied to leave for an event.

Turning in early to veg & watch Netflix from the coziness of my bedroom, I was already donning my PJs. Not a traditional set, just some old black yoga pants & an old grey tee-shirt from Target that I wear to snooze. *Lemme just say that I love how the high-waisted yoga pants fully tuck in your shirt so your lower back is never exposed to uncomfortable cold air.*

But I digress. My Dad & I chatted while he put on his socks & shoes on the black bench in the little laundry room.

“You look good in your jeans & shirt!” I purposely encouraged him as he walked down the hallway a second earlier, knowing he very strongly preferred instead to be in his at-home garb.

One of our customary “things” is I tell him whenever he’s wearing street clothes & I’m in threads for just bummin’: “You look better than I do!” It makes him feel better about leaving the house in “real” clothes.

And I throw out that compliment all the while knowing I’ll hear a confident “I know” in return. However, this particular time around I guess I appeared even worse than usual – Now is a perfect time to explain that whenever I brush my teeth or wash my face at my bathroom sink, my midsection tends to make contact with the wet countertop, thus causing my shirt to get soaked in that area.

Obviously my inquisitive Dad would have no way of knowing that or else he wouldn’t have asked:

“Is your belly button leakin’?”

The End

By the daughter who loves wearing sweats, just like her Dad, over anything else on the planet

 4 days shy of my Dad turning 69 years of age