Monday, May 22, 2017

Positively Mmonday

Like every single person alive, my weeks have ups and downs but I try and begin each week listing the most positive thing/things that happened each day. Some days are so disjointed it is a stretch to remember even one single good thing that happened, and the exercise of actually recalling it and writing it down is a positive in itself.   It is a good way for me to remember that even the roughest weeks/day have something good in them,  and it's a great way for me to clear my mind and be receptive toward every good thing the coming week offers.

Monday: Enjoyed a quiet day after a 4 day trip to New York.

Tuesday: Did a quick refrigerator inventory and found we had enough produce left from the past week to get through the next 2 days so I didn't have to go to the grocery store until we got back from NY trip 2.

Wednesday: I went shopping for one item I needed for the trip  and without intending to or without looking I found a cute tee shirt, a summer sweater, and a blouse, all on sale, so I bought them. The down side is I found 3 more things I really, really want but they were not on sale.

Thursday: Easy flight to New York landing right in time for the 6 o'clock traffic.  After a 1+ hour ride from Laguardia to the hotel (under 10 miles, yikes) we met Son3 at the hotel. Special thanks to Maggie at The Empire who helped us tremendously with 2 adjoining rooms. (For some reason even though the Sunday before this trip, as we were checking out from our prior trip, I had stressed how critical it was to have Mom's room next to ours, they had assigned us rooms on the same floor but on 2 different halls) For a minimal fee we were able to upgrade to a two room suite with a couch, dining table and 4 chairs which more than paid for itself with the money we saved by buying a couple of meals at the deli down the street and bringing them back to the room to eat.)  We had dinner with Son3 that night then came back to our room to visit until bedtime.

Friday: Graduation Day, followed by a celebratory late lunch with Son3.  Mom took a much needed long nap and afterward we sat at a table in the park across the street from the hotel and people watched until about 9:45.  When we saw the crowd starting to leave the Opera house we walked quickly to a nearby restaurant just in time to beat the hoards and shared two appetizers for dinner.

Saturday: Son3 came to our hotel room for a leisurely takeout breakfast and visit. We left the hotel and went straight to the airport. TSA pre-check! Woo Hoo!  The simple things are the greatest! After a protracted weather delay in Atlanta we made it home about an hour and a half late but it was fine, evidently we missed the storms and high winds.  Unpacked and read a bit then at 2 am I got a call from the security company who monitors the lake place. The motion alarm was tripped, so I stayed awake until about 3. They were only going to call back if the sheriff found evidence of forced entry or something afoot.

Sunday: We woke early, threw on clothes and headed to the lake place just to check it out. We found everything inside looked fine  but obviously there had been high winds because one huge tree was blown over. (Maybe the ground shook when it hit and set the alarm off?) Fortunately it did not hit the house, the boathouse or the neighbors fence and it will be fine staying on the ground until next weekend. I think we will be having an Alabama chainsaw tree massacre.

And now I am ready for the good things this new week brings!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

At Last!

Graduation for Son3 (the bearded wonder)!
Raise for TheHub and Anne!

And now life as a musician begins. Luckily he is very polite and has wonderful manners so if necessary he can be a fantastic waiter.

And lastly to share a quote from the commencement speech:
"The time has come to gather your belongings, pack what you can, put the rest in your heart and go___.
The world is waiting on you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

If you read this blog regularly you know that Tuesday is my day to recap the odds and ends (mostly odds) that are interactions between Mom and me. It keeps me sane and is cheaper than therapy.  Some weeks are easier than others and some are filled with little snippets of life on some alien planet filled with obstacles I never imagined before, where I am an unwilling guest (hostage!). So without wasting anymore time or writing space____

                            ALL ABOARD!!!!!

Tuesday: We had a little difficulty with Mom unlocking her door when I let her out after driving her to the doctor. Several month ago she decided she wanted deadbolt locks on her door and wanted the dead bolts and door knobs to match which I bought and she had installed. (This is actually the kiss of death for her because new door knobs mean change and she does not like or do change well)

Twice a year our community has a group of volunteers who offer services to the Sr. citizens in our little town. The leader of her particular volunteer group visited each house the day before they were to do their jobs to make sure they would bring every tool they needed. We bought Mom deadbolts with an interior knob rather than a dual sided key lock, knowing she would never be able to turn the key to unlock it from the inside. (This was a decision we made due to her lack of dexterity and hand strength) When the dude came to her house he convinced her it was too dangerous to have that kind of lock because any burglar could break the windows in the door  and let themselves in, which is true but Mom lives in a very safe neighborhood.  (We also knew she could not understand  the mechanics of a dual keyed lock or be able maneuver the blooming key.)

