Friday, August 26, 2011


I'm going home for the weekend meaning I won't have net access and there are still stories to be told! Because I'll be gone for a few days, I'll go ahead and tell you of my adventures at Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. You know the store that never closes and always seems to be a place for strange people to hang out? Yep, that's the one. I know it doesn't seem likely that I could have an entire entry having to do with exclusively Wal-Mart related incidents but trust me... you'd be surprised the kind of things that could happen here. Honestly, sometimes I don't even believe then and I happen to be living them.

To start things off, Tillie was with me for this story. Yep, everyone's favorite Oompa Loompa. Previous to the story I'm about to let you in on I had left Tillie at Wal-Mart for a few hours one day. Usually it's a really good thing for her to get out of the house and interact with other people, shop for underwear and socks, get ice cream from McDonald's - any number of things she possibly does while she's at Wal-Mart. The problem with this though? Usually she doesn't know she's being left behind. The day she did realize it? She wasn't happy about it. She complained for hours about how her feet her and how I was so mean to leave her there and go home to shower instead of taking her home. Needless to say it'd become a grudge she was going to hold on to for as long as she could. And boy, did she hold on to it.

Fastforward to an entirely different day where she's seemingly behaving herself. I decide to bring her to Wal-Mart with me (without intention of leaving her behind this time) to get her out of the house once again. Everything is going smoothly throughout the entire time. By this point, I probably should have been wondering if she had something up her sleeve or if she was secretly plotting my demise. Naturally, I wasn't given the gift of foresight so I was left completely naive to what was about to happen.

With scant groceries in my cart, we manage to make our way up to the cashier. Slowly the items of the people before us are scanned through. Tillie makes conversation with the woman in front of us. Apparently at some point the woman had helped her find the restroom. They start speaking in Spanish saying things that I didn't understand. Then the woman begins to speak to me and I have to tell her that I don't understand. She switches to English for my benefit. Tillie takes this time to say, "She doesn't know Spanish. She's from Chihuahua" ....wait, what? I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. You can imagine the look of surprise that crossed my face at that moment as the woman looks over my incredibly Vampire-esque white skin and lack of any Mexican look to me. "You're from Chihuahua? I have family there." - "No, no. I'm not. I was born here." - "Oh." Awkwardness ensues. As Tillie once again babbles on about Chihuahua. But, this is just the beginning. I didn't think she could be anymore... well, Tillie, but she has a knack for surprising me. Not all the time in good ways.

It's finally our turn at the register. As the cashier is ringing up our things Tillie decides to turn around and make friends with the guy behind us now. Poor guy only has two things in his arms to pay for and looks like he's only slightly older than me. Tillie picked up on this too. "She's single. Do you think she's beautiful? Do you have a girlfriend?" That's right. Right there in Wal-Mart I'm left blinking and staring at this stranger with the most apologetic look I could muster. "I'm so sorry." - "No, it's alright." He laughs it off. Tillie keeps going. "Ooooh, Katie. Look, he's single too. He's in the Army." I'm not really sure what else she's said at this point because I'm too busy trying not to turn bright red and make eye contact with the poor soul that had happened to start conversation with her. "Alright, Tillie. Come on, time to leave. We're done here." The cashier is giving me a look like, "You have to get your old relative to pimp you out?" And the guy is giving me this pity-filled look. I bolt. And am not amused. All the while Tillie keeps on rambling about how he was a nice guy and I should have dated him. Do I willingly go with Tillie to Wal-Mart much anymore? Not at all, folks. Not at all.

So, I'm not really sure what you're thinking by this point. But I can assure you that you'd better be thinking you're lucky for not having to deal with that. Pimped out at Wal-Mart.

What possibly could top that story? Well, not quite sure if it tops it but.... you'll see for yourself.

