Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Nothing in particular, and everything in between ..."

Phone call early ... EARLY ... this morning. Grandma F called to tell me her laundry was clean, and ready to be put away.

When I got there around 10:30 AM, the dirty laundry was right where I had left it the day before. I went down to tell the nurses that I would be doing her damn laundry from now on. The head nurse was royally ticked ... showing me where she had written instructions to 2nd shift the day before, to do her laundry. I told her not to worry ... no big deal. At least if I do it, I'll know it was done ... and I can make sure all the kleenex and paper towels are out of her pockets beforehand.

Grandma let me trim and file her nails! Oh my, how much better they looked. I was careful not to "file her flesh" as I did before. That was why she wouldn't let me touch them for 4 months. She gave Frances an earful about going back to Columbus, telling her that Shady Acre's price had risen so much, now it is far more expensive than where she lived before. Why she thinks she knows the price better than Jimmy and I do ... we write the checks ... is beyond me. And she will not listen when I try to tell her the price is the same as when she moved in. She grinned the whole time her rooster alarm clock was crowing ... I guess because it made Frances jump, and then laugh. She says, "That rooster crows SIXTEEN times."


Had leftovers AGAIN for dinner tonight. Yep, it's getting old.


Even older: Frances watches QVC like it's a real TV program ... for hours at a time. My right eye has developed a tic, and it's not even December.


I wish Patti was here to drink a beer on the deck with me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"We have fallen from our shelves ..."

Just watched a long drawn-out finale episode of "The Biggest Loser". Those people made such incredible transformations ... you could tell how great they felt just by looking at their faces. Very inspiring, indeed.


Love to Laura and Melody tonight ... they lost a dear friend in a tragedy last night. Wish there was something I could do to make things easier for all involved. All I can do is think of them, and send love across the miles.


Drove to Shady Acres today in the middle of a raging thunderstorm to put away Grandma's clean laundry. Only, once again, it wasn't clean. I do exactly as they specify, by putting it in the hallway after 3 PM on her laundry day ... every week. Today it was still sitting in the hallway, dirty, when I arrived there at 11:15 AM. Grandma was still in her pajamas, as well. She said the morning got away from her.

She had a surprise visit yesterday from 2 old friends from her hometown. They were planning on doing some shopping in Commerce, and decided to drive the extra hour and a half to visit her. I know she was totally caught off guard, but pleased to visit with some familiar folks. They brought her an amarylis, so now she has 2 growing on her window sill.

Back to the laundry issue, I have about decided to do it myself once a week. At least then, I'd know it was done, and I could take a day off from going over there. I was planning to not go tomorrow, but now I'll have to, to either put clean things away ... or pick up the dirty stuff to wash here at the house.


Christmas shopping is starting to weigh on my brain a bit. I have done nothing. And I have no ideas. For anyone. Ugh. I need to put some energy into it, and soon.


Jimmy arrived in Minneapolis around 1:30 this afternoon. Turns out he knows several guys on the project from other past projects, so maybe it won't all be so awful. The highs this week are forecast to reach 20 degrees. Toasty.

Happy 47th Birthday, Jimmy. Stay warm.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"You woke up this morning, the world turned upside down ..."

The 93rd birthday was celebrated in style here on Saturday afternoon. We ate ... and ate. Grandma F seemed fairly comfortable, sitting in her wheelchair at my kitchen table. She opened presents and even blew out some candles on her slice of pound cake.

Very much enjoyed the visit by Michael, Patti, Paul & Hallie. I do wish we lived closer to each other.


Brandy and Adam came for the birthday party, and stayed to show my mother their honeymoon pictures. We watched the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, and ate leftovers for dinner. Seems like about a month since we spent any time together, so I was a Happy Mom last night.


Today began with Jimmy FINALLY cleaning out his side of our closet. We filled 5 garbage bags with clothes to give to charity. Then he began packing everything he owns that's warm. He leaves on Tuesday for Minnesota.

He went to the office in the afternoon. I was doing the 3rd of about a dozen loads of laundry. And in between folding, I had settled in for a couple of hours of Tony ...

Ahhh. Tony on TV and me in my Happy Pants. Maybe even a piece of pie in between episodes.

But then the phone rang. It was an aide at Shady Acres. "Your mother has fallen, and she's ok, just a little confused." I wanted to tell the aide SHE was confused ... she's not my mother. But I let it slide, as always. I talked to Grandma and she said "I fell, but I'm in Georgia now and everything is alright." That was when I grabbed the car keys.

Jimmy met me there, and we heard the rest of the story. She had been perusing the leftovers in her refrigerator, and neglected to put the brake on her wheelchair. When she leaned over to see better, the chair rolled out from under her and she went to the floor. She never pushed her alert button she wears around her neck, so they didn't find her until they were passing out afternoon meds. She had crawled about 3 feet from where she fell, and was on the floor next to her bed.

The aide said her pulse was elevated, and we decided to call EMS to have them check her out. The 2 paramedics were so nice, and treated her with warmth and humor. They said her BP was great, and her pulse was fast ... but understandable for a 93-year-old who had gone through an afternoon like that. They had her sit and stand, and watched her for dizziness or pain. They asked her a series of questions to determine her mental state ...

