Wow. I'm such a slacker at this already. So quick update on what's been happening in my life for the past 3 weeks.
I have lived 30 minutes from my mother for over 5 years now. I can count on one hand how many times she has come to visit me in that amount of time. I've lived in 2 different dorms and 3 different apartments, and she's only been inside 1 of those places: the one I live in now. But, with the arrival of her new "grandchild" she's come to visit me every single weekend. She brings toys for him, decorative things for my apartment (mums and gourds and the like) and taken dozens of pictures.
During one of these visits, I introduced my mother to a new vegetable. Growing up on a farm in the South, her parents made her eat a lot of greens: mustard and collards mostly, all of which she hated. When she was raising the 4 of us, she refused to cook any, not wanting to subject us to them. But now, her kids are mostly grown, and all of us love greens. We'll eat them in most any form (except for me the vegetarian, who leaves out the fatback and sausage.) The other weekend, just as I started cooking lunch, she called to say she was on her way over. I was making a big pot of portugese kale stew and green salad, and I offered to feed her. Once she got in my kitchen, she opened the pot and made a face. I poured a bowl for her, and she poked at the kale floating on top and asked if I minded if she ordered pizza. I told her she had to try a bite first, so she did. And she smiled. My mother likes kale! At least in stew. What a role reversal!
I also discovered the usefulness of JoJo on Halloween night. I live right between a very nice neighborhood and a very bad neighborhood. The only trick or treaters I got were large hoards of kids from the "bad" neighborhood, mostly giant teenagers whose only costumes were masks (which is illegal in our town). I was too scared of them to say no. Then I got a 10 year old boy who wasn't wearing any costume at all. I asked him where it was, and he shrugged, so I gave him just one roll of Smarties. He said it wasn't fair and pulled his costume out of his bag, but I told him that if he wanted more, he should've worn it. He then kicked a potted plant by my front door, an action which infuriated my dog. JoJo went nuts inside the front room, leaping and barking and snarling, which sent that kid flying off the porch and down the street.
After that I turned off all my lights, and cuddled with Ryan in front of the tv. Soon, my brother-in-law Gandalf came by with my cowboy nephew Gordon to decorate cupcakes (my sister was at home with the baby, Girlie). I turned on a light and went to let them in through the front door, when a pack of teenagers comes running up the front steps and tries to force their way through the front door. I literally had to push them out, saying family only. Grr to evil trick or treaters. Next year, I'm going to my sister's, bringing my candy with me, and just feeding their trick or treaters twice as much. She doesn't get crazed teenagers who rush her front door.