Bored In Dream Land

I’m not a dreamer. Yes, I have dreams as in hopes and wishes but as far as dreaming while I sleep I’ve never been someone who remembers my dreams and then likes to start a morning conversation with, “You are not going to believe the dream I had last night.”

Yes, I know everyone dreams while they sleep. Some studies show that at least two hours of our nightly slumber is dream filled. The fact that I can’t remember my dreams used to bother me because I was certain that my nocturnal musings were probably epic. After all, I have a very active wide-awake imagination so I just assumed that my dreams while snoozing would be that times a million.

I was shattered to recently discover that I’m a boring dreamer. Yes, I’ve begun to remember some of my dreams and all I can say is that they’re beyond dull. My dreams are like the guest at a party that you try to avoid because you don’t want to be trapped talking to the most uninteresting person in the room.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my dreams hurt my feelings. Who wants to have dreams that are about as exciting as your Target shopping list? Also, and more importantly, I’m insulted that my slumbering brain is so unimaginative. It’s not that I want nightmares but come on my brain should be doing better than recipe dreams.

Yes, that’s right I’m dreaming about recipes. I would be okay with that if my recipe dreams included some excitement like I was a pastry diva or master chef. Also, technically I’m not even dreaming about actual recipes. I’m dreaming about recipe websites.

Am I okay?

Really, am I because whose imagination when given free range stagnates on recipe websites? Oh, and it gets worse because these dreams are a little angry. I wake up mad and it’s not because I wasted dreamtime on websites. It’s because the recipe websites are lacking in the speedy delivery of recipes.

If this doesn’t make sense to you let me explain that a plethora of cooking blog/recipe purveyor websites seem to attach a novella to every single recipe. This means you have to scroll through about 3,000 words before you get to what you’re looking for – the actual ingredients and instructions.

Worse, those 3,000 words have nothing whatsoever to do with cooking. If I search online for the “best lemon pie” chances are before I get to the recipe I’ll have to endure a mood piece about the emotions the pie evoked because the color of the custard reminded the baker of a bridesmaid dress she wore in 1998.

Honestly, no one googling “lemon pie” cares about the tales of a bridesmaid. (Although a dress the color of a good lemon curd does sounds like a winner.)  Most people just want the recipe.

I most especially want to see the recipe if I’m standing in the baking aisle of the grocery store with a mask on that’s fogging up my readers as I search on my phone for lemon pie ingredients.

I talked to a friend about my boring dreams that leave me angry and she said to blame it on the pandemic. Her theory is that my virus anxiety is manifesting itself into drab dreams that reflect our collective state of boredom and that my anger being directed at the recipes is actually towards the coronavirus.

She might be right, but honestly upon further reflection I think my subconscious is telling me, “Girl, you really need to get a life.” As for my irritability well who wouldn’t be a little steamed about having to endure online ramblings about the “bridal luminosity” of lemon custard?

 

Dear Snarky – I Feel Like My Friends Are Gaslighting Me

Dear Snarky,

 I think I have flushed some longstanding friendships down the toilet. One of my friends was driving me absolutely crazy by whining nonstop on social media, group texts etc about how hurt and devastated she was that her 11-year-old son didn’t have his 5th grade graduation.

 She literally wouldn’t shut up about it. A couple of days ago I couldn’t take it anymore, so I told her in a group text that no one really cares about a 5th grade graduation that lasts 30 minutes and takes place in the cafeteria. I also said she needs to get woke to the fact that she was doing more whining than seniors in high school and college who were really missing out on graduation.

 I knew she would get mad at me for pointing out the obvious but what really angered me is that after I sent that text friends in the group text called me and were thanking me for “finally saying what needed to be said” BUT then they didn’t have my back and in another group text were calling me out for “being mean.”

 I felt like I was being gaslighted and right now I’m confused. Are any of these women my actual friends? Why all this playing both sides B.S.?

 Signed, Defriended

Dear Defriended,

 These women suck. All of them. To begin with they knew exactly what they were doing by calling you on the phone and not texting you. The phone call doesn’t exactly leave the evidence trail a text does. If you say, “But on the phone you told me that you agreed with me.” They can respond with, “I never said that” or “You got what I said mixed up.”