EMT: "What year is it?"
GF: "2005."
EMT: "What month?"
GF: "Huh?"
EMT: "What month is it in 2005?"
GF: "Ohhh ... it's November."
EMT: "What's the holiday that's coming next?"
GF: (thinking hard) ... "Christmas!"
EMT: "Who's this handsome man standing at the foot of your bed?"
GF: "That's my grandson."
EMT: "And what's his name?"
GF: "Jimmy."
EMT: "And who's the young woman next to you?"
GF: "That's my grandson's wife."
EMT: "What's her name?"
~ crickets chirping ~
Finally, GF: "Linda."

Oh well.

She ate dinner on a tray in her room, and I helped her get into her pajamas. The aides said they would look in on her tonight. Enough excitement for one day, I hope.


My mother-in-law sent me e-mail tonight, telling me to feed my Thanksgiving leftovers to the cat, so I won't become a statistic ... an overweight American.

I'm gonna write her back and say, "Have we met?"

When will my Karmic Debt be paid off?


Since I know you were wondering ... my back hurts. Still.

Love, Linda

Thursday, November 24, 2005

"I eat too much ..."

Not really ... I ate a normal amount today. With only the four of us here, we didn't have an obscene amount of food.


But man, I baked a nastay cheesecake. I decided to slice into it to make sure it was Paul & Hallie worthy ... and I'm so glad I did. Because this thing is too gross. I got the recipe from a Southern Living Favorites cookbook, and it's called "Ultimate Cheesecake". Chuh right. It has lumps the size of rice all though it, so in your mouth, it feels like it has cottage cheese in it. So, so wrong.

Why did I try a NEW recipe when I have a perfect New York Cheesecake recipe given to me by a woman who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY? Hellifiknow.

So tomorrow, I'll be trotting my wide butt out to the grocery store to get more cream cheese, so I can make a decent cheesecake.

However, the sweet potato pie was delish.


Jimmy napped all afternoon. I did not. I bet it felt really good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"White meat, dark meat, you just can't lose ..."

7:30 AM ... Awakened by the phone, to learn that Grandma F is stressed to no end, as the fire alarm interrupted her bathroom time. She said water was pouring all upstairs, where all the smokers and drug fiends were trying to kill them all. We are going on the assumption it was November's fire drill, until we officially hear otherwise.

Jimmy visited her today, while I destroyed the kitchen here at home.


Cooked today:
Layered Salad (for Friday)
2 Sweet Potato Pies
Giblets (for gravy)
Grandma Owens' Sour Cream Pound Cake
Big Ole Pot of Collard Greens
Lima Beans (for Saturday)
Black Eyed Peas
2 Chickens (for Saturday's Brunswick Stew)
Ground Beef & Onions (for same Brunswick Stew)
Huge-ass Cheesecake (for Paul & Hallie)
2 batches of cornbread
Double recipe of Banana Bread

The cheesecake looks iffy, and it overflowed the springform pan, causing massive smoke to waft all over the house. But the pound cake (which I've been ruining, the last few times I've made it) turned out perfectly, I think.

Tomorrow, I'll cook the ham and turkey breast, dressing and giblet gravy, and finish up the veggies and rolls ... and we'll have Turkey Day, just the 4 of us. We'll be missing Adam and Brandy, but hoping they are having a really nice Thanksgiving with Brandy's folks.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Hope everybody gets to take a nap tomorrow. :-)

"Caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new ,,,"

I can't get warm today.


Mother and I took the birthday cookies to Shady Acres at lunchtime today. The ladies were so cute. We talked with Grandma F for about an hour after she finished her lunch of fried chicken. She was dressed so nice today, and seemed to be in a great mood. She did talk a bit about her Magic Card, and the whole embalming in Georgia subject. But the main thing she wanted me to understand today was that she DOES NOT want us to talk about her going back to Georgia during her birthday meal at our house on Saturday. She told me that if Michael and Jimmy start to argue with her about it, I should tell them to hush and change the subject.

"Yes, ma'am!"


We bought bunches of groceries after that. Tomorrow is "The Day Of The Cooking". I'm looking forward to it!


That's it for tonight. It's late, and I'm tired. And oh, my back.

Monday, November 21, 2005

"If I could hold on through the tears and the laughter ..."

13 to 9. What a nice feeling! Great game ... so NOW what am I going to do with my Saturdays?


I had a really good, really fast visit to Georgia on Sunday. First to the cemetary, where Daddy's flowers got freshened up. I tried to tell him all about the wedding of his "precious and little" Adam ... only I couldn't get the words out without crying, and I didn't want to upset Mother, who was waiting in the car and watching me act like a goof at a grave.

Then, on to Michael and Patti's place, which always looks sparkly and so very uncluttered. Michael was maintaining his lawn-that-looks-like-a-carpet, and Patti was re-sparkling the kitchen floor when we got there. Had a nice visit, although short. I'm looking forward to their trip here on Friday ... and Paul is coming! :-)

Then, to see Kay. She and Beth were there, and we stayed for good visit. Kay cooked for us, while I admired her new kitchen floor and painted walls. Her house looks better than it ever has ... and all it took was a massive pine tree falling through her roof. Yay, Storm.