My daily attire sometimes happens to be a spaghetti strap shirt and a pair of pajama pants. It's entirely too hot to wear anything else, unless it's shorts. I happened to be wearing this one night I decided to venture through Wal-Mart. With Matthew and Joseph this time, too. We end up going through picking up all and any snacks we may need for the time that they're staying with me. Everything is going normally and nothing looks out of place. There's no pimping me out this time. Nothing bad happening anywhere. Seems like it'd be a pretty boring story, doesn't it? Well, we get back to Grandma's house and unpack everything and it's only then that I notice....

In my favorite pair of pajama pants, my Elvis Presley ones, I've got a hole. Not just any hole. Oh no. This hole goes all the way down the right side of my butt leaving it completely open for underwear to be shown, if not my entire right buttcheek. I have no idea, still to this day, how I didn't notice this when I was walking through the store. Or how no one pulled me aside to tell me about this. The first thought I had when I find out? "Why didn't I at least wear cute underwear?" If I'm going to be showing my entire buttcheek to people I may as well have a nice pair of undergarments on for people to look at, right?

I ended up having to throw that pair of pants away, sadly. But the adventure doesn't end there.

A few weeks later I have to run to Wal-Mart again. Yes, I realize that it sounds like I live there. And honestly? I practically do. The difference this time is it's about four-o'clock in the morning when I decided to go. Wal-Mart, like stated before, is a scary place to go. Especially when you're a young girl. To remedy this I ended up making Jeremiah, one of my best friends, talk on the phone with me the entire time I was at the store. Yes, he made me forget some of the items that I needed to get but at least I wasn't molested or something. As with what happened before, everything in the store goes by completely normally. There's nothing out of place or anything worrisome that I need to think about. Everything is good, right? Nope. As per usual. I really need to stop thinking that nothing will happen when I go.

Just as before, I go home and unpack the things I bought. Still, I'm on the phone with Jeremiah. I happen to reach to feel my back pocket (I'm wearing jeans this time!) only to find that there's a hole. Not only is it a hole. It's almost an exact replica of the hole I had the first time around only this time it's my entire left buttcheek that happens to be showing. And this time? Once again I'm not wearing anything but a pair of plain underwear. Why can't it happen when they're flowery?! Am I meant to flash the people at Wal-Mart in sub-par underpants? I suppose I am. And obviously I'm not mean to feel when I end up having a bit of air conditioning. Nor are people going to point this out to me. I'm going to assume it was because people thought I was following a style. Though... the type of style that would be is certainly not one that I'd go out in.

Evidently I'm meant to be a pimped out exhibitionist. At Wal-Mart. So, ladies and gentlemen, the next time you wander through Wal-Mart think of all the possible situations that could happen because you never know when you may be one of those weird people everyone goes wide-eyed over.

Until next time, lovies. Shop safe!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I figured that sometimes I have to post the bad with the good. Or, at least the sad with the funny. These women are extremely three-dimensional (in Tillie's case maybe a little too dimensional) and all aspects of them need to be shared otherwise this blog doesn't really have a point behind it. As my Aunt has said, these women are our legacy and all aspects of them need to be jotted down. This entry is going to be a mashup; it's going to be the grab bag of tales I need to tell. I know I've ranted and told a lot of stories to a lot of people through my course of time here. If you happen to remember a particular story I've told feel free to let me know so I can be sure to include it. I should probably attempt to organize these in a structure or at least in time frame order but I think the eclectic manner in which they're told just adds to it.

Some days are harder than most. When I say this, I don't necessarily mean for me. My great-grandma had been living with my great-grandfather for a huge portion of her life. Even before they were married and ever thinking about being the epic couple they became, they had known one another. According to my great-grandma he was this troublesome little boy always distracting my great-grandma from the mountains of work she constantly had to do. You could imagine, or at least I can hope that you'd try to, the kind of lost that someone would feel when that person - that rock and foundation - is ripped away from them. But you know what? It would have been far too easy to just lie down, almost literally, and for her to give up. She hasn't. Not yet. Not while her tired little body has some air to pump through her system. Hell, she may have horrible eyesight at this point, horrible hearing that you have to yell to make up for, an aneurism, a bad back, the inability to hold her bowels (which, let's face is... is another story all in itself), and a plethora of other things going on and yet she's still here to stand up as the Matriarch figure for this huge family that she essentially created. Remember I mentioned she was a battle-axe? I really wasn't kidding.

