Can You Hear Me Now?


Cole and Kaiya making crepes. Probably after she couldn’t reach me on my iPad.

My 8-year-old granddaughter Kaiya sent me an instant message Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I was out of the house for a bit, and didn’t get back until after lunch. What’s more, to her everlasting SHOCK, I don’t have an iPhone, so I can’t get the messages she texts me from her iPad unless I am next to my own iPad. Kaiya and Mylee are endlessly stunned that I sometimes don’t pick up when they Facetime, for the same reason.

Anyway, here is what she texted me: Nana, what does TTYL mean (with no question mark because I have learned that NOBODY hip ends text messages with punctuation, and Kaiya is nothing if not hip. It simply isn’t done, except by me, because I was educated in the Catholic school system and would have had to write out I must use proper punctuation. 500 times if I failed to punctuate properly).

Her question took me by surprise, partly because I actually knew the answer. But I wasn’t sure whether she was asking because she didn’t know or if it was simply a test. You know, a Hipness Test.

I’m actually going to go with the first option, because for whatever reason, Kaiya thinks I know a lot. I hope she never learns the truth.

Anyway, TTYL (for those of you who don’t have a 13-year-old granddaughter with her own cell phone) means Talk To You Later. It’s a convenient way to finally end that text message conversation that seems to never reach a conclusion.

I will admit that the first time 13-year-old Addie ended a text message conversation with TTYL, I had to look it up. I could tell that it was the finale, but I didn’t know why. Up until that point, my urban abbreviation lingo was limited to LOL.

Pretty funny, huh?  LOL.

So, literally hours after she had asked the question, I texted back the answer. I never heard another word, so she probably found out some other way. From someone with an iPhone.

For reasons I will never quite understand, my grandkids think I’m high-tech. The joke’s on them. I write a blog, but I have no idea what that word actually means. I own two iPads, but I got one for free when we signed up with Dish Network. What’s more, I generally only use my iPad to read or look at Pinterest or play Majong Solitaire (a game they all think is old-school, but look over my shoulder as I play it and poke the proper tiles without asking me).

Sometimes Bill will be telling me something about my iPad or computer, and I just look at him as if he is speaking Swahili, because he might as well be. Interface? Gigabyte? Peripheral devices? URL?

So see? Really not high tech.

But I guess being high-tech, just like anything else, is relative. I, for example, have a Facebook account while Kaiya’s maternal grandmother doesn’t. The McLains’ other grandmothers have Facebook accounts, but my iPads have Minecraft installed on both. High tech.

And probably most important, since I bought Bill a new iPad for his birthday, we own a total of four iPads. We own so many that we may start using iPads instead of concrete blocks to build bookshelves for our family room.

Not really. TTYL.

Thursday Thoughts

Beat Bugs
So, one day two weeks ago or so, Court dropped the kids off to stay with me for a bit. “Hey Mylee,” he said. “Tell Nana what your favorite song is now.” Without even looking up from her legos, Mylee told me her favorite song is Help. Now, that caught me off guard. Not because I don’t like that song; in fact, it’s one of my favorite Beatles songs. But I couldn’t imagine how Mylee had become acquainted with it. Well, it turns out there is a show, now appearing on Netflix, called Beat Bugs. The program, starring cheerful computer animated insects, features songs written by the Beatles, with appropriate storylines surrounding the songs. For example, the episode featuring Help is about one of the characters needing his friends’ help to get out of a jam jar in which he fell. When the bugs can’t figure out where to play, they sing Come Together. You get the point. Mylee is constantly surprised that I know the words to every song. I’m equally surprised to hear her singing along with Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. I can’t wait for season 2. It’s a great way to get the theme from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse out of my mind, even if the bugs are annoying.

Can You Hear Me Now?
In a not-very-shocking turn of events, 2-year-old Cole has his own iPhone. Oh, it’s just a cast-off phone from one of his parents, for which he mostly watches You Tube Kids. Still, he knows how to use it like a pro. When I was getting the kids’ stuff ready to take to my house last week for the four-day sleepover, I placed his phone, along with the girls’ iPads, into their suitcase. A bit later, when I was getting ready to close the suitcase, I realized the phone was nowhere to be found. Knowing that four days without his iPhone would be, well, troublesome, I began looking frantically for the phone. Under furniture, in the garbage can, in the bedsheets. It was nowhere to be found. Finally, when I was seriously about to give up, I opened up one of Cole’s dresser drawers and there it was……


I placed the phone in the suitcase and just as I was getting ready to close it, my cell phone rang. I spoke to my sister for maybe 10 minutes, and then closed up the suitcase and Cole and I headed over to my house, making a quick stop at Walmart on the way. When I unpacked the suitcase, the phone was nowhere to be found. I began to second-guess myself. Did I really put it in the suitcase or did I lay it on the counter at their house? I couldn’t remember. So I drove back to their house to see if it was on the counter. Nope. I began searching once again. I even made a trip to Walmart to see if somehow I had tossed the phone into my front seat and it had fallen out in the Walmart parking lot. Nope. In desperation, I returned to Cole’s house to take one more look. I was about to give up when a thought crept into my mind. I opened the same drawer in which he had put the phone earlier that day and, yes, you guessed it….there it was. It’s apparently where he thinks it belongs.