Josh and his sweetheart, Linda came in right before we left ... so I was glad to get a "Josh Hug". He'a the master of a good hug. It was raining like crazy when we left. We loaded Mama's luggage in at her house, and got on the road to LaGrange. We stopped at Laura and Melody's for a while, enjoying the fire and happy talk. We tore ourselves away, and drove through the pouring rain all the way home again.

Every time I drive it, I feel sad that I live so far away from Family.


I was convinced it was a kidney tumor, but now I think I simply pulled a muscle in my back. A big, nerve-filled muscle. It hurts like a mofo. (No offense, Michael.) I hope I'll live.


Rained all day today ... perfect day to stay in and wear my happy pants. But no.

Grandma F wanted cranberry sauce and peanut butter today. I changed her bedsheets and put her laundry out, after checking to make sure that it was ok to put it in the hall after 3 PM. On my way out, I asked the med tech, since I noticed no one else had laundry out ... she said it needed to be out after 7 PM. If anyone ever needed a picture of "one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing", they should take a picture of this place. Then she told me that they'd go in and get it if it wasn't in the hall. (Which is what I was told when she moved in six months ago.) Anyway.

Tomorrow is her 93rd birthday. Incredible. I wish she was happier. She got 4 birthday cards in the mail today, and another came to our house for her. Tomorrow I am taking a tray of brownies and cookies to the break room for all the caregivers ... with a note that reads, "In honor of our Grandmother's 93rd Birthday, we hope you will enjoy these treats with our appreciation for all you do every day. Happy Thanksgiving!" Am I kissing rear ends? Maybe. Heh.

I'm also taking 2 cookies for each of the ladies she eats her meals with ... just like I used to do when the kids were in elementary school. I told you, the circle keeps turning.


Back is hurting ... gonna lay down now. I promise I'll stop complaining about the back pain just as soon as I stop feeling it. I swear.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Welcome to a new kind of tension ... "

Emilie bought a Green Day DVD with footage of the tour she saw twice this year. I'm still lovin' that "American Idiot" music. I bet if Green Day knew a fat, 46-year-old housewife loved their CD, they'd be all confused about the direction their careers are taking. Heh.


From comments:
" stop feeding it wet food."

Do I know you? Miss Maggie Belle knows when it's 7:00 in the evening, and you can find her, at that time, in the kitchen moaning and complaining because I'm not opening the pouch of goodness fast enough. Besides, it's not really "wet food" ... it's moist chicken chunks. (gag)

"Will she get water in it or on it? Will be interesting to see how many times she heats nothing because she didn't get any water in the thing. You should make sure she has something with a spout that holds less than 2 cups of water to use only for filling the heater ...
... You are so nice to Grandma. She and everyone around her surely should know this. She is so lucky to have you close."

Thanks for the nice words. I bought a Hot Shot today, with the intention of trying it out myself. And now I want to keep it. It was only $15 at Walmart. It heats water way faster than the microwave, and I don't think the microwaved water is ever hot enough. Yes, I know the microwave can boil water ... but it still doesn't seem hot. (Not a fan of the microwave.)
But back to Grandma F, I think she will spill water everywhere when trying to fill this thing. Once it's in, you push the lever on the left ... a red light comes on ... and you can hear the water heating. Once it boils (about a minute later), the red light goes off, and the noise stops. Then you just put your cup underneath, and hold down the lever on the right. Unless you are holding the lever down, the water will not come out. IF, and that's a big if, she could use it safely, she could make instant oatmeal, instant soup, tea, hot cocoa ... sounds like it would be so nice for her. I just can't imagine her showing enough coordination with it to make it work.


The activity director (V.) met me as I walked in today. She said she had stopped in to see Grandma F, with the intention of asking what activities she might like to do. She said Grandma stared straight ahead with a mean look on her face, and would not answer her. She asked Grandma if she was having trouble hearing her question, and Grandma, still staring straight ahead, said, "I will not speak to you."

Jesus Horatio Christ.

I told Grandma, when I got to her room, that V. was a really nice lady, and was just trying to make sure she wasn't bored while living there. She answered that she was never bored, and she didn't need any activities. Grr. Grrr.

Her legs and feet looked a little better today. I think we may be dealing with more and more incontinence ... she didn't make it to the bathroom in time this morning, but she got herself changed and told me about it when I got there.

I'm gonna start needing a little red wagon to get her weekly supplies in there ... I swear, my arm was creaking by the time I got in there today. 7 containers of plain yogurt, 12 cups of jello, 6 cups of pudding, 12 cups of applesauce, a 12-pack of canned lemon tea, 9 bananas, 3 apples, 3 rolls of paper towels, and 4 packs of incontinence pads. And I got there to find she was out of graham crackers and Ritz crackers. But she had fried catfish and hush puppies for lunch, so she was a happy camper for a minute or two today.


Smelly Cat was enjoying a nice late-evening blitz around the living room last night ... and caught her foot in the power cord to the laptop. The plug was pulled from the back of the 'puter and flew across the room. Maggie thought it was great fun. Meanwhile, the cord suffered fatal damage. It was already showing signs of wear at the stress-point where cord meets plug. But after the blitz, it refused to power up the old computer. I carried the laptop upstairs to test it using Em's power cord. It worked, so there's nothing wrong inside the computer itself. Then I got on the dinosaur in Adam's room, and saw that Dell would sell me a new one for a mere $75. Sheee-it.
Adam (in e-mail) brilliantly suggested e-bay, and I was able to snag one last night before I went to bed for $23, incuding shipping. Yay, Adam.