All kidding aside it really is hard for her. Especially right after everything happened. To soothe her we often would have to give her a shot of tequila if not two. The result of this? A really drunk, really emotional old woman. She's an incredibly spiritual person and would lock herself in the bathroom talking to both my great Uncle and my great-grandfather. Some days she'll wake up and tell me how much she misses Grandpa. Even just today as I was fixing her lunch she told me, "I really miss Grandpa. So much. But I know he's there waiting for me. I'll be with him again Heaven. Heaven is such a wonderful place. The best place to be." Is it selfish to not want her to leave to that wonderful place just yet even if I know how much she wants to be with her soulmate and son? It's a question a lot of us in the family have probably had to ask. I don't think any of us are ever really ready to let her go.

One afternoon in particular, one of the hard ones I'd just mentioned, Grandma woke with a start and hobbled her little body over to the area I was in. The huge den area? Yeh, that one. "Duty. Duty!" - as I've been christened while in these walls- "Come here! The most beautiful thing happened to me right now." As far as I knew, Grandma had been asleep. She's tired and worn out from life - often times she can be found sleeping. Sleeping or smoking. I assumed that this is what she'd been doing. As I turn the corner to catch sight of her she's quite literally shaking. Immediately upon seeing this I couldn't help but think something was wrong. She urged again and I followed her into her bedroom to which she moved to the side of her bed and picked up this little piece of paper. "I was sitting in the bathroom talking to Grandpa and just telling him and Ralphie (my great Uncle) about everything and how much I miss them. Then I came over here to my room and was laying down, just crying, when suddenly I felt this in my hand." She holds out the small piece of paper to me and I was slightly shocked. You know those moments where you're torn between being in awe and being kind of creeped out? That's what happened. On this pieced of paper was one of my great Uncle's drawings and beneath it "Don't worry, be happy". Not in that cheesy sing-song sort of way either. It was signed with Ralph's initials at the bottom.

Feel free to be as skeptical as you'd like to be but she truly believed that the paper had been placed in her hand. I can't vouch for anything in any way, so it's not as if I can honestly say what had happened. I do know that I, personally, had never seen that drawing before. That being said, I didn't stare at all of Grandma's belongings in her bedroom either before this incident. Regardless though, it had soothed her. She could have picked it up and ended up carrying it around with her; forgetting she had it in her hand as she fell asleep, or something miraculous truly could have happened. It kind of gives you something to think about, right? And for anyone curious, Grandma hasn't really had tequila or needed it in a decent chunk of time. Though... the other day, my birthday to be exact, we asked her if she wanted something to drink and she replied with, "you don't have what I'd want" - "What would that be?" - "A double shot". Yep. I don't really have words beyond that for it.

As I was writing this a new story unfolded right before me. I went to sleep early, around eight or so tonight. Obviously, I'm up again right now to write this. But I had fallen asleep early with both ceiling fans on. Tillie, ohhhh Tillie, she was wandering around in one of her nightgowns. I realized the fan above the computer area was completely turned off. This is a normal sight to see. It's often the cause of a great many battles between us. But tonight? Oh, she decided she'd step it up a notch. She completely tore off long chain to turn the fan part of the fan on. The ceiling in this room is incredibly high off the ground, even standing on a chair I can't reach the fan mechanism itself. Needless to say.... it looks like I'm in for a really hot night. Though, I did take the portable fan being used in the dining room to circulate air in here and put it on medium. I don't think Tillie liked it much, she bolted upstairs. Only after letting me know she "accidentally" broke the chain. "I didn't pull it that hard!" - "Well, obviously you did.... it broke."- "I don't just run around breaking things."