Back to School
And because I simply can’t resist, here are my grands on their respective first days of the 2016/2017 school year….


Finally, I mentioned that we made homemade slime this past weekend, and a few people asked for the recipe. Here it is…

DIY Slime
In a bowl, mix a 4-oz. bottle of Elmer’s glue with a half a cup of water. Add food coloring if you want colored slime (and who doesn’t?). In a second bowl, mix one teaspoon Borax with 1 c. water until the Borax dissolves. Add the glue mixture to the Borax mixture and stir together. When the slime begins to take shape, use your hands to knead it until it loses its stickiness. Pour out any excess water. Have fun!


Thursday Thoughts

Jensen7 (2)

Austin and Lilly

Catch My Show in Poughkeepsie
We miss our grandkids a bunch. Oh, we miss our kids too, but what can I say? There is something about our grandkids. Quite frankly, I’m using my siblings’ grandkids as filler because, well, they’re all here. Tuesday night I babysat Austin and Lilly while Mark and Maggie went on a work-related dinner thingy. I decided that there is nothing cuter than 2-year-olds. They can understand everything you say to them. They can communicate with you, either through rudimentary language or, in Lilly’s case, something a bit more vocal. As I watch Lilly, I can hardly wait to get home to see how my own little almost-2-year-old Cole is doing. (He will be 2 in May.) For reasons likely related only to



being 2, Lilly thinks I am hilarious. The other night, I used a jack-in-the-box to delight her. I cranked the handle and when the clown (or in this case, the sock monkey) popped out, I threw it up in the air and screamed. You can see how absolutely hilarious this is, can’t you? Well, maybe not, but Lilly certainly did. All 78 times that she had me do it. She belly-laughed each and every time, as Austin looked on in amazement. Apparently, when you’re 5, you aren’t quite as easily amused.

I Suppose You Also Still Leave Voice Messages
Speaking of grandkids, last Friday – the day we were at the baseball game – when I looked at my iPad upon arriving back home, I saw that I had not one, not two, not three, but a total of four missed Facetime calls from 5-year-old Mylee. It was dinnertime, and when I tried her back, no one answered. So, the next morning, which was Saturday, I Facetimed her once again. This time she answered. “Nana,” she said with great exasperation in her voice, “I tried Facetiming you yesterday and you didn’t answer.” I said, “I know, I saw that you called, but we were at a baseball game and didn’t get home until later.” During the course of our conversation, Mylee complained three or four more times that she had tried to Facetime me the day before. Finally, I said to her, “Mylee, listen to me. I don’t have an iPhone. I have an android phone and it doesn’t have Facetime. So I can only get my Facetime calls on my iPad. Since we were at the baseball game, I didn’t have my iPad and therefore didn’t get your call until we got home.” Stunned silence. “You don’t have an iPhone?” she said incredulously. My status fell in Mylee’s eyes that day. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that I let her play with Play Doh at my house and allow her to eat only the cream filling from Oreos, I’m not sure I could rebound.

What Are You Doing Next Friday?
As does nearly any place you go nowadays, Bill’s maxillofacial surgeon (in real-life terms, that’s the guy who yanked out two of Bill’s teeth a couple of weeks ago, inserted an implant, sent him home still reeling from anesthesia, and sent him flowers) asked him to fill out a survey. As incentive to do so, he was promised two free movie tickets. He did fill out the survey and received the two free tickets yesterday in the mail. Flowers and a movie? It sounds more like dating than dentistry!

Finding Nemo
Finding DoraThe other night while watching The Voice, I must have seen one commercial three or four times. The ad was for the fish sandwich being served by Culvers. According to the ad, the fish is flown in unbattered, and each restaurant batters the fish and fries it right at the restaurant. The commercial then showed a close-up of the sandwich, which was flaky and delicious-looking. The tartar sauce was thick and the lettuce looked crisp. By the third commercial, I was determined to try that sandwich. So yesterday we did just that. Bill was a bit perplexed that I would want a fish sandwich on a Wednesday, but once we got to Culvers, he ended up ordering the same thing. He’d seen the same commercials. Well, I will tell you the truth. While no fast food sandwich looks the same as they do in the advertisements, this sandwich was quite good. It was hot and tasted fresh. And the restaurant was packed so we weren’t the only ones who saw the ad. There was a line nearly out the door – all old people (which is how Bill and I describe anyone between the ages of 62 and 73 who aren’t us). Advertising works.

Who the Hell is Dora?
kaiya mylee hatsBear with me. One more grandkids story, this time starring Mylee AND Kaiya. Once again, we were talking on Facetime. I believe it might have been the same conversation where Mylee learned the bitter truth about my telephone. Anyway, I said to them, “Hey! Guess what movie is coming out in June?” They eagerly asked what movie it was. “Finding Dora, I said. They both looked totally and entirely puzzled. “Finding Dora?” they said. “What are you talking about?” I explained that it was a sequel to Finding Nemo. “Oh,” they said in unison. “You mean Finding DORY, not DORA.”

Work with me here, Girls.