Now to make it without the laptop, and using the dinosaur, until the cord arrives in the mail. I think I can, I think I can.


To repeat a few good jokes I posted this time 2 years ago, in honor of the big game tomorrow night ...............

Four football fans go rock climbing one afternoon, a Clemson fan, a South Carolina fan, a Tennessee fan and a Georgia fan.
They had been arguing all the way up the mountain about who among them was the most "die hard" fan.

Upon reaching the top of the mountain, the Tennessee fan proclaimed to the other three "This is for the Volunteers!" and promptly threw himself off the mountain as a form of sacrifice screaming "Rocky Top" as he fell to his death.

Not to be out done by the Tennessee fan, the Georgia fan jumped up and shouted "This is for the DAWGS" and threw himself off the mountain barking "Woof...woof, woof, woof, woof!" as he crashed on the rocks below.

Refusing to be out done by the Tennessee and Georgia fans, the Clemson fan rose to his feet and yelled at the top of his lungs "This is for the CLEMSON TIGERS!" and without any hesitation, pushed the South Carolina fan off the mountain shouting "Fly now, Gamecock!"


Q: Why do USC alumni keep their diplomas on their dash boards?
A: So they can park in the handicapped spaces.


Q. What do you call a Gamecock in a 3-piece suit?
A. The defendant.


Q: How many USC freshmen does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: None - it's a sophomore course.


Tigers are favored by a tiny margin, due to the fact that Carolina's first-year quarterback will be playing against the incredible Charlie. But it's in Columbia, and anything could happen. I am looking forward to watching a great game. Go Tigers!


The Friday Five

1. What do you do for fun?
I cook for fun. Grilling is even more fun than cooking. Putzing around online, reading blogs is fun. Time with family is fun. Clemson football is fun. Traveling is fun.

2. Is there a person from your past you would like to talk to again, even if it would be a potentially painful conversation?
I'd like to have a face-to-face talk with Leslie. We've had a couple of phone calls since our close friendship faded ... but I haven't seen her since the mid-90's. Sure do miss that crazy girl.

3. What is your favorite comfort food?
I could write a book, since my preferred route to comfort is through food. (How I wish it wasn't!) Let's see ... Chicken and Dumplings is a good one. So is ice cream. A big breakfast of grits, eggs, and toast is comforting to me, as well. At Christmas, my comfort comes in the form of divinity. Yep, sugar and egg whites. Mmm, mmm, wonderful.
I forgot about macaroni and cheese.

4. What is your preferred form of self-expression? (Do you dance; or express yourself through music, conversation, etc.)
I guess you're looking at one of the main ways I express myself.

5. You just received $5000; what do you spend it on?
It's not enough to pay off even one of the student loans, soooo ... I'll treat this as a fantasy question. Because in reality, I'd just put it toward the student loans.
$5000 ... I'd put hardwood floors in the foyer, living and dining rooms. And tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. And I'd re-carpet the rest of the house. I've already gone WAY over $5000, haven't I? That's so like me.


Off to clean some more ... the kitchen awaits.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word ... "

From comments:

"... Of course, I am a pessimist and I am also thinking not to go to any trouble at all, because whatever is done, will most assuredly not suit her and then not used."

The model of water dispenser that looks to be the best for the situation is called a Hot Shot. I think Sunbeam makes it. She would pour the water in, and wait for a signal light to come on, telling her the water is hot. Then she places the mug underneath the spout, presses a button, and the hot water comes out. If the water isn't dispensed within a certain time-frame, the unit automatically shuts off. It costs about $25, I think.

And yeah, I figured if she wouldn't use it after I bought it, then I could use it to make MY hot tea. Or take it back.


Cleaning day at the castle. I simply MUST have now earned the title of Most Procrastinatin' Woman in the South.


Today is the start day for our Neilsen TV Viewing diaries. So far, mine has an hour for "All My Children" (Janet From Another Planet was on today!), and the rest of the afternoon I've had the TV tuned to MusicChoice: Classic Rock. I guess you can tell a lot about a person from what they watch on TV. Tonight on the tube: "Survivor", "CSI", and a Sopranos episode on DVD. My reward for cleaning all day.


No visit to Grandma F today. I'll see her tomorrow when I lug in the 38 bags of groceries ... yogurt, applesauce, pudding, jello, bananas, apples, and "lemon drink", plus bathroom stuff. Seems like every week, I'm dragging more stuff in over there.


Miss Maggie Belle is my best friend, even though her fumes make me gag.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"They think so small, they use small words ..."

ESPN2 will now broadcast the entire Clemson-Carolina game on Saturday night ... but only in the state of South Carolina. The other 49 states only get the first 45 minutes. And anyone who has already ordered the Pay-Per-View version is stuck paying the $35. Lucky for me, I was still pondering the Pay-Per-View crap.


Grandma F called me at 11 PM last night to tell me she was constipated. I told her to stop sitting in the bathroom, and go to bed and rest. She said she would. Today she told me that, last night, she dozed off on the sofa, sitting up ... and had all kinds of crazy dreams. Her legs and feet were swollen again today, after several weeks of normalcy. She asked again about the hot water for tea in the mornings ... I mentioned the hot water dispenser, and asked if she thought she could safely use one. She said she didn't know. I told her she could ask for hot tea with her lunch and supper too, there are always tea bags and sugar packets on the tables. She said, "No, I don't want to drink tea in there." Sometimes it just feels to me as though she tries really hard to be difficult and contrary. I wish she could just take a deep breath and relax. Go with the flow. Chill.