Tillie - 1, Katie - 0; she may have won this battle but the war of the fans is hardly over.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


If you've got a light stomach don't proceed with this entry. If you're hungry for a potential few laughs? Be my guest.

We don't have air-conditioning here. There are two refrigerator air units; one located in my great-grandma's bedroom, which is in a rather enclosed area so it doesn't help to circulate throughout the house, and one located in this enormously huge den area. I'm not sure what to call this area. It's got the pool table, aka my bed, a huge screen TV, a few couches (which also serve as beds) and then at the far end by the window that lets in dust and bugs the desk I'm currently sitting at with my netbook. The air from the cooler hardly reaches where I'm at. And that's with two ceiling fans constantly being on in an attempt to circulate the air. It honestly gets unbearably hot here. I don't mean to complain, I really don't, but you can't tell me that I don't have a right when it's triple digit heat outside. On top of the fact that these oldies are so forgetful they don't remember they need to keep the front and back doors closed lest they let out the cold air.

One day, I was sitting here at the desk minding my own business trying to write when I hear a noise from the kitchen. It's relatively late at night by this point and it's not like anyone else is in the house so I know it's got to be Grandma, right? Well, I wander on over to see if she's alright and what do I see? Grandma standing with a cup of coffee in nothing but a slip. Not even a full covering slip. It's a slip that goes up to her waist, and she's just standing there like it's no big deal for all of her business to be hanging, literally, out for the world to see. To put the nail in the coffin? She talks to me as if it's completely normal. I couldn't stop laughing once I sat down. I didn't know whether to be shocked by this or not. Meanwhile Tillie is yelling at me to turn off the fans because "she's sweating and she's going to get pneumonia". Does that make sense? It doesn't to me. At all, in fact. "Tillie, you're sweating because you need the fan on!" - "No! I'm going to get sick and then you're going to have to take care of me!" How in the world am I supposed to be able to accomodate both of them when I'm dying of heat myself?

The next night I wander up to the upstairs bathroom seeing as there are only two bathrooms in the entire house. Everyone pretty much knows the downstairs one is Grandma's domain and needs to be open at all times because who knows when she's going to want to have a cigarette or horde ice cream when she thinks no one is paying attention. Tillie's room, when she's not on the couch downstairs, is up there. She's taken over two rooms, actually. But her room is close to the bathroom. Anyway, I check in on her just to make sure she's okay and again... another sight to behold. She's laying sprawled out in the bed in all her four-foot something glory with a blanket wrapped around her naked self as if she's some beached mermaid or something. Even writing this right now I can't stop laughing over it. And then she just grunts in her sleep and rolls over. By this point I take it as my cue to run to the bathroom in case the mermaid's swaddling cloth decides to slip.

Wrinkles, my lovelies, wrinkles. Lots and lots of wrinkles. I'll leave you with that thought.

Long overdue.

So, this is it. I'm finally taking peoples' advice as far as starting this blog. Why, you may ask, was I suggested to start this? Because for the past eight months (a little more if we're being exact) I've been living in the middle of nowhere with my oldie relatives. When I say oldie? I really do mean oldie. My great-great-aunt, who is 84 and a 1/2 (though I swear she acts five) and my great grandmother who is 86. Yep. Told you. Oldies.

I feel the need to have a bit of a disclaimer here and let people know that despite the stories I'm going to be sharing here... I do love them very much.

I just turned 23 yesterday but staying here sometimes really makes me feel like I'm becoming one of the oldies. You should hear my complaining about back problems. So much so I've had to resort to sleeping on the pool table because Grandma's bed is waaay too soft for me to handle anymore. As a bit of backstory, my Great Uncle passed away, followed by my Great Grandpa. As a result, I've been here to take care of the women left behind. Honestly? They're tough old battle axes and really the definition of strength. They've been through so much in their lives - it's awe-inspiring when you actually think about it. That being said.... let's get this here started. Problem with this is I'm not entirely sure where to start....

