Tuesday, August 20, 2013

They're Going to Put Me in the Movies...

...they're going to make a big star out of me!

My grandma has had a BUSY week while she's been in the hospital. I'm not sure what kind of hospital she was in but whatever they were dispensing...I want some!!

Seems grandma starred in a movie while she was in the hospital. A film crew came in and did her hair and make-up. We don't know the name of the movie or what it is about...we just have to watch for her. We'll know it when we see it.


The people across the hall were quite jealous of grandma. They threw a HUGE party with balloons and flowers and lots and lots of food. They raised quite the ruckus and never even once invited her to join the fun. The crazy people were laughing and pointing and making fun of grandma the whole time while she laid in bed. They disrupted the WHOLE floor.

The nerve of SOME people. LOL

Supposedly, she NEVER left the bed. She never got up and walked. Never used the walker to walk down the hallway. Never left her room.

uh huh. right. <snicker>

The hospital was bombed. There was a loud explosion at 4am one morning. People were running and screaming. Grandma's room was the only room not damaged. She had to get out of the bed and take cover. (and she did!) Thank goodness they had set the bed alarm on her!

They gave grandma some good $#it!

For some reason, the nurses put grandma's TV and pictures on the floor. Grandma (who never left her bed) had to stand up to watch the TV that was lying on the floor. My mom only laid on the floor – she never sat in a chair. My aunt always walked on the slanted floor – like at a funhouse.

But as grandma was coming off the Morphine, Dilaudid, Vicodin, and other assorted narcos, she saw goblins hanging from her ceiling. Hundreds of goblins hanging by their toes looking down at grandma and laughing.

Grandma was a trip!!

Don't even try telling her none of this happen. IT DID HAPPEN!! She is NOT crazy.

uh huh. right. <snicker>

I will say this...Her doctor was not aware of how differently elderly patients react to narcotic pain medicine. They usually react totally the opposite than expected. Add on top of that hospital psychosis which is common in confined elderly patients and you've got a 95-year-old grandma who is looped out of her gourd!! The doc wanted to argue with us. He lost. He sucked.

Grandma is doing better. We got her out of the hospital and she's getting detoxed with lots of bacon and fried eggs. She's happy.

Now...someone give US some pain meds!!
...or lots of alcohol!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why Do We Have Fingers?

Just stop for a moment and look at your hand. It's an amazing thing. It has five nimble fingers attached to it capable of doing all sorts of amazing things. Think of everything your hands and fingers can do. Wiggle, scratch, poke, twirl, bend, wave, demand, tap, clap, point, seduce, push and so much more. Awesome!!

Keep that thought.

Grandma still has all her fingers and toes. And I assume they were all still working until last night.

See, grandma got up in the middle of the night around 2am to make a pit stop. OK. No biggie. We all do that. The joys of growing old.

Fail #1:  No hands were used to turn on a light.

Grandma started to head back to the bed and WHACK! she did a face plant into her shower door and then bounced onto the floor landing square on her butt and back. Based on the bruising and knot on her forehead, she saw stars and probably briefly knocked herself out. Grandma laid there for a few minutes in pain. Ten minutes passed. Maybe half an hour went by. After some time, grandma CRAWLED back to her bed in the dark. On the floor. With no Life Alert button around her neck.

Fail #2:  No hands were used to place a Life Alert device around your neck.

It's going on 3am now. Grandma crawls back into bed. In the dark. In pain. She uses her hands to grab a flashlight to see what time it is. Don't ask. She lays there a long time. The Life Alert device is next to the bed with the flashlight and cool invention called The Telephone.

Fail #3:  No hands were used to pick up a phone OR a Life Alert device.

Now it's almost 5am. THREE hours later. She decides to call her daughter.

I've fallen and I can't get up. Should I push the Life Alert button?

Fail #4:  No fingers were used to push the damn button.

FINALLY, grandma uses her fingers to push the Life Alert button.