Drove by Adam and Brandy's future neighborhood this afternoon, and was happy to see curbs in place. Progress.


The temperature is dropping as I type this. I have no winter clothes. Guess I'll just have to hibernate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"I don't wanna do your dirty work no more ..."

Another warm and muggy day in November. I demand Fall.


I'm in the middle of doing 2 loads of Grandma F's laundry. Yesterday was her laundry day, and I set the hamper out by the door as usual. Today when I got there, the basket was just inside the door. I assumed it was clean and ready to be put away until I opened the plastic bag. It was still dirty. Grandma said "they" just put it back in her room because "they" don't have time to wash clothes, since "they" are so busy washing all those tablecloths and cloth napkins. I'm figuring she either got confused and pulled it into her room as she returned from a meal, or she did it on purpose. She was complaining that the detergent they used had stretched out a pair of her new panties, so maybe she just wanted me to do it. Hellifiknow ... all I know is, I'm doing this week's laundry.

Things discussed during the Care Plan meeting:
*Grooming: The nurse is planning to talk with Grandma F, and to do so sternly if necessary, about her hair and nails. Her hair is not being washed, and it's because Grandma is refusing during her shower time. She is wearing the same clothes for days at a time, and the nurse added to the Care Plan that she should receive prompts from the aide to wear something different every day. Also, to discourage Grandma F from cutting her own hair, she suggested we tell Grandma that's it's against the rules for her to have scissors of any kind in her room.
*Breakfast: Again today, Grandma asked me to see if they could bring her a cup of hot water and a doughnut every morning. The nurse said the fee was $2 per meal, per day for a tray to be delivered. (If a resident is ill, they can have a tray delivered for up to 3 days at no extra charge.) Anyway, the nurse warned of the possibility of Grandma F wanting ALL meals in her room if we started doing breakfast. And we don't want that. She suggested getting a small (2 cup) hot water dispenser for her room, so she could make tea in the mornings. It's allowable only if it has an automatic shut-off, but I shopped online today, and found one. I'm still not sure it would be safe for her ... she spills things quite easily, and of course, she can't see very well. Gonna think on this one for a while. She is going to tell Grandma about the availabilty of fresh fruit in the dining room every morning, and that she can walk up there to get what she wants for her room every day. I buy her 9 to 10 bananas every Thursday, and by Monday night they are GONE.
*Dementia: The nurse suggested we visit the doctor to talk specifically about her mental issues, possibly getting an order for a psych evaluation. She said her dementia may have progressed to the point that she could benefit from the Alzheimer's drug Aracept (sp?).

This morning, during our visit, Grandma F told me, once again, the entire story (start to finish ... it took about 15 minutes) of the All Powerful ID Card. She said someone had come into her room to take a "survey", and she refused to say anything to them. Because that card meant she didn't have to.

She also told me about the "Killer Flag". For Veteran's Day, the home had hung a flag from the doorway of the dining room. She said everybody was so worried that the flag was going to fall on them. They were all relieved when the maintenance people took it down today. She said she tried to tell Jimmy all about it when he was there, and he argued with her, trying to tell her that a fabric flag couldn't hurt you even if it did fall on you. She said he was so hard-headed, she couldn't make him understand the danger. I told her that he got that hard head from her.

Oh, my nerves.


Just for the record ... that yard man next door was still on a mower at 6:30 PM yesterday. That's 6 hours, y'all. I figure he's getting paid by the hour.


Leaving today, I noticed a hard hat from one of Jimmy's jobs had fallen to the ground ... and I noticed it just as the garage door was closing on it. The door stopped, and then wouldn't close again, because a wheel popped off the track. Still waiting on the repair guy. Hopefully this will cost less than replacing the $spring$.


I'm almost done watching the last season of "The Sopranos" on DVD. (I think I'm the only person in America who never watched the series when it was on HBO.) Now I'm wondering how I'll manage without my weekly dose of Tony. Hurry up Season 6, will ya?

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Her dreams went out the door when she turned 24 ..."

All the windows are open at the castle today ... so warm for mid-November. The neighbor's yard guy has been mowing and/or blowing (in other words, MAKING NOISE) for the last 4 hours, I kid you not. How is that possible? The lot is not that big. Grrrr. "English, motha*!*^#&. Can you speak it?!!?"

Me = Bad Neighbor.


Grandma F was semi-perky this morning. She showed her bossy side when I combed her hair. "Comb it harder. But not too hard like those other people." Ooooh K.

I have an appointment in the morning with the head nurse to re-assess her care plan. It seems they do this every 6 months. I am leaning toward asking them to start delivering a breakfast tray to her room every morning. Today Grandma said she was going to ask them to bring her a cup of hot water and a doughnut every morning. Don't know where that came from. I have asked her several times if she would like them to bring her a tray and some hot tea for breakfast, and the answer is always "no". Now she wants a doughnut every day? Anyway, I'll talk to the nurse and possibly give that a trial run and see how it goes.