So we had to go back to the store and buy different locks (because total strangers know what is best for her; not the daughters who are there daily) which they installed. After they left, she locked the doors , and immediately called me because she was locked inside her house and couldn't get out. I had to run down to her house and yell through the door  (Did I mention the hearing aids she has but refuses to wear?) to try and talk her through the unlocking process. Somehow it worked, but I did not leave before grabbing 2 keys so My Beloved Sister and I would always have one available so we could get into her house.

When I drive her to and fro she only locks the door knob lock and leaves the deadbolt unlocked.  It is fine, in fact, until a couple of moths ago the door knob lock was the only way to lock every exterior door.  Now you have to understand, her old key to her old locks had a different shape than her new key to her matching locks so she has some key identity confusion even though we put a bright orange key cover over the top of it and every single lock in her house is keyed to the same key.  Each time I bring her home I walk her to her door, but I make her unlock her door. I watch as she tries to use the wrong key, then tries to put the right key in upside down, then puts her key in the deadbolt and locks it. Finally puts the correct key in the doorknob lock and unlocks it but can't open the door because she has locked the deadbolt. I know there are some cognitive issues at play here, but there is also an innate reluctance to accept any change.

Oh and did i mention the keys stay in her deadbolt locks 100 percent of the time so nefarious people could still break the window and turn the key if they wanted to. (See how much safer those double keyed locks are?)

Wednesday: I got a call at 8:30 as I was getting ready to go to class.
Me: Hey Mom
Mom: How did you know it was me calling?
Me: I have caller ID, Mom
Mom: What are you doing home? You're supposed to be on the plane right now.
Me: (Silently and to myself) If you  thought I had the early morning flight and wouldn't be here how come you called me?)
        (Aloud) No ma'am, I leave tomorrow at 4 in the afternoon.

Later in the conversation she told me a family friend had died and she had just found out about it. The family was only having a graveside service and they were meeting at the cemetery. I asked her if she wanted me to take her and she said no she wasn't going to go.  Fine. I finished dressing and went to class. On the way home I called My Beloved Sister and found out that Mom was planning on driving herself  to the funeral anyway, so I had to call her right quick, run home and change from jeans and tee shirt into something funeralish, pick Mom up, run across town to the cemetery, and meet the family at the appointed meeting place.  We talked to them a few minutes, then Mom decided she did not want to stay for the service, she just wanted to express condolences and tell them how much their mother meant to her. When we got back in the car she told me thanks for taking her but she didn't want to be a bother to me, so we would just skip the 15 minute service. (Huh?)

I am glad because it would not have been easier on me for her to tell me she actually wanted me to take her there while I was still dressing and could have easily worn funeral clothes to class. Then i could have gone straight to her house to get her rather than having to drive like a maniac to my house and change clothes so I could pick her up in time to get to the cemetery, which turned into a meet and greet! That 15 minutes we saved by not staying for the service made a huge impact on my time that day (Not!)

Thursday: Called Mom to see if she needed anything before I left. No but could I run by and look at a bill she had gotten in the mail?
Me: When is it due Mom?
Mom: June 6th
Me: I will be home Sunday, Mom, I think it can wait till I get back.

Friday: Called her from the hotel just to touch base and see how she was doing, plus my daily morning reminder to take her pills.
Mom: Oh are you home already?
Me: No ma'am, I just got to New York last night. We fly in Sunday and will be there by early evening.
Mom: Well my phone says call from Anne so you can't be at your hotel.
Me: I'm on my cell Mom, I have my cell number programmed in your phone so you phone recognizes my cell number and let's you know it's me.
Mom: (crickets)

Saturday and Sunday  The train was not running

Monday: Phone call in the morning
Mom: I need you to look at this bill for my Master Card.  I want to write a check for it today and get it in the mail.
Me: I am washing clothes and have not had a shower yet so it will be a little while.
Mom: Well I want it to go out today.
Me: I will be down and take care of it, and can drop it at the bank on my way home from your house. (If I drive the longer route from her house to mine the bank is midway between our homes)
Mom: Well it needs to go out today
Me: (Silently) Yeah because it is due June 6 it is critical that it goes out today.
        (Aloud) I'll take care of it.
Got to Mom's in the late afternoon to look over the bill.
Me: Hey Mom where is that bill  you wanted me to look at?
Mom: Oh I took care of it this morning and put it in the mailbox so it's gone.
Me: (crickets)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Positively Monday

I have been trying to keep an active list of the positive things that happen each day. I find if I keep notes daily I see that even the cruddiest day is  filled with random joys and blessings, so I am sharing them here. If I feel obligated to post them thinking about them becomes a daily action and it keeps me from wallowing in self pity when every single thing does not go my way.

Monday: I was doing an intense cleaning of the laundry room and found several things I thought were lost forever. Though none were huge and life altering I did find the mate to my favorite pair of  earrings I had been searching for that little bugger for weeks with no success. Earrings can be sneaky critters!