 This proves that the phone calls were calculated and that their plan all along was to play both sides which is super lame.

 As for the whiny mom going on and on about her kid missing out on a 5th grade graduation well at best she was tone deaf and at worst she’s a moron. You need to be very careful what you complain about right now. If in the middle of a pandemic your family is healthy and you’re able to pay your bills you should count yourself very, very, lucky.

 I don’t want to dismiss this mom’s sadness about a 5th grade milestone but if that’s the worst thing that has happened to you these last few months then gratitude is in order.

 In fact, I applaud you for telling your friend to get some perspective. Perhaps, you might have not done it in a group text and been a tad more diplomatic, but what’s done is done and the woman sounds annoying as hell so hey, maybe delivering some unfiltered honesty was what was needed.

 Right now, I advise taking a break from all these women for a little while and really think about if you want friends that have problems taking a stand and more importantly being honest. I personally think you can do better.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

Quarantine Curious

Here’s what my current life situation has succumb to: I’m wasting time being abnormally curious about why all the fire hydrants in my neighborhood have been painted gray.

Is it primer? Is there some kind of new fire hydrant design initiative where everything in the burbs must adhere to a gray, beige or greige motif? Is it an artistic statement that reflects our current pandemic mood – dreary with a side of blah?

I even called the my city public works department and they didn’t know. So, then I called Water One and I’m still waiting to hear back from a real live human being. I also did a Google search of “Why is my fire hydrant now gray?”

Apparently back in 2017 that was a hot topic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I know this because my googling took to the front lines of that riveting discussion. Based on my deep dive I now feel confident saying that the gray on the fire hydrants is most likely primer.

Bonus – I learned that most cities repaint their fire hydrants every 10 years, so you’re welcome for that bit of knowledge you never really needed to know. Although, I can see it coming up as a Jeopardy question.

I fear a side effect of this current life situation we’re all in is that I have become hyper curious about stupid stuff. Four months ago, I can assure you I probably wouldn’t have noticed the gray fire hydrants.

In fact, four months ago, I was in D.C. not only using the Metro but gripping a plethora of mass transit handrails. I guess I’m lucky to be alive because I’m certain that metro handrails are bacteria and viruses happy place.

I imagine the handrail as a kind of germ rager with lots of co-mingling and hook ups. In my mind it looks like a single bars with 2 for 1 drinks and free appetizers. So, basically just a cauldron of infectious disease mayhem.

If only I knew that it would be my last time to ever touch a handrail with my bare hands and not have a panic attack while using approximately a cup of hand sanitizer to wash away my fears.

I kind of feel like I should be cherishing the memory.

Of course, my rampant inquisitiveness has extended to coronavirus issues as well. I’ve even come up some brain teasers.

For example, if someone is wiping down a shopping cart with a dirty rag that has been used on other shopping carts is that shopping cart really clean or have the germs just enjoyed what amounts to a ride on a Tilt-a-Whirl?

For those of you who don’t remember the Tilt-a-Whirl is an amusement park attraction where you spin around in a bunch of different directions while experiencing the majesty of centrifugal force and gravitational pull.

Just in case you’re stumped the answer to that brain teaser is no the shopping cart isn’t clean and yes the germs have enjoyed being spun around and being tossed from cart to cart.

Brain teaser number two is did I walk up to the person using the dirty rag and say something?

No, I did not because while I’ll admit to being the Covid-19 police at the start of this journey I’m now experiencing enforcement fatigue and control what I can which is the health practices of my family.

This is why I think I’ve gotten curious about the mundane like the color of fire hydrants. It’s a safe, non-scary topic to explore which is comforting because it means for a brief moment in time I wasn’t thinking about washing my hands.

 

 

 

Can a Patriot Rescue Us from Quarantine Brain?

The word patriot is not what it used to be. A mere five years ago if someone was called a patriot I would assume they were talking about a Paul Revere-esque figure and the whole, “One, if by land, and two, if by sea” declaration. You know like a real spirit of 1776 patriot. Of course, there’s the New England Patriots but I’m talking about the non-NFL franchise use of the name.

To that end it seems like the word patriot has lost its original luster and gravitas. I think that’s because I hear it all the time. It’s a word I always thought should be saved for special or worthy occasions like your good china and silver because you don’t want to wear it out or God forbid tarnish it.