Paul McCartney is on "Ellen" this afternoon. He said he'd be turning 64 years old soon, and may have to consider changing the lyrics to his song "When I'm 64" to "When I'm 84". He said 64 seems young to him now. He's still pretty darn cute for an old man.


Nothin' much else going on around here today. Feeling gray like the sky, and in need of sleep. I slept last night from 2 AM to 4 AM. Not quite enough, what do you think?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

"I wanna talk about me ..."

Clemson 35 - Florida State 14
Not much more to say after that, is there? :-)


Em was in the ER this morning, hopefully by now the new pain meds have kicked in. She wasn't feeling too spry earlier.


I can't believe it's almost holiday time. Feels like it'll take a miracle to pull it off. But I guess it feels like that every year.

The Friday Five
(on a Saturday, I'm a rebel)

1) What is your favorite noise to hear?
Laughter in my house, or the sound of rain ... just as I'm falling asleep.

2) If you could live in any era of time, what would you choose and why?
The 1950's ... Valium.
Aww, I'm only kidding. Clothing and decorating styles were so cool back then. I sure would miss my laptop, though.

3) You just found $50 while cleaning your house. Where do you decide to spend it?
First of all, I'm cleaning my house? Huh?
But if I did find $50, I'd buy something new to wear. Seems like everytime the weather changes, I have 2 halfway-decent outfits. The rest is what I refer to as "happy clothes" ... only suitable for lounging around the house with a bottle of wine.

4) What magazines to you subscribe to/read on a normal basis?
Don't subscribe to anything myself, but I gravitate toward "People" or "Us" in the doctor's office or grocery line. Hollywood gossip is one of my addictions, don't ya know.
Jimmy subscribes to "Popular Mechanics", which couldn't be more boring. And while we don't know who paid for it ... I suspect Jimmy's employer ... we get a local society magazine. That one helps me keep up with what Biff and Muffy Greenville are doing.

5) If you could witness any event in history, but not change anything about it, what would you choose and why?
Ending on a sad note, but I would love to go back to March 29, 1994 ... the day Daddy died. I wish I had said more to him those last few hours in the hospital, instead of just standing there by his bed and holding his hand. But I guess that'd be changing things, wouldn't it? I suck at these stupid questions.
OK, I'd like to go back and witness Woodstock. I always wanted to be a hippie, but I was only 10 years old in 1969.

Friday, November 11, 2005

"How long till my soul gets it right? ..."

Worked in the yard a bit this morning. Leaves for sale.


Grandma F wasn't feeling too well this afternoon. Tummy Troubles. We'll just leave it at that.


Made chicken and dumplings for dinner ... seemed like the weather was right for it. 'Twas good.


Clemson vs. Florida State tomorrow. Kickoff is at noon. ESPN. Go Tigers!


I'm a woman of few words tonight.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"All my best memories come back clearly to me ..."

The cat is blitzing around the room ... what a goofball.


I spent money today. A visit to Publix for Grandma F's snacks, then to Target, Sam's, and BiLo for us. I forgot to get vanilla ice cream, and I meant to get tequila ... so another shopping trip tomorrow. Blah.


Grandma F was sitting on her sofa, still in her pajamas (inside out) when I arrived there at 11 AM today. Never a good way to start our visit. She did say today that she didn't know what she'd do if I didn't come and see her. Aww. I told her she'd just have to rely on the aides there a lot more. (Always thinking, that's me.) She told me Michael called her after they got in from their cruise. Cruise? I just let it go, but if I find out that Michael and Patti went on a cruise and didn't invite moi, they have some splainin' to do. But I bet Dr. Dementia told her they went on a cruise, and he's always making stuff up.


I was thinking the game on Saturday was only Pay Per View ... but I misheard the news guy when he said NEXT week's Clemson-USC game won't be broadcast on a network. So ... Yay for televised Clemson football this weekend!


Saw my boy Adam twice today, which was a very nice thing indeed. He was wrestling his drumset down the stairs and into his truck, and then a reverse trip with it all. I wish we had a better place to store those drums of his ... someplace that wasn't so hard to get to. We could get a NEW HOUSE!!! (Why didn't I think of that before?)


Jimmy's flying in tonight. I need to hose down the bathroom before his plane lands. Just call me MissProcrastination.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Oh think twice, it's another day for you and me in paradise ..."

Today was "Cover Your Roots" day here. This was my 2nd visit to this salon. Just before the wedding last month, I was so pissed off at the stylist I had been using for a few years, I just up and called someone new. The old stylist had taken to dying my hair as close to black as it could be without actually being black ... which grew on me. I had sorta gotten used to that. But then the last 2 times I went to her, she cut my hair all one length ... like Jimmy would do, when I let him trim my hair. I felt like I was in elementary school. I told her, on the visit a week before the wedding, to please add some layers back in. So I came home with black hair and no layers. (I know this is a long, boring tale of my hair woes ... but you don't have to read it.) Anyway, 3 days before the wedding, I chose the New Sylist ... let's call her Marge, shall we? She did a great job trimming my hair that day, explaining that the length I was using was just calling attention to The Chin. But she said she didn't want to make any major changes right before the wedding.

