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Friday, April 30, 2010


I've decided if there is such a thing and if you have to come back as an animal, I want to come back as one of my dogs--specifically Wiggles. Gosh.....he has such a great life. I just walked into the den for something and he was all snuggled up in one of the dog beds, on a fluffy old freshly laundered duvet, snoozing so hard he was dreaming. When he dreams, his feet twitch sometimes like maybe he's running and occasionally he'll yip in his sleep. I threw one of his fleece blankets over him just to take any chill off since those old bones are...well...old, and I think he has some arthritis. Jeeze...who doesn't these days but that's another story. He won't sleep too long before he's up to go out his puppy door to the backyard. If you think his bones are old, you can just imagine his bladder-- and since it's super windy, even though he's deaf, he feels stuff moving ( I guess) and feels like he needs to warn somebody that he's feeling noises. Sis?? Nah. Unless it's something really exciting, she's not gonna move an inch and she's racked out in the other bed, near the back door, so the sun can shine in on her and toast her all up.

Wiggles gets his medicine wrapped in cheese everyday--he's a 2% milk American cheese man and because he gets some, Sis gets a bite also. Then his food gets water added to it and is popped into the microwave to heat it up so the crunchy stuff will get soft. Then the water gets poured off and he can chew it better. At almost 16, he's not sportin' a whole lot of teeth so we gotta do what we gotta do, to help him out a little. He eats twice a day but gets snacks whenever he wants from certain people who will remain nameless to protect their identity. Wiggles has earned the right to tell me yes or no when it comes to taking a walk and if he doesn't want to, he's not going.

He's also a big toast fan--with butter and jelly. Anything fairly sweet and he's on board. Watching that long tongue try to lick out the last of the yogurt from the container is really fun. He gets a little right across the end of his nose and just leaves it, until the end. One last tongue swipe and it's gone. He may be old, short on teeth, deaf, and somewhat demented but he's still #1 in my book. And his life's not too shabby either.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Changes...I like 'um

Last evening I had a wonderful visit from a "follower"--none other than Adre', telling me she was up at the garden. I headed out the back door and was there in two seconds since I only have to cut across a small area to get there. We toured, we chatted, she informed me since her daddy was a great gardener--the real deal--unlike me, pitiful city farmer, how her dad did his gardens. She told me he once tried tire wheel gardening (in Denison) where you plant inside the tire wheel. Bet that was a looker. It was just a perfect evening for two gals to sit outside and visit, look out over God's handiwork, and just relax. It's not the grand glamorous stuff that impresses me anymore. It's the quiet, simple beauty that gets me these days and taking the time to really "see" what's right in front of me. In my youth, I was always in just too big of a hurry to slow down and really appreciate a red garden poppy, the artistry of one man's plot where he has interwoven all different plants and herbs, the white garden gate in another plot. I was always gunning it on to the next thing. Not so today.

Since I am no longer a spring chicken, I think slowing down and actually taking the time to see things has become one of my most treasured changes. Today, I like slow, or at least slower.

Unless it's traffic. Slow just does not work for me there and I'm not thinking anything, short of a 5 mg. Valium, is ever going to make traffic gridlock OK for me. I am just not that Zen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here they come!

I have just self diagnosed and this is what I seem to be suffering from: Frugal Fatigue. I found that diagnosis on another blog in a cartoon and decided that's exactly what I've got. I am just sick of hearing about the Wall Street thieves and creeps, the NASDQ, housing market, the economy's recovery, health care squabbles, etc. GIVE IT A REST, ALREADY. A girl can only take so much negativity before she whips out her credit card and goes retail. And I am j-u-s-t about there.

Can we not talk about something positive? OK....I've got one. Sandra Bullock's beeee-u-tiful baby boy she's adopting and preparing to raise as a single parent, now that she's cut old Can't Keep It Zipped Jesse loose, and is movin' on with her life. You go, girl friend. And if you need support, you've got an entire world standing by to help you. She will be a great mom to that little boy and who knows what wonderful guy out there might want to ultimately join team Bullock--and keep his zipped. Can I get an amen there.
Or, what about the Dachshund, weiner dawg, races in Germany? Dang...if that won't make you laugh, nuthin' will. Get a load of those ears...

What fun!

I think something is wrong with Fred....seriously. I found my husband sitting in the front yard, a la Jed Clampitt, armed with a pellet gun and Sis, at 5:30 pm, trying to kill a squirrel. Is is ever not hunting time? Then as I came walking down the driveway, he wanted me to sneak around the side of the tree and flush out the squirrel, so he could shoot it. Does that sound normal to you?? Then he wanted me to "stroll down the sidewalk" in front of our house to see if I could spot the damn squirrel, seeing as how I had on a dark shirt and he had on a white one, and the squirrel would see him. Whaaaat? I think Fred's been huffing the gas can in the garage....that's weird even for him. (This part is from last Friday.) Below is from yesterday--Tuesday, 27th.

Update from yesterday: my sister and I met with a certified estate appraiser over at mom's condo to go through and appraise what's left. The lady was English, about our age and though she lives here, had just returned from a trip home. She was incredibly knowledgeable and just downright FUN. My favorite part was when we did some of mom's silver. She would pull out these pieces and call them by their "veddy proper name" and my sister and I would just howl. We had no clue what some of these things were much less how they were used but Lordy, she could give you chapter and verse on each one. A toasting fork?? A cheese scoop?? Oh, hell, yeah....we knew that. (We had been calling them doo hickeys and doo dads.) No wonder we needed her. She whipped out a jewelers loop to look at the tiny stamps on the backs to tell whether something was sterling or plate, when it was assayed, where, and who made it. She had a little book where she could look up each little stamp if it was one she wasn't familiar with. It was like being with a genealogist of silver and antiques. It was a total blast and most interesting since that's just another thing I enjoy.
I was surprised at how exhausted we all were by the end. It's such a comfort to now have a list of mom's remaining possessions and values from someone who really knows something vs us nitwits. I've had all of her jewelry appraised so at this point, I think we are pretty close to being done with mom's estate stuff except for what she has in her apartment. Yes, we could have done it also yesterday but I don't want mom to feel like we are pushing her towards the grave. That little bit of stuff can just w-a-i-t. Plus, we might have interrupted Perry Mason.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

REALLY Random stuff

Gee...the first thing Fred said when he got home was "did you go up to the garden?" That man needs to stop reading this blog. He knows w-a-y to much about what goes on around here. And, no, I didn't make it up there, thank you very much, because I was making a chocolate cake for dessert. I think that's a great excuse and apparently so did Fred since we both had 2 pieces. Small...but 2 pieces none the less. Now for the birds--even Bruce couldn't get them to stick their heads up after dinner...he says he thinks "they are dead". I just ran over to check for a chirp alert and I am thrilled to report they are very much alive and chirping their heads off. I will try again to see if I can get a pic of their little open beaks. They are just hilarious!
No recent sightings of either of the rabbits from the block over from us. Maybe they are too fat to get through the fence these days. I'll keep a look out, though.
Back to the birds-I just had a parental sighting with the little ones but when I attempted a photo, the beaks were up and then went down real fast. Further attempts fared little better so I am on hiatus for now.
Ya know...I just thought it was weird when Bruce put that first dead animal (bobcat) in the freezer at his mom's. Apparently that's not all that weird 'cause I've got a better story now. Sit back 'cause this is gonna make any sketchy relatives or friends you might have seem perfectly normal. One of my sister's friends was married to a Harris cousin, who was killed years ago. Anyway, shortly after the cousin's death in a car accident, his then pregnant widow was visited by a fat black cat she later adopted, and named Bat Cat. Bat Cat lived a long and happy life but left permanently 8 years ago for Cat Town. By now, the widow had happily remarried and when Bat Cat checked out, not knowing exactly where she wanted to bury him, she put him outside in the chest freezer in the garage, until she could figure it out. Cut forward eight more years.