Also, I’ve been pondering is it cool or even proper to call yourself a patriot? It seems to me that patriot is a moniker that should be bestowed on you rather than you bequeathing it to yourself.

These deep thoughts arose from where else but social media. When some cities began lifting their lock down orders my newsfeed was resplendent with acquaintances calling themselves “patriots” for going to malls, restaurants and in one case a nail salon. It left me thinking these folks might need to look up the definition of the word.

Yes, you’re out and about but I don’t think ordering a club sandwich with mayo at a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas is exactly a “Remember the Alamo!” moment.

And this might just be me but I’m almost certain going to get a mani/pedi should never be considered an act worthy of labeling yourself a patriot. What’s the battle cry? “Don’t forget to pumice my heels!”

I admit to feeling unsettled by the hubris. Seriously, in what universe does stuffing your face or getting your cuticles massaged give someone the right to act like they just defused a dirty bomb and liberated a small country?

But, you know, whatever. I’m just going to chalk it up to the lasting effects of “quarantine brain.” This is where your reasoning skills have been impaired due to not enough cognitive engagement with the outside world.

The good and the bad about being locked down with family is that in most cases you’re with people who either share your mindset or don’t but because they value their mental happiness pretend to agree with you. This can give you free reign to bluster nonsensically and then think you might a genius.

I personally wouldn’t know what this is like because my family’s hobby is, with glee, telling each other that we’re wrong. I think the polite term for this is debating so I’m going to pretend that’s what we’re doing. But enough about my family’s interpersonal dynamics let’s focus back on quarantine brain.

I’m certain that’s what has led to so many of the totally asinine postings I’ve seen on social media. You know the ones I’m talking about where you think that perhaps a well person check might be needed or someone has over imbibed and is now keyboard happy.

The worrisome part, besides the postings, are the people that agree in the comment section thus fanning the flames of  “morons unite” even more. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s been an inferno of ignorance. Common sense during this pandemic is going up in flames.

Yes, I realize that stupidity shared online is nothing brand spanking new but truly I think it’s reached new heights and my diagnosis is quarantine brain.

Perhaps a patriot can ride to our rescue. Hopefully one that has done more than eat a sandwich.

Dear Snarky – My Mom Favors and is Enabling Our Older Sister

Dear Snarky,

We’re two sisters who are sick and tired of our mother enabling our oldest sister. We’re both college students that have been working doing instacart during the coronavirus to make extra money. Meanwhile, our oldest sister, who flunked out of school, thinks she is too good to actually work and has been living off of our mom.

We were both amazed when my mom told us our sister got a job. Turns out her job is being part of a pyramid scheme selling make up and my mom gave my sister $500 for her “selling starter kit.”

If this isn’t bad enough my mom told us that we need to buy $200 each worth of product from our sister to help her meet her sales quota. We’ve also been told that we should each host a Zoom cosmetics party for our sister. Really?

How do we get our mom to wake up and quit throwing money away? It’s hurtful that our mom repeatedly seems to favor one daughter more. I think we’re at our breaking point where our relationship with our mom is going to be damaged forever.

Signed, Two Sad Sisters

Dear Sisters,

Let’s start with the bad news first. You can’t control your mom. If she wants to keep on propping up your sister and financially supporting her that’s her business. I’m not making excuses for your mom but sometimes parents will laser focus their attention on the child that is struggling and pretty much throw everything they’ve got to rescue that kid.

The downside is the rest of the family suffers and the struggling child is artificially being bolstered which in most cases doesn’t solve their problems it just postpones them for a little while.

The good news is you both are hardworking college students and I think you need to sit down with your mother and tell her how you feel. You have nothing to lose by being honest and even if your mom continues to have blinders on when it comes to your older sister at least you’ve made your feelings known and that’s important because you’ve empowered yourself.

You also can take a hard pass on buying make up from your sister or hustling your friends to buy makeup. It’s your money, you earned it and it’s yours to decide how to spend it or save it.

This journey your sister is on maybe a long one so you both need to set boundaries with your mother and sister and repeatedly remind yourself  that you have zero control over what both of them do.