Mom gets to grandma's apartment as the EMTs are trying get in the gated complex. That's right. Emergency vehicles are UNABLE to get to an emergency call within a SENIOR apartment complex.

Fail # 5:  Failure to plan for after hour access for emergency vehicles.

Once they got in, they had to break down grandma's door. A door that is deadbolted from the inside at a senior apartment complex. Hmmmm...didn't anyone think that this type of facility might need to have access to get into an apartment on a more frequent basis due to the nature of the facility and its senior occupants?

Fail #6:  Failure to plan for emergencies.

The EMTs were very nice. They got grandma to the hospital. X-rays and CT scans were ordered. Grandma is enjoying the morphine. Mom is looking for the scotch. Grandma has a LOT of pain and discomfort but at this time nothing appears broken.

Her head matches her purple night gown and purple bedspread. At least she doesn't have blue hair. That would clash.

She's going to spend a few days in the hospital to make sure everything is ok.

I've asked the doctors to double check her hands and fingers to make sure they're working properly.

Maybe they should check her head, too...I have some concerns. It might be short a couple of chips short of a full bag.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Birthday Gamble

Last week was birthday week in our family. We have three birthdays in July. That means 33 percent of our family still living was born in July. Fireworks for everyone! And not just the ones that make sparkly booms in the night sky.

Grandma and her sister, Auntie M, went to The Boat for four days on a gambling junket. Grandma was so excited about going...she was counting down the days, hours and minutes before she went...nothing else mattered. But this meant she would be gone for her daughter's birthday.

Oh well...we have priorities.

Mom took grandma to the drop-off point and passed grandma and her baggage off to Auntie M and her cousin and off they went to The Boat like a couple of high school teenagers.
Grandma has led a basically "clean" life. Auntie M ... let's just say she's had lots of fun. A few years back after granddaddy died, Auntie M took grandma to The Boat. Grandma hasn't looked back since! They love dancing with the one-armed bandits.
Giving those two sisters a bucket of quarters is like putting a 5-year-old in front of the TV. Instant babysitter!!
Now, Auntie M is very forgetful. She claims she has never gambled and doesn't like it. Grandma can't wait to go gambling again.
If you wonder what that whirling noise you hear, that's granddaddy spinning in his grave.
So grandma got her gambling fix. She'll be good for a 2-3 months. She came home VERY happy.
Time for birthdays and cake, right?! HA!
We went out to eat to celebrate both my mom (HER daughter) and my son's birthdays. I never heard grandma wish my mom a "happy birthday." Just...
"Did you get my card?"
She mailed mom her birthday card. Save the stamp!! You saw her before and after her birthday. You spent 4 hours in the car with her. Where were the warm fuzzies?
Obviously, grandma is one of few words. Maybe she's saving them up for a rainy day.
Guess it's going to be real quiet around here because obviously we're in a drought.
Hell!! It's Summer in Texas!
Think I'll go find ME a Magnum Ice Cream Bar!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hello!? Anybody Home?!

Many times over the years I have often imagined I was adopted. There's no way I could be related to this crazy bunch.

Well, now I'm convinced it wasn't me that was adopted...it was my mother!!

Everyone thinks my grandma is the sweetest thing ever. Yes. She can be. When it comes to everyone but her family.

Used to, we'd invite grandma to come stay with us for the holidays or go on a trip. Grandma's reply was always, "Maybe. We'll see." She would never commit. She was always waiting for a better offer.

She'd rather spend her time with her sister and her sister's family than with any of her own. So, we quit asking.

Now, one of her daughters has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was caught very early. The prognosis is great. The doctors are very optimistic.

Grandma needed to be told.

Family was gathered for a casual dinner. At the end, her daughter tells grandma she'll be having surgery within the next month to have a cancerous lump removed. Without missing a beat, grandma says...

"I've got a lump under my arm I've had for a long time. Got another one under the other arm."


I looked at grandma. I was totally dumbfounded...speechless.That doesn't happen often for me.