Meanwhile, Pee Wee, a new black cat has come on the scene to replace old Bat Cat. The couple now have a daughter of their own, have moved away from Dallas to the Hill Country and all is well, until this past March, during Round Top, the big antiques sale. While the wife is away hunting antiques, Pee Wee unexpectedly jumps the train to Cat Town, and the husband finds him. Now, knowing what he knows about Bat Cat's location, he pops Pee Wee in the freezer to keep Bat Cat company. All of this comes out this past weekend, with my sister and her pals after a few glasses of wine. The next thing they know, my sister is singing (to the tune of the Cat Steven's song "Cat's in the Cradle"), "The Cats in the Freezer" and she's making up lyrics. Earlier today, she emailed her newly penned lyrics to Benji in Nashville, for him to record and send back, to give to her friends. Everybody, together now.... "Ohhhhh, the cat's in the freezer at the William's house"...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sooo many questions

My brain is about to explode. Too many questions and no specific answers. For instance, does Heaven have seasons and how does that work...when you're sick of one, can you just change the channel, like a TV? And is there weather? And what kind? Are there mountains and sea shore ...and what about flat uggggleee stuff like West Texas? Please, God,... no.
And what about restaurants and movies....or theater? Entertainment in there any? How does that work? And what about you need 'um? I guess you would if it's cold--see previous question line 2. I was going to ask if people are fat and skinny but I'm going with the theory that since this is heaven, we are all sportin' a rockin' bod, whatever it looks like. Or, maybe we don't even have one. That'd be coooool.
Plants, flowers, birds, fish, animals... are there any because I'm gonna get lonely without some (animals). And what about people you didn't like on earth...are they there? Maybe they can be put in a special section for those that are annoying, and if I am one, I don't have to go. Everybody can just suck it up when I'm around, but if they are awful, they have to go.
And what do we live in? I'm not thinking it's houses, and don't go all biblical on me and say it's mansions... we have those here so it's got to be something else. But what....? This is the kind of stuff that clogs up my brain sometimes.

Work, work, work...

Well....I declare....where does the day go?? In an effort to catch up, I am currently multi-tasking which is usually not a great idea but since these tasks are fairly simple, I am OK so far. I am making potato salad for dinner, washing puppy laundry since it's time, again, and in a continuing effort to "go green", I am using my neighbors old timey clothes line to dry the puppies bedding in the sun. The sun also has a natural deodorizing effect so that's also what I'm counting on. One bed washed and on the line, one to go. We have two beds because Sis sometimes kicks Wiggles out and he needs a place to go. I told you all she was bad and ya'll just didn't believe me. She is.

I am also trying to snap pictures of the baby birds in my neighbors bird house, so far with no luck. I got the bird house--just not the baby birds. They stuck their heads right up to be fed (top hole) when I was putting stuff on Mary's line, but not now. (This is my elderly neighbor's house who got scammed, that I told you about earlier.) My plan is to wait a little while until they forget about me and then go back. Or, I'll get Fred to try it when he gets home. I want you to know he lifted Sis up yesterday (she could hear them chirping but couldn't see them) to show them to her. I am serious. He said she tried to lick 'um but the hole was too small for her tongue. Good thing or they'd have been a nice little snack for her. I'm surprised the parental birds aren't dive bombing but they aren't. That's definitely one for team Harris.
Next I have to run an errand, then grill the marinating pork tender, and make a fruit salad. A-n-d run up to the garden. Then I need to hang out round two of puppy laundry. And water my driveway pots. Work, work, work. And Fred thinks all I do is sit around all day....
Ooops...better run. Oprah's at 4 pm. (shhh...don't tell)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quality and service...huh??

This is a shameless plug for stores that actually make a good product, at a good price, and then provide extraordinary service even after the sale. Monday, the delivery company Pottery Barn uses will be delivering a headboard I purchased recently. This is the same delivery service that has delivered other stuff for me--chairs, an ottoman, and mom's headboard for her Plaza bed. They will be on time (2 hour window), set up the headboard, attach it, and then gather up all the wrapping and gunk, taking it with them as they leave and they are as nice as can be--no creepiness. And if that doesn't get your credit card out, the headboard and monogrammed slipcover from Pottery Barn, will. It is perfect, arrived in a short amount of time, is well made, and the monogram is purrrfect--no goofs. And when I want another slip, I just pick one of their other 200+ fabrics, and order it. the mail it goes.
Ditto Land's End. I don't care what you order--if you don't like it or it's not right--they'll take it back, no questions. And their stuff wears like iron. We ordered our backyard dinner table and chairs from them several years back, and have loved them. Should we have covered them for the winter....well, yeah. Have we?? Well... no, but who cares? They are under a small roof so we just let 'em go and if the squirrels would leave the cushions alone, we'd probably leave those out as well. (read lazy)
I'm just so impressed that some companies still get it....they may not be all fancy and cutting edge and frankly, even that's OK with me. And their people are soooo nice. I'm thinking Wall Street could learn a few things from these companies...make that a LOT.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Not much shakin'

I am not ashamed to admit I do not get this. What is the point of preemergent weed killer? It does not seem to impact weeds whatsoever except to GROW them. Wouldn't it make more sense to just fertilize and then mow the little suckers? Or, spray Roundup with a small hand sprayer on the really bad places, which in our case would essentially be the whole front yard. Fred is determined to beat the weeds and I'm just not seeing it. In a few places, we are down to bare earth where he has weeded and then understandably, his back hurts. Well, no kiddin'. Just mow 'um.

Crashman came by last night all in a lather since one of his roommates hadn't paid the gas bill, and there was no hot water at his house. This is not the first time this has happened and he was out of his mind pissed. Couldn't shower yesterday morning unless it was with cold water so by 6:30pm, he was hot, tired, hungry, and furious. Ugggg-leeeee. Once showered, with food in his stomach, he was still on a rant but tolerable. Thankfully, his lease will be up in June and he can vamoose to his own place since the non-stop partying is just not working for him. Now, I'm not saying he's not a partyier--oh, he IS---it's just not working with his continued recovery and new job. He says he's just got to have some downtime and no noise and where people are not in his house 24/7. I can totally relate. His house would be like living in a 7-Eleven. I'm a peace and quiet gal myself and too much sensory stimulation and I hit overload real fast. Sounds like the apple didn't fall far from his momma's tree.