Cut to today (no pun intended!) ... she lightened things up with highlights and a lighter brown all over. Then the scissors started flying through the air. Y'all, I'm now Melissa Etheridge's older, fatter twin sister. Marge is sorta hyper anyway, but I remember watching her cut my hair at one point ... while she was talking 90 miles an hour, laughing at her own jokes ... and wondering if she was just gonna keep cutting once she reached my scalp.

Actually, it would be a cute haircut on a normal-sized person. I think it just looks a bit wierd on top of this particular mountain.


No visit to Shady Acres today, although I was treated to a phone call this afternoon, detailing her afternoon in the bathroom. Why me?


I think I must have jinxed the Paolo family last night. They were "the last team to arrive". Here's another thing though ... the Weavers? The "Christian" family that calls all the other teams names and laughs at them behind their backs? They are giving lions all over the world one more reason to eat Christians. Damn, they work my last nerve.


Will Madonna singlehandedly bring back disco? God, I hope not.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Now I ain't sayin' she a golddigger ..."

That's the song guaranteed to make me smile these days ... and dance when no one's looking.

Record high temperature in Greenville today ... I think it was 79 degrees. Yes Virginia, there is a Global Warming. But after almost 3 weeks, we have new grass! Can't believe I'm so excited about fescue, but after an entire summer of almost-NO grass ... well, this makes me happy. Who knew when I paid the yard guy to put down weed killer last May that it would kill the entire lawn?!? (Only those who have lawns made up entirely of crabgrass and clover will get the joke.)

Today at Shady Acres, there was a special command performance of some Baptist church's handbell choir. I got there about 15 minutes before they were to start, so I started hinting around the minute I walked in her door. She refused immediately, said she wasn't a "music lover". I countered with the idea that we would only stay for 10 minutes or so. She pondered that ... and AGREED! We got to the dining room after they had already started, found an empty spot next to her table-mate Millie, and settled in for some mighty fine handbell music. Only this was so very different from the beautiful brass-sounding bells I have seen on TV. There was a line of about 20 well-dressed Baptist senior citizens, each holding 2 brightly colored bells. After the director started the CD player, he would hold up cards with different colored circles on them, and the corresponding colored bell players would shake the holy hell out of their bells. And they were miked. Oh, my ears. They played "Feliz Navidad". Twice. I know Walmart is decorated for Christmas already, but please. They played a few hymns, and tried to end with "How Great Thou Art", but the CD player stopped working. Bottom line ... Grandma F stayed for the entire thing, and afterwards ... we went outside and sat in the sun for half an hour! It's a miracle, I'm telling you. This lady has refused to leave her room for over FIVE months ... and in the place she lived in Georgia, she was the same way. Maybe next time, it won't be so hard to convince her to try another activity. Well, one can always hope.

"Amazing Race" is 2 hours tonight. The NY Paolo family is growing on me. I think those boys, especially that older one, need a good whomp up the side of their heads for talking to their Mama the way they do. I never thought she'd make it this far ... and I don't think she did either. I love the way the Dad attacks Phil with a giant hug every time they come in first place. (Mainly I just love Phil.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

"Time goes by, so slowly ..."

I feel like I've been in the car all day long. Went by Shady Acres to see Grandma F this morning. She spent the entire hour I was there in the bathroom. TMI, already. Oh well, it gave me time to change her sheets (after the aide stopped me on the way in and said, "I tried to change your grandmother's sheets this morning, but she told me that you do that for her." ~sigh~), wash her dishes, scrub her table, and pick up all the tiny pieces of trash off the floor. Then I sat on her sofa and watched "The Price Is Right". Good times.

In the afternoon, I drove Em to the doctor for a "procedure". She went in for a bit, then came out with a prescription for Valium and Lortab. Damn, some people have all the luck. (Only kidding.) The doctor wanted her feeling "high" before the procedure. So we drove to get the medicine, then drove back to the doctor. An hour later, she had lived through it all, and we drove away with yet another prescription for an antibiotic. Poor girl, she had a rough afternoon. But she did score a doctor's note for work and school ... day off tomorrow!

Speaking of the girl ... Em turned 23 on Friday. I remember being 23 with complete clarity, so it's really hard to reconcile in my brain that my BABY is 23. Ah well ... the circle keeps turning.

Hope your "Year of 23" is the best one yet, Miss Emilie.

I think that's about it for this Monday. Gonna watch "Wife Swap", take a shower, and conk out.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Beverly Hills, that's where I want to be ..."

Major progress today at Shady Acres ... exciting only to me, and possibly my husband. Grandma F actually WENT OUTSIDE in her wheelchair, and we sat in the sun for about half an hour!!! I think she enjoyed it, and saw for herself that there were no "dope fiends" sitting out there on the front porch. (She loves to tell me that when you have people sitting around smoking cigarettes, there are bound to be "dope fiends" around in the same place.) So I pushed her in her chair, all around the front area, looking at the flowers. Then we sat in a sunny spot, read her weekly letter from a friend, and talked to passersby. Not a dope fiend to be spotted. Maybe she'll want to go again tomorrow ... cross your fingers.

It was 70 degrees, and she wore a scarf over her ears, along with her heavy sweater. I don't care!!! She was out of her room!!!


Went to Walmart today. Survived.