I reiterate to grandma... "Grandma, she has a CANCEROUS lump."

"Yep. I know."


Check, please!

About 10-15 minutes later, grandma finally inquires about some VERY minor details. And then made a very simple and distant comment, "You better get that taken care of." Not a whole lot of warmth or compassion was radiating out of grandma tonight. The ice tea was warmer.

When I dropped her off at her apartment, grandma just said, "Bye. I had fun. Food was good. Talk to you later."


I'm totally speechless. Totally dumbfounded.

Maybe she needs time to process what she heard.
Maybe the lump under her arms has spread to between her shoulders.
Maybe... nevermind.

Friday, June 28, 2013

You're So Vain, I Bet You Think This Blog is About You

A big welcome our guest writer, Grandma's great-grandson!! He writes of their recent adventure to the beauty shop and drug store. Enjoy!

Blessed art the vain, for they shalt be spoke of fondly in the words of their friends, hopefully.

My grandmother had appointments lined up all morning/afternoon, so, as per the Trickle Down effect, I got to take great-grandma to her town happenings. She was in a decent mood when I picked her up.

Our car rides are usually quiet. Small talk is attempted, but it doesn't really go anywhere. I've learned to just focus on the classical music I have playing. Makes the whole experience at least somewhat enjoyable.

After dropping her off at the beauty shop, I then went and picked up her sewing fabric from my grandmother's house. Nothing too major, didn't mind doing it. Then I went home, played a game for about 15 minutes, then it was time to set sail and go pick her up.

Now came the fun part: finding things at a drug store that she wasn't able to get at the small grocery store.

On her list: Aveeno (no type), Mousse, Advil PM, Advil, Allergy

Just staring at the list, I can feel the time I would have had be ground into a fine powder.

Guiding her through a store is like pulling the leash on a choke collar which she barely responds to: Ineffective, and you look stupid for trying.

I managed to find an Aveeno section, and then asked her what kind it was she needed.

"I don't know, but it was on the TV, and it gets rid of age spots."

I have seen her buy several face and body creams while she's been here. I don't know if she's actually ever stuck to a regimen of one for the designed amount of time.

So now I'm forced to look at each and every bottle, looking for keywords like "age," "spots," or "old." No such luck. She eventually gives up, saying she'd rather know what it is than waste money on something she doesn't know if it will. Fair judgment.
Total time wasted: 15 minutes.

The Mousse Adventure wasn't nearly as exciting. She knew the brand she wanted, and then just picked a type at random.
Total time extinguished: 20 minutes.

Next came the pills. I don't think she even knows what she takes or why she takes them. I doubt she follows orders on them, so, in retrospect, this whole scene tickles me a bit. Please put down anything you are eating or drinking to avoid fatal risks for this part. We went into the allergy part first. I asked her what brand it was she needed.

"I don't know, but it has 'allergy' on the bottle."

Oh, yeah, that's great, narrows the list down a fraction. It's not like a lot of the bottles for allergy medications put the word "ALLERGY" on the bottle, or in what it combats, or in its directions sectiOH WAIT. She ended up, again, picking one she thought she uses (in other words, roulette).
Total time tossed: 30 minutes.

The Advil was just a pain in attempting. She said she didn't need too many, as she didn't take a lot. She settled on 100 normal Advil and 48 Advil PM.
Total time perished: 35 minutes.

As we make our way to the front, she gets me to grab a bag of potting soil ("Oh, it's just a dollar, get one of those!"). She wouldn't get a pot there because they were expensive. Bear in mind she thinks a small pot at $2.29 is expensive.

We make it to the check-out, and the clerk asks if we found everything ok. She asks about the Aveeno, in just as vague of terms she used with me. The clerk directs us back to the section to find the lady working there, who wasn't there previously. Goodness, I felt so sorry for her, as now she has to abandon all rationality and try and find what this coot is looking for. She was a stout lady of Indian descent. Spoke great English, and I managed to make out at least 87% of what she said through the accent, which is an accomplishment in my book. Even more so, my great-grandma understood her. That, I think, was the most shocking part of that.