I am off to try to rent Avatar and the Hurt Locker and since Avatar was just released, I may be totally dreaming here but I'm gonna give it a shot. Stay tuned for my critique later. Happy weekend to all and let's all get some r-e-s-t.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A munchkin visit

The munchkins (Hudson and Hadley) dropped by last night with their Aunt Su Su after a post dinner visit to Baskin-Robbins. It seems Hadley has a spot in the center of her right arch (foot) that makes her not want to walk since it "hertzzzzz". So, since their mom was home taking care of their dad who has had viral meningitis, and baby Avery, Aunt Su Su has been helping out, and my job was to diagnose Had's foot issue and help entertain them for a little while. Picture it....Had in a purple sleeveless dress and silver adorable sandals...I could have eaten her like ice cream. Sooo cute. And big brother? Every bit as cute in a new long sleeve t-shirt and new jeans with a rockin' pair of brown shoes--think little kid Cole Haan and that'd be about right.

After the foot thing, we headed up to the garden for them to run around, see the plants, and of course, water. Hudson almost went in to orbit over the garden. We walked around together and I told him what most plants were--at least the ones I knew--and explained that each person had a plot and could grow whatever they wanted. I told him that the yellow flowers on the tomato plants would grow into a tomato and then we sniffed a bruised leaf of cilantro, dill, and basil. Next came the wood tee pee's for the climbing sugar snap peas and that's when he nearly went airborne...he was dying to crawl inside the wood structure and peer out. Since he couldn't, we did let him play with someones old abandoned tee pee for a little while and then he wanted to take it home with him. Luckily,we were able to distract him with watering and though both kids did a fair amount of self watering, due mostly to a leaking hose connection around the wand attachment, they both showed enormous promise as assistants. Hadley even waited a whole 60 seconds before asking Hudson for her turn. As we loaded them up to head for home, Hudson wanted to know "what time to come back tomorrow to work." Little children in a garden.....there IS no more adorable sight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I just had my most favorite Spring/Summer dinner of bruschetta. You start with those vine ripe cluster tomatoes or any really good ones you can find this early, wash and slice. (If they don't smell like a tomato they won't taste like on either, so only buy the good ones. The sniff test is a must.) Salt and pepper them if you want. Later in the summer you won't need to salt them but right now, it might be smart. Next, whip out your great sourdough french bread, already sliced, from Eatzi's or Empire Bakery--none of that grocery store nonsense. It does not even qualify as sourdough so fagedaboudit. Next, slice a clove of fresh garlic and rub on the as yet un-toasted sourdough ( cut side down on the garlic) if you are worried about garlic breath. If not, wait until it's toasted, rub the bread, and just don't breathe on or near anybody, tonight. Now, step outside your driveway door to your basil pots and pinch off several fat ole big leaves. Wash and set aside. Lastly, grab a salad plate or saucer, pour a puddle of high quality olive oil, and add a little Kosher salt and some fresh cracked pepper. OK... by now you should be salivating like Sister, when she smells steaks coming in the back door.

For the garlic breath crowd, toast the bread, then rub it with the garlic, spoon on the olive oil mix, add a basil leaf and a slice of tomato, and sit down. Since I'm assuming you've already poured a glass of your favorite vino, give thanks, and bite that toast. Savor, chew, taste that early basil and tomato, with the underlying garlic flavor....the olive oil's slight fruitiness. Have a sip of wine and pretend you are in Provence. And even better still, take yourself and your bruschetta outside and enjoy it. Eat until satisfied and follow with a piece of dark chocolate. Heaven... on... earth.

FYI: I listened to my intuition this afternoon and dropped by mom's, to visit with her, and gently give her more information on dementia, checkbooks, identity theft, credit cards, & scamming of the elderly. Suffice it to say, she tried (for a nano second) to get all huffy about not giving up her checkbook but it was a total tempest in a tea pot. She ended up giving me everything-- with out so much as a whimper.
I then called my sister and told her I was on my way over with a present for her. When I walked in, she looked at me and said "what in the world are you bringing me?" and I handed her the checkbook and credit cards. Even then she was a tad confused until she looked at the checks. Truth be told, she is leaving town tomorrow for a few days with her gal pals and I knew she'd obsess and worry the entire time she was gone, about having to have this discussion with mom next week, and then dread coming home. From the look on her face, I think it's one of the best gifts I've ever given her.

Tattletale? Nah

Here's where I am and I just hate this. I need to help my sister do some estate related stuff for mom next week on the same day mom needs to go for her doctor's appointment. No biggie. Someone else is taking her for me. Where I feel like the biggest damn tattletale is sending her doctor an update about what I'm seeing, what's been going on, etc. It's my job and I'm supposed to help out by doing this, it's just that I feel like sort of a rat. It's not that I wouldn't tell mom any of this to her face, if she asked--it's just that the news is sad-- and when the news isn't good, it just makes you feel almost guilty, somehow. I think what I may do is just be upfront with mom, and tell her I've sent Dr. V. an update on what I'm seeing and then let it drop. If mom asks me what I've told Dr. V., I will then tell her and keep it real simple. I will be sure to put on my bullet proof vest prior to this "sharing"--just in case she blows. I don't think she will-- but it's just so painful to have to do some of this stuff.
It was bad enough when I had to tell her she has Alzheimer's....her Neurologist had tried to tell her several times and mom wouldn't "hear it"--she'd flap her hands and say "well, let's don't talk about that." Clearly a conversation ender if I've ever heard one.
Knowing mom, it may be better to just follow her usual MO and if it's "unpleasant", just don't deal with it. ie. Don't even tell her. She's a modern day Scarlett O'Hara so I think in the interest of her feelings, I'll just keep my trap shut. I'll go up to the garden and dig, or get some new plants to pot. The sun is out, the day is gorgeous, and God will take care of the rest.
Thank God for get to talk out loud to yourself in print, and try to make some sense out of the craziness.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tom and Hank

This is a recent post rain shot of my two favorite boys on the block. Tom (blue slicker) is the oldest, and according to his mom, is high functioning autistic. I just consider him my bud--no label. He is adorable and handsome as all get out and just asked me a minute ago "why are some dogs little and some dogs are big?" For lack of a better answer, I threw the God card--you know the one. The "that's just how God made them" answer when your brain just went off line for the night. He bought it so I was off the hook. Oh, didn't have a better answer.

Hank (yellow slicker) is his little brother and is just like all little brothers--a piece of work. You have to be if you are a little brother--or sister--it's the law. Hank was highly indignant the other day when I called him Tom...he was quick to remind me "I'm Hank and I'm 5". I am sad to report my men folk will be moving sometime in May along with their yellow lab, Goose-- of tennis ball fetching hit with a golf club, fame. Not far, but just no longer down the street where I can laugh at their scooter races every afternoon. Or,watch them with their capes on, flying down the block to our house. Or, yelling at each other like brothers do-- some things just do not change.
Their parents are just as neat and all of them will be missed. The good news is, the mom's younger brother and his wife have bought their house on our block. Now, I don't know if they are even in baby production mode but let's just say I hope so. We need some more short people on our block. Our block age demographic is definitely "younging up"-- it just irks me no end to think I am now one of the "older people". When did that happen?? That's just wrong.