I urge you to stay centered on your own goals and not let the current family dynamic drag you down. Put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing which is continuing to work hard and get your degree. Just in case your mom isn’t saying this I will. I’m proud of both of you.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

Looking Forward to Looking Forward 

One of my family’s favorite games last month was to play the, “What am I going to do when the quarantine is over?” Of course, first on the list is to leave the house with wild abandon yet still clutching a bottle of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes while not forgetting a face mask and the six-foot protocol.

After that all of our answers varied greatly. My number two quarantine release “must do” is to get our dog groomed. Who knew that one of our pets would be the mammal that suffered the biggest beauty impact of being locked down? I’m not saying I look good – at all – but at least I can still see.

Our poor Bishon Frise is now so fluffy that she has no discernible body parts. She just looks like a humongous dust bunny . Oh sure, I’ve given her baths and brushed her, but that home maintenance ship has sailed. This dog needs professional help with some turbo charged clippers.

And while we’re on the topic of grooming can I confess something? I did some quarantine math and discovered that I only washed my hair every 5.7 days, wore makeup once every 13 days and only wore real clothes (this is defined as clothes needing a button and/or a zipper) twice in a 40-day period.

I liked to say I’m horrified by this, but I can’t. The whole make-up free, no hair washing, stretchy pants free for all had moments of wonder and bliss. But, it’s also a slippery slope because I got used to looking bad and it didn’t bother me at all.

Granted only my family saw me but still I have moments where I think that mascara is overrated and just OMG on what a waste of time eyebrow maintenance is. Yet, I know once I resume a lifestyle that involves humans I’m not related to I’ll probably begin a partial grooming ritual.

One activity I’m ready to wholeheartedly embrace is living vicariously through my children. I always prided myself on not being one of those mothers whose existence was predicated on what their children did. I was even a little smug about it. Wait, better make that a lot smug. But, guess what? Turns out I’m indeed one of those moms.

Until the lock down I had no idea that my life was so vested in what my kids did until they were doing nothing. Okay, my son was working, and my daughter was  Zooming through college, but they weren’t exactly living their usual lives.

I missed hearing about the cool stuff they were engaged in from getting the inside scoop from my daughter about an audition or some crazy classic car thing my son was up to. In a harsh reality slap I realized that my life does revolve around my children’s comings and goings. Surprisingly, I’ve decided I’m going to let myself be 100 percent okay with that.

Next up on my list is making plans. The stay home directive rendered all of us plan free. When I look at my super cute Paper Source planner I just get sad. It’s not that I’m an obsessive planner but it brings me happiness to glance at my calendar and see it looking if not robust than at least with a sprinkling of vitality.

I’m eagerly anticipating a time when I can get out my fine point, hot pink, Sharpie and start writing in “To Do’s’” that don’t include such quarantine gems as organize the linen closet and purge basement storage area.

If there’s one thing this lock down has taught me it’s that I’m looking forward to having something to look forward to.

Dear Snarky – My Sister-in-Law is Lying About Where My Niece is Going to College

Dear Snarky,

 I’m ready to punch my sister-in-law right in the face. She is outright lying about where her daughter is going to college and scamming people.

 This woman posted on Facebook and Instagram that her daughter has been accepted to a college that I know my niece did not get into. I’m sure she didn’t even apply. This college is super competitive. Basically, you have to have a perfect GPA and ACT score to even have a chance of getting in. I looked up the college’s acceptance rate and it’s 4.7 percent!

 My niece is not smart. She’s never even taken an AP class in high school and had to take remedial algebra. (She also gets their, they’re and there mixed up.) 

 Here’s where the scam part comes in – my sister-in-law has started at Go Fund Me page for her daughter to help pay for her tuition. You should see the comments, “so honored to help such a brilliant girl” etc. Barf!

 To cover her ass, she posted that her daughter will be delaying starting school by at least a semester because of the coronavirus. Pluh-ese, this kid is never going to this college or probably any school. They just want money.

 I want to let every know that they are being conned. Is there a way I can do that anonymously? Also, I don’t even have kids so it’s not like I’m competitive with my sister-in-law. I just hate liars.

 Signed, This is so wrong,

Dear Wrong,

Wow, that’s a lot to unpack. If your niece did indeed NOT get into this college that means she and her mom are both involved in the subterfuge. That’s a crap ton of lying. Basically, it’s a long con because you have to write thank you notes for the money and then keep answering questions about when you’re going to go college and give college updates for months. There are a lot of  balls to juggle to keep this scam in play. 