By this time, I'm nearly at the end of my rope and struggling to hang on. The two go back and forth about what she's looking for, as she did with me. The lady goes over to the section we went to previously, looks there at each bottle (AGAIN) but goes over to a different section. We follow, and she shows her a couple of options. Some are cover-ups, some are lotions, and I'll be buggered if grandma didn't look at all the choices.

At several points, the lady grabs one and asks me if this is the one she wants. I look it over, and try to talk to the lady about what she's looking for in better terms ("something that fights brown spots?"). Eventually, we find one that the lady herself uses. As the lady is describing how bad her old brown spots on her face were, great-grandma's looking the box up and down. I don't know why, since she can barely see as it is. When she looks to see what the price is, the whole store surely heard her exclaim, "Good NIGHT! A little over $16 for the bottle!?" The kicker? After looking at it for a few more seconds, she says, "Well, I guess I'll try it." Remember the small pots? Yeah, neither did she.

After she pays (by check) for everything, we head out.
Total time annihilated: One hour, nine minutes.
Even in Texas, there's never a noose when you need one.

I get her back to her house, unpack her things, trim her fat cat's claws, make sure she's got food and television, the latter being of the utmost importance if we wish to be happy. Goodbyes said, I finally departed from babysitting.
The comforts of my own home and my own room were never so inviting.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ham...The New Fruitcake

Once upon a time, in a reality far, far, FAR away, lived a little old grandma with too much time on her hands. Everyday she would go to the grocery store to buy food for the day never believing to consolidate her trips to save gas or money.

One day while wondering the grocery store and visiting with the many other town folk who were enjoying their daily trip to the store, grandma found a lovely ham. A ham like no other ham. A ham of magnificent proportions. A ham to beat all other hams. A cheap, damn ham. Grandma thought she must have this ham to put in her freezer for use later when company came to call. She will cook it and everyone will enjoy the delicious ham she found. So she bought the cheap, damn ham and took it home.

The ham went home with grandma where it rested in her refrigerator for several days. Grandma removed all the labeling and wrapped it loosely in tinfoil and a plastic grocery sack and placed it in her freezer. There the ham stayed. And stayed. And stayed. For how long, no one knows for sure.

Until one day grandma moved. The freezer was loaded onto the truck with all its treasured frozen foods...her pecans, peaches, Magnum Ice Cream bars and the cheap, damn ham...and off to the big city they went. It moved to a new home with a new family where they began filling it with new things like vegetables and chicken and pork chops and beef and pizza for the boy.

Grandma started missing her freezer. She was concerned about her pecans, peaches, Magnum Ice Cream bars and the cheap, damn ham. She grew lonely because her new freezer was empty. The new family took grandma her Magnum Ice Cream bars and pecans and peaches but grandma was still uneasy. She was concerned about her ham.

She asked weekly and then began asking daily about her ham. "You need to cook the ham." "Have you cooked the ham yet?" "Take the ham to your mother and let her cook and eat the ham." "How's the ham?"

Finally, the new family took the frozen, cheap, damn ham to grandma's new freezer. "Please, cook the ham. Eat it and enjoy. It's yours." 

Grandma didn't cook the ham. It sat lonely in her new freezer. The pecans and peaches were gone and the Magnum Ice Cream bars were eaten LONG ago.

The ham was sad. No one wanted it it. The cheap, damn ham felt unloved.

Then one day, grandma gave the cheap, damn ham to a new home! It was SO excited!! Maybe this home wanted it. Maybe someone would finally cook the cheap, damn ham and love it and make sandwiches and soup and sandwiches.


The cheap, damn ham went to a new home with a new freezer with new friends...a fruitcake. The fruitcake was loosely wrapped in tinfoil in a grocery bag. The cheap, damn ham and the fruitcake became best buddies and welcomed all the other new friends wrapped loosely in tinfoil that came to stay throughout the years.