Garden update: squash, carrots, green beans have all broken ground. Flowers?? Well...somethings coming up I'm just not sure what it is.


People never cease to amaze me. Some can be awful but some can be so extraordinarily kind it's just humbling. Today I've been trouble shooting how to get mom's hair and nail people paid each week, minus her carrying her checkbook and credit cards, since they are not l-o-n-g for her purse. They are gonna get yanked next week when my sister can stomach it.
Anyway, her hair guy was OK...a tad snippy with a big old lump of defensiveness but essentially fine. But it was the nail lady that surprised me. I had to leave her a voice mail about what I needed--this person I have never laid eyes on-- and to let me know if we could possibly work something out for mom. She could not have been any nicer or more helpful if she tried. She said "my mom is 80 so I totally get it, and what you are going through, so we can work it out--no problem. Here's my cell number so call me and let me know what might work best for you." Huh???

Then this afternoon was my follow up appointment at the breast surgeon and as I sat there playing on my phone and reading the mag's (the selection sucked I might add) I would occasionally glance around to see who was who and if I could tell where they were in in their treatment process, if they were in the "wait and see mode", or if this was just a follow up. Sitting there I became mesmerized by this one man's voice. He sat beside his wife in those wonderful Sears's striped overalls, faded from a thousand washings, that are almost impossible to find anymore, reading softly, out loud to her. While he was not a particularly gifted reader, it was the softness and gentleness of his voice that washed over me. I felt my body relax and I put down my phone. I didn't want to eaves drop but I just couldn't help myself... I felt my shoulders sag, my hands relax. Then my pulse rate slowed. His voice was the most loving, intimate, and gentle gesture I have witnessed in a long time. As his wife sat beside him in her wig, you could tell she was appreciative of his efforts but still just so afraid and unsure, probably dreading having her name called. His kindness just humbled me and no matter what that lady has to face, she has him right beside her.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Scams and the elderly

I think hitting myself in the head with a hammer would be more fun than dealing with this. First, my 81 year old neighbor got scammed Saturday by a man she said told her " Mary, I live behind you and the police are holding my wife for a traffic violation and I need cash quick...I have no cash on me..could I borrow some?" For the majority of people, the answer would be "take a hike, buddy" but not so for the elderly. Mary, my neighbor, had just been to the bank for cash and this guy probably followed her the few blocks home, and googled her address on a criss cross, for her name. She only gave him $50 but it's just the principle of the thing. As we headed out for lunch, she was in her yard and told us what happened. When she asked us what we thought, we looked at each other and she knew she'd been had, even though she wanted to believe the guy was really in trouble. What a creep.

Then, this afternoon, they called from The Plaza and wonderful Frank, the concierge, said mom had just done something really odd and wanted us to know about it. It seems she had written a check to the Vietnam Veterans and they would be coming by to pick up the check. Huh?? No envelope--just total weirdness--and she just handed him the check. Frank said he was going to pass on to the Administrators that it must be scammin' time at the Plaza but that we might want to be thinking about how to protect mom, etc. ( She's already given KERA a wad this year since that's her most favorite channel and every time they have their "beg-a-thons", she forgets she's already given, and gives again. And again. And again. Or, even funnier...she wants the gifts they advertise if you give money. I have all of Rick Steves 2010 Christmas in Europe if anyone is bored or bed bound, and needs some entertainment. You can turn your AC down low and pretend you're in Europe, with Rick, for Christmas.) OK....back to the scamming. My sister and I are currently plotting how best to handle preserving mom's independence, while keeping her safe, and taking away her check book and credit cards. I am soooo not looking forward to this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fred goes Johnny

With a rainy weekend, the question becomes whatcha gonna do?? I decided Friday that this was the weekend to catch up on our movie viewing a la Block Buster. So, Friday I hit the doors of our local one on Hillcrest and got busy. In short order, I nabbed Up in the Air, Sherlock Holmes, and The Blind Side. After Sandy's recent marital turmoil, I just needed to give her my support. We are now two for three and I'm just gonna say it: the first two listed above were just forgettable--as in totally. I'm so glad I didn't bother to go to the actual movie to see them. That would have required lots more effort than either movie was worth. I'm counting on Sandy to bring it all home this afternoon, which may be asking a lot. We'll see. The plan next week is to get The Hurt Locker and Avatar and then we should at least be current for last year. I figured those two would sort of off set each other and not drag us down totally. Avatar won't be out until then so that's the plan, anyway.
Yesterday after lunch, Fred and I did some much needed spiffing to his wardrobe and the guy that helped us, Danny, was great. Since we are going to visit Benji in May (Nashville) , I suggested we try to hip Bruce up a little. And that's when it really got fun. Danny talked Fred into trying on some cooler jeans. Those worked--nothing to edgy. And then Danny went in for the kill. He brought out this black shirt that was really cool and tried to get Fred to put it on. Think sort of country/western with an edge, and black stitching, but not totally over the top.

Finally, Fred put it on, and... time... stood... still. It got totally quiet for a second and then out of my mouth came " Hello, my name is Johnny Cash". Danny and I both started howling and could not stop. Then Danny got him to put on a jacket over the shirt and Fred became Johnny Cash.
It was perfect for our trip and I knew Benji would completely flip out, which made it twice as fun. I'm already trying to conjure up the look he'll have on his face when he sees his dad. Torturing our kids is just the most fun in the world and I can hardly wait for Fred to slip that baby on and send Benji reeling...OMG. He got some much needed other stuff, too, but the black shirt?? Gonna be a burnin' Ring of doubt.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garden photos

I have a set of garden pic's that I thought I'd better post since I had mentioned it earlier. It includes a shot of the strange red valve thing so if you know what it is, please tell me. Since I got a much later garden start, it won't be hard to figure out which one is mine vs the ones that I'd love to tell you are mine. I took a shot of the yellow squash that's just come up and the green beans. The parsley already lived in our plot and the garden's tomatoes & basil were adopted from Home Depot, along with the basil I have here at home--different species. (Hudson & Hadley and I had to reschedule our planting date this morning due to rain and since I knew he and Hadley would want to water. And water. And water some more.)

If you look really closely, you can see a fellow gardener in one shot squatting down by his plot with a hat on. (This may be a lot like Find Waldo since he's squatted down by a fence pole.) He really knows what he's doing and while I was shooting pictures, we started eating his lettuce right from his patch. I had told him how my mesculun mix from last year grew great, but just tasted blah, so that's when the salad course started. He'd said he thought his lettuce was a little bitter--not so for me. He's a really cool man and had a man eating okra last year that was so huge, Sister was afraid of it. And before that, he grew green bell peppers until they had to start giving them away after cooking and freezing all they could handle. That was until his wife accidentally sprayed their patch with what she thought was an organic pesticide that turned out to be an organic herbicide. Woops. That shut down production (of anything) for quite a while.
Sister is howling and talking, so Fred must be home. I'll get him to help me load the photos.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stuff I know today

Today I know trying to herd a deaf dog and a dog that does not want to mind, into the house, is harder than bringing in a jetliner to the jet way, with those orange flashlights. Deaf dogs run the other way-- despite flailing arms and jumping jacks-- and dogs that don't want to listen, just don't listen, and do exactly what they want. Jetliners behave.

