Friday, August 6, 2010

Amber Summer's remembers Judi Hansen

Amber Spiess August 6 at 9:55am
Judi Hansen was always somewhat of an enigma, that lived across the street from me.

As a kid, Kris and I played together frequently. Most of our times were spent in one yard or the other.

On those rare occasions, we were afforded the luxury of indoor play, I was always torn between who I wanted to see, once I crossed the Hansen threshold. Judi, or venturing to the basement of the bigger sister's bedrooms.

Judi was always well assembled. Adorned in baubles of gold and bright colors, high polish frost on those long beautiful fingernails. Judi once revealed to me that her secret to long beautiful strong nails, was constant painting of formaldehyde laced nail polish (trust me do not try this at home). There was never a time her fingers or wrists were bare, even in her housecoat.

Kris and I were fortunate enough an opportunity to play in her house once again. This was cause to celebrate.

Judi had just had back surgery and had been convalescing in her bedroom.

The bedroom, of all locations was the most taboo. The most coveted treasure of all...the replica telephone. Oh My! The telephone!!!

It wasn't surprising, despite surgery, Judi looked fabulous. She did not disappoint. As we entered to find her on THEEE telephone, arms flinging about in chatter and, of course, laden in jewels, flowing gown, she never looked more fabulous and refined.

Kris and I sat on the edge of the bed in silence while Judi wrapped up her phone call. Laughing and chatter, it was obvious Judi was enjoying the person on the other end of that line and then...

Out of nowhere, the loudest fart I have ever heard, in my 9 years of age. Judi didn't miss a beat.

Your House is Too Cold!

Adam requested I share this story:

While my mom was living in California she came out for a visit one Christmas. It's been an ongoing problem that she's freezing cold when she's at my house, anytime of the year. I think the problem got worse when she moved to California...maybe her blood thinned out like it does for your warm weather folks. She had lost some of the frontier hardiness it takes to tolerate a winter day at my house.

It was the night before Christmas Eve, maybe around 10:00, when I started to smell something horrific coming from the kitchen. I had been upstairs in bed, trying to go to sleep. As I started down the stairs I could see smoke and the smell was terrible and hard to define. I ran down the stairs to find Judi-Kari in the kitchen. "It's alright! Go back to bed!" she hollered. "What happened???" I asked. "Nothing! Just go back to bed!" "Are those your pajamas?" I asked as I spied a smoldering clump of red in the microwave. "Well, yeah." she answered. "What are they doing in the microwave???" I asked. She said, "I was cold." By now the terrible burning-plastic- meets- chemical- fire stench had permeated every inch of my small house. "What's on fire???" Adam asked as he came running up the stairs? Soon everyone in the house was running in to see what the emergency was. The smell was absolutely nauseating. I ran around and opened every window and door and turned on all the ceiling fans. In a matter of minutes the entire house was freezing, but that smell was stubborn.

I went back to the microwave to determine the extent of the damage. I picked up the offending PJ's with the barbecue tongs. They were still fiery hot. As they unfolded I saw that there were several charred holes. Had there been actual flames in the microwave? "Mom, why on Earth would you put your pajamas in the microwave?" I asked. "Well, I thought they weren't too different from those bean bag things you always use." she answered. "Yes, but those are like, 100% cotton and all natural fibers. You can't put in your polyester blend pj's with the rubbery elastic waistband!" I told her. "You can always toss your clothes in the dryer or use a hair dryer to heat them up." I added.

I was so irritated! I was now super tired and freezing cold. My house smelled so awful I didn't think I could sleep. After an hour or so I had to close the house up and go to bed. As I laid there trying to go to sleep, I started laughing hysterically. I couldn't stop. Jon asked what I was laughing about. "My mom almost burned our house down on Christmas Eve-Eve because she cooked her pajamas in the microwave! You don't think that's funny?" I asked. He started laughing and we laid in bed and giggled about it for 15 minutes. You can't buy this kind of entertainment.

The next day, after we documented the incident with photos (she was a good sport!) I bought electric blankets for all the beds in my freezing cold house. From that point on she was as warm as she liked when she came to stay. My kids still talk about the Christmas their Nanna almost burned their house down.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's a Kroner?

I had an entertaining conversation with Judi-Kari yesterday. I, in what now seems to be a misguided attempt to help entertain my mother, suggested that she read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She's begun to read the book which apparently led to the following phone call yesterday:
JK: DeeDee, what's a kroner?
Me: What?
JK: What's a kroner? K-R-O-N-E-R.
Me: A kroner? Do you mean the money in Sweden?
JK: I guess. What is it?
Me: It's the monetary unit of Sweden.
JK: Is 3 million kroner a lot of money?
Me: Uh, I don't know.
JK: Well, what is it? If you get 3 million Kroner would you be rich?
Me: I wouldn't think so. I think it's kind of like Yen or Lira.
JK: What do you mean? How much is 3 million Kroner?
Me: It depends on the exchange rate.
JK: Yes, but how much is it in dollars?
Me: I don't know. It varies from day to day a bit.
JK: Well, what is it?
Me: If I had to guess I'd say it takes a lot of Krona to make a dollar.
JK: What do you mean?
Me: Like, I think one Kroner is worth 10 cents or something.
JK: Well, that would be terrible! Who would want to carry around a huge stack of Kroners to buy something? Why would they make a money that way?
Me: I don't know. Maybe it's a coin.
JK: It's a coin? Even worse!
Me: I don't know that it's a coin. Maybe they make a note that's like 100 Kroner or something. Maybe that's the smallest amount it comes in.
JK: You think so?
Me: I don't know for sure, I'm just saying if I were the head of the Swedish Treasury, that's what I would do.
JK: Can you look it up for me and find out how much a Kroner is? I mean, I just can't figure out if 3 million Kroner is a lot of money or not.
Me: Sure Mom, I'm at Target but will get right on it when I get home.

Just in case you're wondering, yesterday a Kroner was worth about 14 cents. Why did I recommend that book??