The End.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day ...Grandma's Version

It was Mother's Day weekend. It was a weekend spent with family. It was a weekend with lots of food and fun and frivolity. It was a weekend with grandma.

I don't think she enjoyed it ... not one cotton pickin' minute of it.

Saturday, grandma, mom and I went to see my son perform in a play he is in for children's theater. "The Days and Knights of King Arthur" – it was fun and cheesy...perfect for the intended audience...kids! :)  Grandma didn't understand it. Then she was worried about my son throughout the play because it's VERY physical...LOTS of sword fighting and stunts. It's knights of the roundtable! DUH!

Grandma doesn't like my driving. The whole time she's holding on to the hand grip on the ceiling as she watched my speedometer. I swear I never went more than 10 mph over the limit. :P

At lunch on Saturday, grandma declared I could NOT schedule her. She was going to do what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it.

right. uh huh. sure.

Just like you're going to get yourself a car so you can drive yourself whereever.

uh huh. sure.

She needs to be regulated. We can't stop and run her to the store every 5 minutes because she needs a can of tuna. She needs to plan her errands better. Consolidate her grocery lists. Grandma's entertainment back home consisted of running to the grocery store every time she needed a square of toilet paper. I'm going to teach her to buy in bulk...They've got this new thing now, grandma... It's a WHOLE roll of toilet paper!!! O.M.G. The things they'll think of next!!! :P

I did make grandma's day for one brief moment. I stopped by her apartment later with a new box of MAGNUM ICE CREAM bars!!! You should have seen her face light up. LOL It was one of the new boxes of MINI double caramel bars. Her favorite. I wasn't gone 5 minutes before she was tearing into one.

Our plans for Mother's Day Sunday consisted of taking grandma to church and then lunch at my mom's house. For someone who always claims not to be hungry, that woman sure can put away the food!! Her rib bone gnawing skills give any pitbull a run for its money.

After dinner, grandma got herself a mini MAGNUM ICE CREAM bar. She savored every bite. She cleaned the stick better than she cleaned the rib bones. I should be embarassed. LOL Grandma quickly exclaimed, "You could eat 2 or 3 of these little ones!! Think I'll have another!"

That was the highlight of her whole weekend. Magnum Ice Cream bars.

She sure as hell didn't like the dry-erase calendar I got for her and filled out and put up on her refrigerator door to help her schedule her days. I even had the nerve to rearrange her refrigerator magnets. (We gave her some nice things, too, jewelry and a bird feeder with shepherd's hook and seed.)

Ain't I a devil!! /snort!

I lay odds that she's already moved the calendar...maybe even erased it...and put her magnets back how they were. Remember...I'm NOT going to schedule her.

I think I know where our family stubbornness originated.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Let's Be Pissy!

I swear!! This woman is freaking nuts! Bipolar. Cracked. Whacked. Evil!!

Every week I check to see if grandma needs to go anywhere...store, groceries, nursery, pedicure ...just out.
Every time she says "no".
Mom asks her. My son asks her.
Every time she says "no".

Mom will finally get grandma to the grocery store where grandma proceeds to buy nothing.

m: "Let's get you some groceries."
g:  "I don't need anything." 
m: "What about some meat to cook."
g:  "I'm not hungry and I'm cutting back on meat."
m: "Let's go get a pedicure."
g: "Nah, they're fine."
m: "Let's go get a hamburger."
g: "Not today...no meat."

::head desk::

We have to basically drag her out of her apartment to do things. I think it boils down to she doesn't want to spend time with us.

Her loss.

THEN her other daughter, Aunt B, calls grandma. Aunt B asks if she wants to go get a pedicure and something to eat. Grandma couldn't get dressed fast enough!

Grandma calls my mom gloating to say she's going for a pedicure and dinner with Aunt B.

HELLO!? Didn't mom just ask you to do that?

She had a lovely time. /snark
She even picked up some meat to cook because she likes pork chops.
She loves to stir the pot.