Today I know that if you insert your Comerica card into the ATM at the bank drive through, and start punching the screen like on an Iphone, nothing will happen. Trust me on this one. And even when you figure out the screen is not like your Iphone, you will still punch it again. And then you will laugh like you oughta be locked up. And maybe you should.

Today I know I am an addict and that sugar--any sugar--is my drug of choice. I will jones for it just like those people under the bridge drinking out of paper sacks or the ones with a needle hanging out of their arm. I am no different-- despite what I tell myself. Sugar is a drug. And I love it.

Today I know that the Snider Plaza Health Food Store has the best frozen yogurt in the entire world and that the day I die, I hope I will have just finished a cup of chocolate- vanilla swirl, with a blob of Espresso in the bottom of the cup, having just licked my spoon. Oh, yeah.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

He's ready....

Lord, love me I wish this site had the ability to put sound on it. That is the only way in this world you all could hear the phone message Hudson left me earlier this afternoon. I like to died. He was yabbering a mile a minute about exactly what, I am not totally sure but it was way funny. I put my cordless on speaker, and listened twice, before I caught the words "dig" and "plant". Then he was off on some other conversational tangent, I know not what. He said "to call me right back when you get this, AC " so, of course, I did.

Luckily for me, his mom answered and was able to translate that my assistant gardener was ready to work--in fact, that very minute would have suited him just fine. He then got on and explained to me that he had a "digger" and had gotten some garden" work gloves" from Santa, so he was ready, and would I come right now to get him. And could he bring two? Two what? (I'm wondering). So I told him "Sure", wondering what in the world I had just agreed to..... and I quickly found out. "OK... 'cause I wanna bring Hadley."
Gooooosh...I melted like a pat of butter. A big brother who wants to bring his little sister??....Oh, wahhhhhhh. Where do ya get a brother like that?? Never mind she is... as... fun... as... they... come. And he knows it. It was still just one of those moments I may never forget.
Since I couldn't do it today, he wanted to know what day we could. " about Saturday?", I suggested. "Well...what's today... 'cause I go to Wilson's on Wednesday....I don't go to school on Saturday, do I?" At this point, I can hear his mom laughing in the background and I am rolling. We are both thinking the same father, like son. Mr. Busy. Stay tuned for Saturday. I'm going to take them up to the garden and let them loose.


The more I pay attention to my own willingness the more I notice situations change in a way I would not have predicted or guessed they might. For example, yesterday. I had offered to go with my friend to put DC to sleep. None of us would want to do that--including me--but I decided it was something I was willing to do, and wanted to do-- for her. A little before noon, my friend called saying her son was on his way in from College Station to say goodbye to the cat and to go with her to the vet. WOW! What a loving gesture for both the cat and for his mom, despite the fact she had told him I was on board so she wouldn't have to do this alone. He could have said "OK...punt" but he didn't, and as a result, I got my afternoon back, and they got lots more. They got a bonding and grief experience few get to experience with their adult kids. My friend said they sobbed like two girls, and since neither of them got to tell her husband goodbye before he killed himself, I knew this was not all about the cat, and something they needed to do together, privately.

When I emailed her later to see how she was, she said it was probably the best experience of her life and that though her son said it was the hardest thing he'd ever done, neither of them will ever forget being there together. The bond of love just got deeper, bigger, stronger, impenetrable. And what a self esteem builder for a young son who followed his gut. Wow. All of that as a gift from a family cat. Who saw that coming??

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Change is really going to be an interesting day. Not only will we be saying adios to DC but also to my family home of the last 51 years. Yep. Mom signs her paperwork this afternoon. Lots of big endings. I used to think endings were always sad or bad. Big drama and disaster mentality. No other feelings involved. Nothing positive. Not anymore. Today I know I can have lots of different feelings all at the same time and its important for me to take the time to give each one its own time, feel it, and then let it go. I think of feelings as waves on the beach....they wash in and then the wash back out. Some days the waves are bigger, some days smaller. And if I s-l-o-w down and take the time to actually feel them and process them, its much easier to let them go. The positive feelings?? Man, I hang on to those for as long as I can. I love all those right brain feelings. The left brain ones? Not so much. My left brain is always working over time and its my right brain that I need to spend more time in.

I've also realized that change/loss is really important. With it, we make room for new opportunities: new people, places, things, experiences, growth. Without it, we stay stuck, stagnant, dull, and our development stops. Change may shake things up, but what looks like a disaster, is often an opportunity. And that's just how I see it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Farewell DC

Yikes...tomorrow is D day for DC, my friend's cat. It seems old DC has not been doing to well and my friend took him in to the vet for a look see and some blood work. It appears DC has been on the prowl and has feline leukemia--not unusual in an outside cat. The bad news is, he's really feeling crummy and since there is no cure the vet suggested putting him to sleep since he's also no spring chicken. Enter me. I had told my friend I would go with her to do the evil deed, if she wanted, and tomorrow is it. DC's lease is officially up, on earth, as of about 3pm. She's talked with all of her kids- hers, and the ones of her husband who recently killed himself--and everybody is good with putting old DC out of his misery and interestingly, none of them wanted to come home for a final goodbye. I'm guessing that would just be too much and Lord knows they've been through enough recently.
This is just another big ending for my friend as, Bob, her husband, saved DC as a kitten, and as a result, they were quite the twosome. Since my friend is super allergic to cats, though she adores them, Bob did all the cat duty and DC has just been one cool guy. He used to lie around on the driveway at night until every last kid came in (all 5), and were home for the night. It's like he could tell if they were leaving again and would stay on post. Once everyone was home for the night and accounted for, he'd slink to the back yard to his kitty condo and crash. They called him their Guard Cat.
I'm a big believer in giving all my animals the best quality of life possible but I'm not the kidney transplant type. I'm not going to keep them here on this planet, uncomfortable and unhappy, just because I'm not willing to let them go. If they are in pain or are hurt, and the vet and I can't fix it and give them a reasonably happy remaining life, then it's just time. I know my friend is going to be an emotional wreck tomorrow and my prayers have already started for her and her family. I'll say this and close: DC's last day on earth sure is gonna be a beautiful one....the sun is out, the birds are singing, and the temp is purrrrfect. Lucky guy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Temptation (from Monday night)

I don't know what it is about me that makes me want to walk on the wild side but it's just there...a big old there...and the temptation is killing me. I just got my almost blown to smithereens computer back, and I want to download pic's again from the Internet. Again. Oh, yeah. Even when I know better. I know......a totally bad idea but I still wanna. I feel like the teenager who's just been told not to sneak out the bedroom window any more. Hello??'s still a window...and it's still there... And the Internet pictures are sooo fun & funny. Crud.
We just put the garden to bed as we swung by walking the pups. The previously "re-purposed" cilantro plant is not looking so good and I say re-purposed only because it was re-located from another that appeared abandoned and very down at the heels looking so I took the liberty of repositioning it a little. To our patch. I like to think I'm saving it when in truth, I've probably killed it already. Cilantro is awful finiky so tomorrow it may get a last chance haircut to see if it can beat the odds, and live, despite my relo. I put it next to the tomato plants since it made me think of salsa.
Fred made me scream out laughing when he asked me earlier in the evening if anything had bloomed.....huh?? We just planted seeds Saturday and a few actual plants. Blooms?? Oh, yeah...lots of blooms, Fred.