I looked at the calendar today and choked on my own spit. There are only a few weeks between now and Thanksgiving! I need to get the house (and myself) ready for The Visit*. I guess I'll go down to get her sometime during the week of Turkey Day. Small beans to some, but constant company is hard for folks like me who actually enjoy alone-time.

(* My mom's annual month-long stay at my house.)


I saw country singer Mindy McCready on Oprah today. Geez Louise. Proof that a little bit of stardom and a video on CMT does not a high self-esteem make. Her "boyfriend" has beaten her to a pulp more than once, and she still loves him. And she's pregnant. *sigh* I'm tellin' you, people need to have to pass a "common sense" test before they can conceive a child.


I was bringing in a half-gallon of milk this evening ... almost had it safely in the garage fridge. Then I dropped it. Now there's a half-gallon of milk in my shoes (which I left, draining, outside), on my pants, and all over the garage floor.

So yeah, I'm off to change clothes now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"The rest is still unwritten ... "

Jimmy just called to say he's been assigned to a new project. Usually when one project comes to an end, as the one in Puerto Rico is doing, he comes home and begins work - eventually - on another one. Then on some future date, he travels to the project site to work. This time, it seems the powers that be have decided to keep his Frequent Flyer Miles active. He'll leave Puerto Rico the week of Thanksgiving, and the very next week, be working in Minnesota. So much for "home for the holidays".

Fate just wants me to have more alone time with Grandma Ford. That's all.


One of Jimmy's favorite sayings is: "Change is good." With that in mind, I invite you to join me in my new home. And don't laugh at me while I try to figger out how the new door-locks work, 'k?


"I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned
No one else can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins"

(From "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield)

New Home


I'm not entirely new to the whole blogger world. I've read other people's online journals and blogs for years. I even kept a little LiveJournal going for a couple of years while my kids were away at college as a way of keeping in touch. It was fun to express myself in that way. I stopped writing there over a year ago, when some major life trauma was happening with my daughter. And I just never picked it back up again. Well, actually I did write an entry last night ... but after such a long hiatus, it felt right to look around for new surroundings.

So here I am. Wondering if I am computer-savvy enough to do this with no help ... already knowing the answer to that is "no". Wondering if anyone will read the rambling thoughts and daily goings-on of a middle-aged housewife ... already knowing the answer to that is "the same people who used to read my LiveJournal, except Kay and Beth won't because they don't have a computer anymore". (Wondering how anyone functions in this day and time without a computer!)

I'm 46. I have 2 adult children. My son, age 25, is married to his college sweetheart. My daughter, 23 on Friday, lives here at home while she finshes up her education. My husband and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary next month. In all my life, I have never held a job that one could consider "making a living". I think that makes me feel very unworthy. Also, like I was born in the wrong century.

My proudest accomplishment in my life is the fact that I raised two really wonderful human beings. Although, I do realize that I can't really take full credit for that. They are who they are. And I am just blessed to have been allowed to hang around while they were growing up. Those were my favorite years ... so far.

Well, I'm going to use this place as I did the old one ... a place to document my days. Boring as they may be, they are mine and I love to look back at them as time passes. If someone comes along to read it all, that'd be OK too.

See ya.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"I just want you to know ..."

Don't faint. It's me. A prize* will be awarded to the first one of you who notices. (*The word "prize" is used to describe a big smile from me, and maybe a hug when I see you.)


Let's see ... what's been going on since mid-2004? In no particular order:

1. Hayley the Devil Cat was, humanely and with many tears, put to sleep last November. There was something wrong with her brain, and it just wasn't safe to live with her anymore. I hope she forgives me and is living somewhere without pain.

2. We did go on that cruise in May of 2004. Brought home lots of good memories and pictures. Would love to go again one day, when a buttload of money shows up.

3. "Miss Daisy" passed away in July, 2004. Rest in peace, Betty.

4. Emilie graduated from Clemson in May, 2005. Yay, Emilie! I can't believe I am the Mama of two college grads.

5. Adam and Brandy married last month. It was a beautiful wedding. I was proud that I never once did the "ugly cry" during the ceremony like I thought I would. It went by so fast, I'd like to go back and live that weekend all over again. Happy memories ... and I have a daughter-in-law now!

6. Jimmy's grandmother moved to an assisted living home here in Greenville. I wrote that like she made the choice on her own. Ha. She most assuredly did not. She dreams of returning to Georgia every night, I'm sure. Jimmy has been working in Puerto Rico, so she's been basically my responsiblity since she got here in May. I'm getting used to her. She may never get used to me.

7. We got a new kitten in July, 2005 ... a sweet little Ragdoll named Miss Maggie Belle. Smelly Cat for short.

8. I joined Weight Watchers in November, 2004. I lost 35 pounds. Felt incredibly better. Then in January, Jimmy left for Puerto Rico. That's right, it's all his fault I'm no longer losing weight. It makes sense in my head.

9. I got the Dyson vacuum. It's great ... and I use it just as rarely as I did the old one.

10. In December of 2004, Emilie and I drove to Pennsylvania. She was a bridesmaid in her roommate's wedding. I have good memories of that little road trip.

11. Adam got a good job in April, 2005. I think he enjoys his days. I know he enjoys a regular paycheck.

12. Uhhh. So yeah, it's been quiet. Something may come to me later, and I'll be sure to record it here for posterity.-----Gonna try for a nightly update from here on out. Hold me to it, will you?