I thought you're suppose to mellow with age. This one is just getting down right moldy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gambling Granny

My grandma loves the slots.

She and her sister, Auntie M, LOVE to go to The Boat. There's nothing like seeing two 90-year-old grandmas, each with a bucket full of quarters, dancing with the one armed bandits.

They're totally different women once the sounds of the slot machines hit their ears.


Yeah. A mission to gamble the night away. LOL

Since grandma moved two months ago, she has not been gambling. She's going through withdrawals. She's starting to get grumpy. (How can we tell the difference? Trust me...she's pissier than usual. LOL)

Hallelujah for Auntie M's granddaughter! She's coming to get grandma next week to take her to visit Auntie M and then take them to The Boat.

That means we have cat duty. Grandma's cat will need feeding. Not a problem...EXCEPT...

Grandma has told us we will go over 2 to 3 times a day. Once in the morning to feed him canned cat food. Once during the day to see how he is. And, then once in the evening to feed him MORE canned cat food.

Guess what!

He's getting DRY cat food all the time and then canned cat food once a day. He'll be fine. He'll be happy she's not chasing him all over the house! It will be like a vacation for him. And he'll be JUST peachy and content.

My cats have survived all these years...I haven't lost one yet because they ate dry food while I was away...but I did find cat prints on the ceiling once. Still haven't figured that one out yet.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Birthday Dinner

I have so many stories to tell; I just don't know where to start.

Grandma has been in rare form these days. Rarer than usual. Pissy. Cantankerous. Obstinate. Stubborn. Narrow-minded. Grandma.

Take this weekend for example.

It was my 50th birthday. WOOHOO!!! I get to pick the restaurant and surround myself with friends and family that hopefully love me. YAY!!!

I don't know if Grandma wants to be on that list.

Friday came. I got lots of well wishes – emails, phone calls, hugs – from everyone...except Grandma.

I called to let her know what time I'd pick her up so we could go to dinner. All she could think about was why my mom wasn't picking her up. Not once did she wish me a happy birthday through the whole conversation.

m: "I'm going to pick you up about 6:30."
g: "Your mom said she'd pick me up."
m: "But I'm going to pick you up instead."
g: "But your mom said she'd pick me up."
m: "She's picking up J so I'm going to pick you up."
g: "OK"  ....pause... "But your mom said she was picking me up."
m: "Do you want mom to pick you up?"
g: "No, that's ok I suppose."

::head desk::

We finally get her in the car and head to the restaurant when she asks if we're going for Mexican food. OOOPS! I forgot to tell her where we're going. See, Grandma likes her food basic. Meat. Potatoes. Enchiladas. Steak. Chicken. Homestyle Southern cooking. OOOOPS! I picked the restaurant. OOOOOPS!!! We're going for Persian! ROFLMAO!!

I wish you could have seen the look on Grandma's face when I told her that. I almost wrecked the car! LOL The first words out of her mouth... "Why do y'all always have to eat that WEIRD food?!"

There was no convincing her that it was going to be good. No way. No how. Her mind was made up this dinner was going to suck.

We get there. She plops down at the end of the table. Barely speaks to anyone. I can't get her involved in any conversation. She stares at the menu and is just dumbfounded and starts making snarky comments about how is she suppose to order if she can't even pronounce it. (An English translation was right next to the name.)

Finally, got her to order some chicken and rice...can't go wrong with that...so I thought. Grandma took THREE bites of her chicken. She didn't like it because it was burnt. BURNT?!? That's char marks from the grill, Grandma!!!! She did eat both her tomato halves and rice, and then stole my son's tomato. AND she scarfed down probably a half a thing of the flattoon bread with radishes and HUMMUS. YES! She ate HUMMUS and liked it. O.M.G.!!!

At least Grandma didn't go home hungry. She filled up on birthday cake and hummus.

For Mother's Day, I think I'm going to suggest we go eat Indian food. Curry, tandoori, naan, kadhi, etc, YUM!!!!!