Grandmas don't get breaks on speeding tickets, plus other lessons learned

Four things I learned this week

gavelGrandmas don't get breaks on speeding tickets: A few weeks ago, as I raced out of town on my way to Denver for a film festival screening, I was pulled over by a motorcycle cop and given a ticket. I admit I was speeding, so I didn't cry in hopes of getting out of the ticket (as I probably should have, considering I've had a clean driving record since 1993). My ticket was $90 and a $15 filing fee; my court date was scheduled for this past week or I could pay the ticket by mail.

"Don't pay it by mail!" is the adamant advice from those who've been there, done that. "You gotta go to court. It'll reduce the charge!" So I went to court Wednesday. My ticket wasn't reduced. In fact, $25 more was added to the fees to cover court costs. I was not happy. I did cry this time... in the car... after paying the freakin' fee.

Facetime doesn't necessarily mean face time — which is part of the appeal: Since Mac was born, Skype sessions and techy touching of base with my daughter and grandsons have been pretty much non-existent. It's tough for Megan to wrangle two active little boys to sit in front of the computer to converse with Gramma and PawDad. Fortunately we do use Facetime to connect now and then, though. It's quicker, easier and portable.

Jim and I had the pleasure of some Facetime time with Bubby and Mac the other night. Depending on which boy's turn it was to hold Megan's phone, the Facetime was more CeilingTime, FloorTime, or CloseUpTime so close up weren't too sure what we were seeing. But that was A-OK and awesome because just plain ol' time with our grandsons on the other end is a gift, whether we see faces or not. Our hearts were happy. We hope theirs were, too.

Wacky mom and sons

Burned peanuts = bad peanuts. I attempted to make sweet-n-salty roasted peanuts this past week. I multi-tasked, didn't pull the peanuts from the oven in time, and ended up burning every last one. (Sugary coatings turn to burned coatings in less time than it takes to clean the litter box, trust me.) The burned peanut smell infiltrated every porous surface in my house. Ick.

I threw the black-and-burned-beyond-sampling peanuts out in the yard for the squirrels. My dogs gobbled them up instead. My dogs got tummy aches in the middle of the night. My dogs knocked down the baby gate that keeps them in their room at night and made disgusting, icky messes all over the family room, forcing me to spend a morning cleaning my carpets instead of doing something — anything — else I'd rather be doing.

Yes, burned peanuts = bad peanuts in so very many ways. Enough said. (Though I will add: Thank heavens we own a carpet cleaner!)

Free Birds hatsMy grandsons will get a taste of the FREE BIRDS fun as I mailed these hats to them.

Surprising things happen if you just ask. I recently received a review package that's meant to be enjoyed by kids. But my favorite little kids — aka Bubby and Mac — live too far away to enjoy it with me, so I invited instead my two favorite big kids — aka Brianna Andrea — to join me (and Jim) for some Saturday fun.

I knew Brianna would say yes because she lives nearby and always enjoys the perks I share. Yet I thought for sure Andrea would say no as saying yes would require her to drive more than an hour to join us and she'll be making that very same drive to join us on Thanksgiving. I asked anyway, fingers crossed. Andrea immediately texted back a "Sure!" and "What time I s'posed to be there?" Such a pleasant surprise!

And what will we be doing? Well, tomorrow Jim and I will watch FREE BIRDS at the theater then enjoy pizza and games at Chuck E. Cheese's — with our grown-up little girls. For free. (Review to come.)

I'm excited. I can't imagine any better way to bring a happy ending to this crappy week filled with crappy ticket charges and even crappier burned peanut messes.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

This week I learned _________________.