This is why my advice is to keep your mouth shut. I predict the truth is out there and things will fall apart sooner than later. I know 18-year-old girls very well and they like to talk and share confidences. Your niece will not be able to keep this a secret for very long. Plus, although you say you’re not competitive other parents of graduating seniors are. Some ticked off parent(s) will ferret out the truth and/or ask some hard questions.

Of course, I understand your overwhelmingly desire to throw some shade right this very second. But control those impulses. A comeuppance is a coming. Get your popcorn ready for the show.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

 

Hair Raising Quarantine Issues

If there’s one thing the lock down has taught me it’s that I’m now so over my family. Wait, that’s not what I intended to say. Was I thinking it? Yes, but I did not mean to write that.

It’s not that I don’t have a lovely family. It’s just that being trapped together 24/7 for over a month is proving to be challenging. Weird things are happening. For instance,  my husband wants me to cut his hair.

Umm, that’s a solid no for many reasons. I can’t cut a straight line on a piece of notebook paper so the last thing I want to do is try to cut my husband’s hair. Secondly, we don’t own a decent pair of scissors. Sure, we have scissors but they’re not hair worthy. How do I know this? Because they have problems cutting the aforementioned notebook paper.

Also, you just don’t cut someone’s hair you have to layer it and do all that feathering stuff. I’m not qualified to attempt a bowl cut so there’s no way I’m going to take the plunge into what I think of as advanced cosmetology. But the most important reason I’m not going to cut his hair is because it will define our marriage.

Anytime we get in a fight my husband will bring up the hair cutting episode. I’m sure it will go something like this: “Well, at least I never butchered your scalp” or “Remember when you cut my hair and it was so bad I had to shave my head?”

Who needs that guilt trip for the rest of their life? Not me, that’s who. This is why my husband needs to just wear a baseball hat until the quarantine is lifted or perhaps think of doing a man bun.

If a man bun does happen it will also define our marriage because I will delight in saying, “Why don’t you tell it to your man bun” or “Maybe that man bun of yours was too tight?”

Well, now I’m almost cheering for a man bun because of the fun I’ll have delivering those bon motes and the years of delight I’ll get sending him impromptu pictures of when he had a man bun. It has greatness written all over it.

I must confess though that I have taken to doing some work on my own hair. I promise you I tried to resist. For exactly 33 days, I fought it, I think, valiantly. But then I hit the gray hair wall and it was time for some drastic measures. I became an amateur hair colorist and by that I mean I went and bought a box of Clairol root touch up.

Just choosing the color was daunting. Did I want a lightest cool brown, medium golden brown, or light chocolate brown? Honestly, I was leaning towards the light chocolate brown because I was hungry, but I decided to go basic and choose a simple medium brown.

The application process was scary but easy. I prayed I wouldn’t be crying after I left it on for 15 minutes to cover the “stubborn grays.” Thankfully, my hair turned out okay. Not salon worthy but I no longer wince when I look in the mirror. So, I’m considering that a win.

Not a win is now my husband is telling me if I can color my hair I can certainly cut his. He even suggested buying some electric clippers that can also be used for pet grooming. I told him that statement alone was enough to scare me and make the dogs go into hiding.

For now, I’m afraid he’s just going to have to embrace the fact that a man bun might be in his immediate future. Is it wrong  that I can’t wait?

 

Dear Snarky – My Mom is Trying to Buy Her Way Into My Labor and Delivery Room

Dear Snarky,

I’m nine months pregnant with my first child and at this point in the lock down I’m only allowed to have one person in the delivery room with me when I give birth. Of course, that person is going to be my husband. My problem is that my mom at first was  “heartbroken” that she can’t be in the delivery room.

Heartbroken quickly turned to furious because she has been in the delivery room for the birth of all her grandchildren. She’s refusing to understand why my husband would be my first choice to be in the delivery room. My mom even said that, “men are totally worthless and just stand there looking embarrassed and confused.”

Then she offered to pay my husband her entire stimulus check of $1,500 if he would give up his right to be there and let her go instead. Hold on because it gets worse. My husband told her he would think about if she upped it to $3,000.