Welcome, Carita!

It appears that a former lurker has decided to come out of the closet and do the big reveal as an actual follower! Welcome, Carita!! I can use all the followers I can get. Any other lurkers willing to
out themselves, come on down.
If any of you know why this page looks one way on the blog page and then has holes in places, when it's posted, feel free to let me know. I have tried everything I know to fix this. I know it's an operator error type always is.

Not my decision

Adult kids. Oh, man...see if you can identify here. One calls you for your "professional opinion" regarding something medical. (Substitute your own scenario here) You ask a few questions to better assess the situation and their temperature begins to climb. After clarifying what you heard, you then say "if it was me, I would (fill in the blank)". 3...2....1 We have lift off! Because your opinion is NOT what they wanted to hear, despite the fact they know it's probably a wise decision, they get m-a-d. And their mood does not improve when asked "YOU... called ME... right? And you asked for my opinion, correct? Well, here it is. Do what you want." Yah, yah...yah....whatever.
Two hours later, they call again to tell you they are 1) doing what you suggested 2) and still complaining about it, at which point all you can say is "smart idea...glad you are doing it". Click. Then another hour and a half passes, you are in bed reading, and the phone rings, again. This time, they want to give you the blow by blow details... and by now, you are struggling to smother your laughter. They are in full bore poor little me mode and it's all you can do not to hand them a sticker through the phone, for being sooooo big!
In the past, both boys have asked to talk with the nurse part of me and not the mom part---it takes me a second to shift gears, but it works. The nurse part is really fun---you just give them information, and the decision and results are strictly theirs. But the mom part is even more fun. You get to tease them about it afterwards.

M*A*S*H unit

Yesterday, it took a village to get one baby girl christened and everyone through the christening lunch. Kids were dropping like flies so while I triaged them, their exhausted parents were grabbing family members to help out. It was hilarious.... Think a Country Club M*A*S*H unit and you've got it. They were all tired and starving after the service so while Hudson's dad got him a plate of food from the buffet, I got one for Hadley, who was falling asleep (and starting to run temp) in her Aunt Kara's arms, and looking just generally droopy as old underwear. She perked up for about 15 seconds before she slid down the slippery slope to Tear City, and "I want my daaaaaaa-deeeee". Partnered up, in a chair with her all over him, to sleep she went. Exit Hadley. Meanwhile, the guest of honor, Avery, came unglued. Yep....her 31/2 month old wheels finally came off and the wailing ensued. Since I had eaten by then and her mom hadn't, I took Avery for my shift. The other kids in attendence had their parent, to help them, so the rest of the adults had a grand time, sans children. Ahhhhh, to have grown kids or at least ones that are self sufficient. Hudson only had minor tears when he slipped and fell on his arm---he is always purrrrrfect. And adorable.

Poor old Avery had just hit the post christening wall. I decided that since I'm a tad fluffy at the moment, we might as well put all that soft duvet fluffiness to work so she and I went off for some girl time to try to get baby girl to give it up, and go to sleep, vs wailing. The only problem was, she had really thrown a rod by now and was just one mad baby. What to do?? I snuggled her up and got her in the position just like I used to do with the boys, wrapped in her blankey, stuffed her passie in her wailing mouth, and just shushed her and walked her until she finally gave up. She would occasionally open one eye to peep around, but it would then flutter closed. Since my sister had held her all during the church service, no one was interested in a hand off & potentially waking her up, except Fred, and he'd have taken her in a NY minute if she wouldn't have cried. Plus, they were all eating dessert and as cute as she is, she was just no contest against all that sugar, fat, and decadence.
Crying really brings out the "Awwww....Ethel " in Fred, and me, too, for that matter-- but it also becomes a contest of sorts--to see if I can May-May them to sleep. The May-May effect is the latent grandmother stuff that starts oozing out of me on to any baby within three feet of me. I can't help it...I just love babies. Any kind...animal, mineral, vegetable. Hand it over. I do know my limits, though....if they scream too long, I'm headin' for the dessert table, too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Here are the pic's as promised--Leek & Roses

Divorce Garden Plot

Wellllll...our plot may just cause one. One of us takes the "I'm all excited and I'm five years old again" buck shot approach to planting, and the other one of us, who is of superior intelligence, thinks it out and t-h-e-n plants. Wanna guess who is who?? And since I'm the one typing, we all know who the smart one is. Yep. That'd be me. Now, don't get me wrong...Fred's a decent worker. He's just hard to keep "on task". He gets frazzled and excited by all the seed choices and is ready to play "planting roulette" unless I catch him in time. The area I had already envisioned for my "cutting garden" for flowers, almost became a vegetable du jour area. Whew. Caught in the nick of time. And did I mention stepping on already growing plants (curly parsley) that up to a few seconds ago was actually alive....that's a problem, too. But, I can get him to do the crappy jobs (fish emulsion) so I guess I'm gonna have to keep him--at least through the growing season anyway. And, he's impervious to mosquitoes--- and they are my kryptonite. Grrr.... looks like he's staying. And he does buy me lunch....
The funny part to me is how differently we approach things. When we were finished, one of us was packed up, cleaned up, and in the car in a nano second. That would be the same person who cleaned up as she went, threw away trash, etc. The other one?? Let's just say he took his sweet time finishing up, while I enjoyed watching, from the car.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Garden update--yesterday and this morning--

Well.....I think Fred got his money's worth out of me today. Nooo...not like that. At the garden plot--and I worked my tail off. No doubt he'll give me one of those "Nowwwww, Ethel"'s like I didn't do all that much, but he can go sit on a hoe. I'm through using mine so he can use that one if he's gonna give me grief. OK...I digress. First, I raked out all the old leaves and crud in all three sections of my patch and then loaded it in my garbage sack and hiked it to the dumpster. Then it was pitch fork time and I turned that whole plot except for the little part that's still planted with the leeks, onions and parsley the other lady left behind. Oh, yeah...and the red valve part. Since I don't even really know what that thing is, I'm not getting near it. (I am still hunting for Fred's camera and when I find it, I'll shoot a pic and let you all tell me what you think it is.) Back to work.
By green garden-gloved hand, I picked out each grub worm I found (ick!), tossed it, and I found close to ten. Those make me want to gag. Seriously. White and all slimy looking? Nuh, uh. I'm going to have to see if you can put grub killer in with vegetables...doesn't sound real organic or healthy so since I got all the ones I saw, that just may have to do.
I added the half bag of garden soil to the small area, spread it around and sort of stirred it up into the soil, planted my two basil plants, fertilized them with fish emulsion, and, honey, I was d-o-n-e. If you'd have had a deep sniff of that fish emulsion you'd be done, too. Think lots of dead fish, concentrated, in a slimy green brown solution that you dilute with water. Pure deeee awful.