Should I start with the battles for the fan? Or maybe the experiences of wrinkled nudity? Or perhaps the story of the cop arriving in the morning.... I feel like these are supposed to be stories for a sorority or something. Not a home aptly called "Sleepy Hollow".

Since this is my first entry I'll start with a juicy tale.

Tillie, or demonic Oompa Loompa as I like to call her, (this is my great-great aunt by the way) is this really short, really feisty little thing. If any of you have seen Lord of the Rings you can compare her to the part where Bilbo tries to get the ring back from Frodo in Rivendell. She looks akin to that, especially when she's upset. Which....she was this day. Anyway. Tillie worked herself up one day because she assumed someone threw a rock at her bedroom window. Allow me to paint a picture. This house is out in the middle of no where behind a Fire Department building. It's in a fenced in area....the fence a good 30 feet from the house, a decent number of feet high....and her bedroom is on the second floor. Yes, she believed someone threw a rock at her window. We were able to talk her down and convince her otherwise. Seemingly, everything was fine.

Fastforward to weeks later and the next thing I know a police officer is knocking on the front door. We don't have a doorbell. I managed to stumble out of bed only to find Tillie chatting him up telling him this ridiculously elaborate story about how a boy from Waco, in a white pickup, threw a rock at her window one night and how she was afraid people were going to get on the yard. Insert a confused police officer and a mortified me.

"Tillie, Grandma wants to talk to you." - "No she doesn't. You're just going to tell him I'm lying!" Insert odd looks from the police officer as the white haired old lady begrudgingly goes back inside only to stand guard at the screen door.

"I am so sorry. We think a bird hit her window a few weeks ago and she worked herself up and thinks someone threw a rock. No one comes down here." - "We've never had a call from this area so I was kind of surprised. Is she on medication?" - "No, she's just old and worrisome. We haven't seen anyone even drive by here or anything." - "It looks pretty fenced in, I was about to ask. But it's alright." We proceed to say our goodbyes, all the while.... the demonic Oompa Loompa is listening in on the conversation. I watch the cop drive off for a bit before going back inside annnnnd this is where it turns interesting.

The second I get inside...she pounces. Verbally, though I swear she was about to gut me or something. "You told him I lied didn't you!" - "No, I didn't. You shouldn't be calling the police. You could get in trouble for that." - "You're so stupid! Why did you tell him I lied? You think you know everything! I'm not a liar!" At this point...she's yelling. At the top of her lungs. And continues to follow me all the way back to my little laptop on a desk set up. "You're a stupid pendeja! You don't know anything. GO TO HELL. YOU GO TO HELL. GO TO HELL. I'm going to tell the Devil to take you!" An angry finger is pointed directly at my face as she continues to yell until she's literally as red as a tomato and she stomps off. Great-grandma ends up waking up. That poor woman is nearly completely deaf...and our screaming happened to wake her up. What does that say?

"Someone threw a rock at my window and people are going to try to break in!" Needless to say Grandma freaks out and starts asking me if things are okay but then she goes on to tell Tillie to shut up. They bicker. So much. They're sisters, by the way. Which probably explains that I think about it. Anyway, Tillie then proceeded to tell me that I'm this evil, disrespectful little thing. At this point, I'm so upset and annoyed and yet have no means of going to Wal-Mart (the only real source of human interaction at least 15 or so minutes away by car) because the keys to my great-grandpa's broken down little van are no where in sight. In hindsight, all of this was really hilarious. I don't know if that can ever really be translated through writing though. She stayed mad at me, and would make comments about it for literally months to come. "Oh, that Katie. She knows everything. So contradicting. Fine, you're going to learn the hard way. You're going to have to deal with what happens when someone breaks in!" On and on, over and over.

.....I'm going to have to post one story per entry at this rate. I didn't really realize how long this was. Regardless, these are my adventures in a land of wrinkles and the constant smell of cabbage. Until next time, my friends. Ciao.