I almost wanted to kill him. He said he was kidding and just messing with my mother because she deserved it due to her bullying us. But then my mom  came up with the three grand so she definitely thinks she’s going to the delivery room.

How do I stop this madness? Honestly, at this point I think I would rather just go alone.

Signed, Ready to Pop

Dear Ready,

Let’s start with your husband. You’re going to have to cut him some slack. I think he was just enjoying toying with your mom because she was being so ridiculous. Come on, did your mom seriously think that a father would basically sell the rights to see his child being born? That said, no man should ever contribute to the stress levels of a very pregnant woman. So, yes he was being very stupid. That I’ll give you.

As for your mom I have one word – YIKES . The hubris alone is mind boggling. So, your mom thinks she’s more important than your husband, the baby’s father? To that I say, “Okay crazy grandma, you need to get some help.”

On top of that your mom is just a brat. What she’s doing is throwing a temper tantrum because she’s not getting her own way. Granted she’s also throwing money around but it’s still a tantrum.

My advice is I wouldn’t tell your mother anything about the birth until you’re safely ensconced at the hospital with your husband. You would be a fool to let her know that you’re going into labor or are on your way to the hospital because girlfriend the odds are she would meet you there.

Letting her know later takes care of the issue because you will already be at the hospital with your plus one and security will take care of the problem if she shows up in an attempt to take your husband’s place.

Congrats on the baby and please keep me posted on how this turns out.

 

Clueless in the Cul-de-Sac

Who are these people in my neighborhood? As the official Gladys Kravitz (the nosey next-door neighbor from the classic TV series “Bewitched”) of my hood I’ve been flummoxed by the number of people out and about in the streets that I don’t know.

And while I’ll admit brain fog at remembering some of my neighbors I pride myself that I at least know their dogs and I’m seeing canines I never laid eyes on before. At first I just thought the whole, “Who are these new people?” syndrome I was experiencing was me, you know, just being me.

But, then when my husband who’s not known for being blessed with my keen sense of cul-de-sac observational skills remarked, “Did we get a bunch of new neighbors?” I knew I was on to something. This meant an investigation was called for.

What I discovered was shocking, truly shocking. It turns out I’m an embarrassment to the Gladys Kravitz name. I, a self-proclaimed neighborhood know it all, was woefully clueless. The people forced out into the streets to seek the solace of sunshine during the lock down were not just part of my extended neighborhood but we live on the same street.

This prompted another fact-finding mission. How could I have been so unneighborly as to not, well, know my neighbors? I was raised on Mr. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” Rogers couple that with being from the south where you didn’t just know your neighbors you had a dossier on them should mean I have the training to be a super neighbor.

Oh, and it gets worse. I’ve worked from home for years. My desk overlooks the street. I literally have a bird’s eye view of all the comings and goings. Plus, I walk my dogs daily this means I’m like a beat cop patrolling the neighborhood.

If you want to know who’s doing home improvement, putting in some new landscaping or even getting their chimney cleaned I’m your girl. I also can forecast whose getting their home ready to put on the market by all the above being done to the same house.

So, where was this know your neighbor disconnect? I had to search inward and discovered that while I know houses I don’t know the people that live in them. Not wanting to do anymore self- flagellation I decided it was time assign blame on something other than myself. The culprit, I surmised, for my neighborly failings is the garage door opener.

This invention made us all stealth. You basically never have to see your neighbors. You enter and exit your vehicle from inside the comfort of your closed garage. Back in the day when you physically had to get out of car to open your garage door it was open season for some neighbor-to-neighbor conversation and or as my Grandma Stella liked to call it “cross examination.”

I have memories of this woman, the original Gladys Kravitz, sitting on her front porch and sprinting like a gazelle on the African Savannah chasing its prey when she saw a neighbor pull into their driveway. She said it was for church pray chain inquires but even at the age of eight I knew better.

Although as much as I would like to blame my lack of neighborly inclinations on the garage door opener I can’t. I have to admit that while I’m nosey, ahem, make the graciously curious, about the coming and goings about a house I need to work on getting to know the inhabitants.

Of course, I need to do this without going full Grandma Stella and true confession time that just might be the hardest part.