Oh, Lord....I wish I could add sound to this so you all could turn on your speakers and hear Sister "hound dog" howling in the den. Something must have walked by on the driveway that got her all stirred up. The best part is, she tries to talk while she howls so what comes out is even funnier.) She was out front earlier and let me just report that her "voice command training" a la Fred, has not improved one iota. She has got the "I am deaf and do not care what you are saying to me" look, down to an art form. Think Helen Keller in dog form--that's her. It is hilarious to watch them together out the window as Fred continues to try to nail jello to a tree --i.e. make Sis mind. Ain't gonna happen, folks.
After our post dinner trip last night to Home Depot for garden soil, Fred added several bags so we are ready to plant vegetables and flowers in the garden, and my pots at home. I'm 'on getter dun today. After much self examination, I have decided I'm a lot better waterer, chair sitter, and general bosser than I am a worker, though I do like the planting part. The getting sweaty part?? Not so much.

P. S. I sooo love screwing with the spell check on can tell with all my made up words it just wants to blow up when I hit spell check. Ain't life great????

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lunch at the Plaza

I just ran by to check in on mom. Since she wasn't in her room I figured she was upstairs at lunch. Damn, I'm smart. As I rounded the corner by the dining room, I could hear her voice so I slowed down to figure out where she was. OMG....she was holding court at a table for four, yakking up a storm. This from the same woman who did not want to go upstairs to the dining room to eat with all those old people.
Holy cow.....I felt like the mother of a first grader who was having lunch at school, the first week of school. She introduced me to her lunch mates and remembered their names. Yeah, buddy... One was a retired dermatologist well known in town, another was man whose last name was Berry, and the other lady was her next door neighbor, whom I already knew. I had wanted to let her know that her phone was now working and she told me that she already knew--it had rung this morning but she was in the bathroom or something. Well, allrighty then.

I was so thrilled I called both of my sibs, on my way out, to tell them we are home free. The eagle has landed.

Accents...I feel like the UN

Remember in the United States when everyone spoke English and for the most part, it sounded like English. Now, don't get all "the US is a melting pot on me....." I get that and I love it. I'm as Ellis Island as the next person but here's the problem. As I am advancing in age, my ears and brain are having increasing difficulty decodeing what's being said, with all the different accents I come into contact with regularly.
Example: the Vietnamese ladies at the nail place. When I was there Saturday, one of them asked me something and I had absolutely no clue what she had just said, so I looked at the second one. She repeated it, and it sounded exactly the same to be.......zhing whong hoy yong. Whaaaaat???
I could tell both of them thought I'd had some recent brain injury since I was staring at them with my face all blank and they were visibly uncomfortable that I didn't understand. Well, yeah....there is that. Finally, I repeated what they'd said, out loud, twice, and then screamed out laughing. I got it. I then said it to them, answered their question, and we all laughed over and over. Yep....they think I'm crazy. Oh, well.
Then there's the nurse from Kenya (Hellen--2 L's), at the Plaza, who speaks with an African British accent. Talk about tweaking your ears....if I can get her slow down, I can do it, but if she goes all full tilt on me, I'm toast. I'm used to the Indian ladies accent from working with so many of them, but throw in a Filipino and I am right back to the "whaaaaat???" look.
And last but never least, my most favorite, the Hispanic accent. OK...that one almost makes me look intelligent. Every now and then I get stumped but not all that often, and what little Spanish I speak is always indulged, even if my tenses are all out of whack. And unless we get going on the African American hip hop language of da 'hood, I'm good there, too. Most of the time.
I know it's not just me because my sister has given me the " Huh...what'd they say???" look on more than one occasion, and it does absolutely no good to ask Fred, if he's there. Color him clueless as well. So, I guess this is just something more I'm gonna have to work on..... Oh, great......another thing to add to my ever growing list.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random thoughts

OK...I give. I think Sis is about to out stubborn me. She loves to sit in our den chairs like a person only a person doesn't leave black dog hair behind as a calling card or when it's raining, muddy paw prints. Or nose drips on the arms when the pollen count is high. Yes, the chairs are slip covered so I can wash them but between her and the West sun, my chairs are taking a beating. Hence, I am trying to teach her not to jump up in them. I might as well try to teach her not to eat Wiggles food. I am losing ground here folks, and fast. It would be lots easier if this was something Sis was interested in learning--or unlearning, as the case may be. Every time I catch her, it's like she's never been told this information before and wants to know what flew up my pants. Attitude from a dog?? Not while there's breath in this body. We are fixing to go to the mat on this one, if I can summon the energy. If I can't, she can just have the damn chairs.

I am slowly reclaiming my life after focusing so much lately on mom. I may just get that garden planted yet and my pots. After going briefly on Sunday over to one of Bruce's cousin's house for his Aunt Da'V's 90th birthday celebration, I am ashamed at how groady my yard and empty pots look. Carol's were absolutely beautiful and I wanted to load up all of her stuff and take it to my house. No muss, no fuss. Instant pretty.
My Lady Banks yellow climbing roses are all over everywhere and the thickest and fluffiest they've ever bloomed, and my bridal wreath spirea is white, wispy and lovely. My trumpet vines on the fence and the wall are blooming dark orange flowers, though that last snowfall just about put the hex on any blooms at all. If I can find Fred's camera I'll try to take a picture of the roses to post later, since they're the best. (I sooooo hate being grounded from downloading off the Internet. My computer is still in ICU after Hannah Montana's downloaded picture almost killed it. Thanks, Miley. ) It's so quick and easy to just pick a picture and post it, plus, they do have pictures you sure won't find anywhere else. And they come with a special present--porn. And a worm. A real two-fer.

My biggest hickey (sorry, Charlotte) right now is that green stuff that oak trees drop before their leaves open. We have three ginormous oaks so you can imagine how much of that crud is all over everywhere. It makes these giant wads of..... this... weird... stuff...and it ends up everywhere. One night years ago, we were on our way out to dinner and as we all came out the back door, there stood Benji with a full wig on his head that he had fashioned out of the tree stuff. It was like the worst man-wig you've ever seen. And hilarious. Every year I look at that stuff and remember Benji's hair creation.
That junk even comes inside on puppies backs--ones that have rolled around on the driveway while toasting in the sun. ( Sister) Wig is much more gentlemanly and never rolls around-- he just sits-- hence not much crud on him. He is quality; Sister is definitely quantity. Anyway, my questions is, whadaya do with all that stuff?? Besides throw it you compost it?? Add that to the ever growing list of stuff I just don't know.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm whipped....

It's happened. Again. I've got it and I've got it bad. Blogstipation. Can't think of a single thing worth yakking about. How could that be? I am female so that means I have at least 250, 000 words I need to get out of my head today, before I go to sleep tonight. Egads....the pressure....guys have it so easy. What do they have to do each day...maybe 10 words? Eleven on a really big day???

I do have one Easter funny to relate and, yes, it involves the "smalls"--Hudson, Hadley, and baby Avery. It seems that Friday the movers were there to pack up their house, and they were then getting on the road for Arkansas, to be with Nicole's (the other) side of their family for Easter. It was total chaos as usual, but they got it done and hit the road. About an hour from Little Rock, I got an email from Nic saying they were almost there and they had renamed their car. OK...I'll bite....she went on to say that their Suburban would forever more be known as the doo-doo mobile, since Avery had diarrhea, and had pooped 7 times in almost 5 hours. Hudson and Hadley thought it was hilarious---and kept putting the windows up and down--doing 75 mph on the highway. Geeze.....that would have given me diarrhea, too. I had a quick PTSD flash back to car trips with our boys: the tinkle jar, the endless hands of Go Fish, the green grapes, the cooler with drinks, the fights, Fred swerving all over the highway as he lets his ADD run wild, and finally, the car VHS/DVD player. Ahhhhh....the good old days.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Friday

For anybody that has ever doubted that there really is a God, take my word for it--there definitely is. And if you need a chunk of faith to hang on to until yours gets bigger, I'll loan you some--for as long as you need it. Yesterday during the move, the rain held off until we were loaded and then just stopped. We were able to get friends to take mom out to lunch and to a movie to "entertain her" while we got everything all moved , arranged, set up, and all zshuzzzzed before mom came over. We lit her candle so it smelled good--I rearranged some lilies she already had and gave them fresh water, we filled her tiny fridge with her stuff from the other place. Her clothes were all put away in her closet, bed all made, with her favorite pillows, bathroom gear all put away , towels ready for the first shower. Given that she had never even seen the space--her choice--the big reveal was a tad nerve racking when we were ready, and she wasn't there. Faith here....they finally called and were at the other side of Edgemere. It was 4:30pm and show time! I met them out front and mom was clearly afraid. Who wouldn't be?
She came in, she was pleased, her friends both wanted to hire us to move them in, and we almost collapsed. We had not only pleased but made one of her more negative friends very jealous, which later reduced my sister and I into screams of laughter, as we took turns acting it all out. But that's a whole other story.
We were able to even hang most of her art except for the ones that went on two walls that are concrete, thank you very much. Maintenance will come today with a special drill to do it while she's at the hairdresser. And last night, when one TV remote would just not change the channels and I knew it was something easy--something I just couldn't quite figure out-- I finally just surrendered and sat back and waited. I had monkeyed--fiddled--punched--re punched, all with no luck. I even asked a male at the front desk for some much needed testosterone fueled ideas. No good. Tick, tick, tick. It's now 7pm and I'm starting to wig out. I punched the TV power on one more time. I noticed a flashing light on the remote by the TV/VCR . Awwww....hell...I just switched it to the plain old TV part. What's it gonna do, blow up? Welllll...let's hope not.

Bingo! We were immediately channel surfing. Miracle?? You decide but Fred swears it had to be, given my lack of tech ability. It was finally time for this old broad to head home, shower, say my prayers and thank God for taking such great care of mom and all of us movers. And then fall into bed.
Before I left I had some time to spend with mom just talking.....she shared with me that I had no idea how this loss of control feels to her. I told her she was 100% correct...I truly do not know how she feels about that but I sure could relate to the lack of control I felt with Brian's crash and how unspeakably scary that was for me. And disorienting. By then, I could tell she just need to chill and watch her shows. I put a fresh nightie on her bed, and did "turn down service" minus the chocolate mint on the pillow. (She had some mini Snickers but my brain was just fried and I wasn't going there. Puuuuulease.)
Believing. Faith. And prayers. It really was a Good Friday and I am blessed and grateful.
Happy Easter to all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inappropriate people

Don't you just love 'em? It's sooo fun to see what they are going to say next. I had a call this morning from a guy my mom used to date and would have married had we not stepped in and dropped the hammer on him, but that's another story. Anywho....this guy is just not improving at all with age, but I guess wine and women are the only things that do that. He and I are not friends and he blames me for having *boundaries around his unacceptable behavior. (* see earlier post.) Oh, baby...bring on the houla hoops. I just do not put up with his "fertilizer" and will call him on it in a heartbeat. Why he would call me is the six million dollar question.
For him to have called me twice in less than twenty four hours tells me 1) he clearly doesn't have enough to do 2) he thinks he's owed or deserves a lot of information about mom that he's not 3) he thinks I'm gonna answer the phone after this and I'm not. The reason for his call this morning was two fold: he wanted to "tell me something" he thought I was too dumb to already know (I knew), and to tell me that a pair of my other's Elizabeth Gage earrings that she didn't really like (according to him), she had planned to give to my brother, to make cuff links. Buckle up because here comes the best part. He told me "your brother never wears cuff links but I do--everyday--so I want you to get those for ME...I want them ----so just get them for me." Excuse me... you creepy old man?? You want me to take jewelry from my mother, and give it to you? In...... your...... dreams. What med's are you on because you are hallucinating. Can you say inappropriate 'cause I sure can.
I loaded up my guns and told him "those earrings are my mother's--not mine--and I will do nothing of the sort. Her things are her things and if she wants you to ever have those, that will be her decision. And FYI: don't wait by the phone because HELL WILL FREEZE FIRST." What a nimrod. As our old maid used to say "I think I got him told.......uh, huh." Guess I don't need to block him on caller ID....he won't be calling back! Ahhhhh, what a great day!

Undercover agent-- Muff

I just thought my animals were weird. Oh, nooooo....they definitely are. Especially Muffin our asthmatic, fifteen year old Egyptian Mau, with the charcoal colored polka dots--all the way down to his skin. When we first got him and for years afterwards, he was real spooky. If someone he didn't know came over, he was gone in a flash, under the bed. And he'd never let us hold him unless it was his idea. Everything was always on his terms--his way, Jose'. For the life of me, I do not know what happened, but he is a changed man. No matter where I am, he's there, too--even in in the bathroom. If I sit down, he's in my lap whether I like it or not. And it's the same for the boys and Fred. He's just all over us like fly paper. Which brings me to last night.

I've considered telling you this for awhile so here it comes: Muffin likes to sleep under the covers with us at night. Yep, I guess those old bones get cold so sliding under where it's all nice and toasty just must feel good. On Fred's side, he usually sleeps on top of the covers--on top of his legs, that is. (Fred's gonna kill me for telling that but it's the truth.) Anyway, all was well and he was "in his spot" last night when Fred came walking in from choir practice around 9:30pm. Muff always comes out from under the covers to see what's shakin' only last night was different. It seems Muff took a wrong turn in the dark (underneath the covers) and was trying to get out and ended up, inside my nightgown!!!!! Yep...we were skin (mine) to fur (his), and he was becoming more and more frantic to find the escape hatch. Let me assure you that made two of us. As Fred is standing in the doorway of the bedroom, I am birthing a cat out of the arm hole of my sleeveless gown, laughing like a maniac. Exiting via the arm hole was not my idea but it was just easier to go with it. With skin shredding back claws at the ready, I wasn't going to argue how he got out--just that he got out. The look on Fred's face was priceless.....he never knows what he's walking into around here.