Tuesday:  After all the harping I do to Mom about taking her medicine on a timely basis, she saw her pulmonary guy and for the first time in years everything sounded good and her blood oxygen level was great. It is amazing how much better those meds work when used daily.

Wednesday:  The weekly weigh in was pretty nice.

Thursday: Had time to tidy the kitchen, wash the sheets and remake the bed before catching a plane! The flight was uneventful until we got to LGA at 8:00. We sat and sat and sat, then they let us sit a little more until they then let us off and loaded us on buses to take us to the gate.  We had reservations for the 2nd set at Dizzy's for the 9:30 show.  Instead of checking our coats we checked our luggage ( had to go straight to the airport, not the hotel first) and got there about 10 minutes before showtime. Thankfully Girlfriend 3 was there to snag our table saving our reservation. (If you are not there 15 minutes before showtime they release the reservation to those who are waiting for a table)

Friday: Got to spend some time with Son3 and Girlfriend3.  She is a lovely, talented, and beautiful young woman. Son2 arrived for dinner right after the food was delivered. Ate Dominican with them.(Cuban/Dominican are one in the same and my favorite ethnic food) Great food and even better company!
Also extremely thankful that Girlfriend2 stayed at our house to take care of Shelby, the dog. (She is a wonderful person.)

Saturday: Scored orchestra tickets for half price to Bandstand, a new musical about musician veterans post WW2. Nice high energy performance with some killer choreography. After that we met up with Son2 for a quick cup of coffee, then we all went to Dizzy's again for  both sets of jazz.

Sunday: We must have hit some terrific tailwinds because our flight was only about  1 hour and thirty minutes. We got home in time to run down to Mom's and wish her a Happy Mother's day and found out that Girlfriend2 not only babysat the dog but she also babysat the Mom.  She went to Mom's house Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, as well as Sunday early afternoon. She is a veritable saintly being!

This lovely young woman is Girlfriend3.  I have told Son3 (whom I love with all my heart) that I am pretty sure he has out kicked his coverage here!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

I meant to have this all ready to post remotely early this morning, but while getting ready for the trip this is one of those things that slipped through my fingers. So to all of you who are mother's, step mother's, anyone who has acted as a surrogate mother, anyone who shows motherly love to another, , or anyone who had a mother figure in their lives at any time . . .

And especially to Mom,

                 Happy Mother's Day, Y'all!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wicked Wednesday

In an effort to keep me on the straight and narrow, or at least to have some accountability to someone
other than myself  I began a Wednesday post to chart weight movement, be it up, down,or no change.
I also posted a weekly to do list of major and minor projects. The theory behind it is because there is something humbling about admitting I failed, I might be more inclined to knock things off the list. I fully understand that life (and cake) happens and plans can change on a dime.

My starting weight was XXX.x
My today weight is        XXX.x
Total loss/gain               -      5.2

I understand that this is mostly water weight, but I have to shed it before I lose anything else, so I am counting this week as a very good week. Honestly each time I was tempted by something delicious I managed to resist because I could not bear the thought of having no weight loss this week, so thank each of you who read last weeks post that kept me honest.

I am leaving for NYC tomorrow afternoon and staying through Sunday so I am doubtful I will see any loss at all, and mostly just hope for no gain. Doubtful since we already have reservations at several restaurants.

As for the to do list? It was mostly a to don't list. I was here Thursday, then had to be at the lake early Friday to meet the a/c man. I didn't get back until late Saturday night and had some Mom things on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday so my week was pretty much shot.

Work on outdoor raised beds. 
Cut dead canes from the hydrangeas (drought damage)
Plant okra
Get pool water balanced
Drain and scrub hot tub
Scrub screened in porch (de-pollen)
Wash porch furniture
Scrub front porch
Put Amdro by ant hills to rid the yard of fire ants (Yes I hate using pesticides, but I hate stepping in the ant beds and getting hundreds of stings more)

Complete and total clean out in the laundry room including:
defrost the big freezer
totally clean auxiliary refrigerator
reorganize all art supplies
clean all drawers and cabinets
rearrange/reposition the center island
clean out sewing center

wash ironing board cover
fix the hanging rod.

Wash walls and blinds
wash and rehang curtains
clean all drawers
change over to summer comforter and pillows
wash winter comforter, shams, quilts and blankets and store until fall
wash bed pillows

Everything else:
routine daily cleaning or reading (whichever comes first) routine only if you mean minimal by the definition of the word routine (obviously I do)

So the to do list moves effortlessly to the upcoming week, but I am only going to be here Monday and Tuesday of the week so I am pretty sure things will get punted to the next week.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

My new Tuesday thing is to recount and share the odd little things that happen in my life mainly as an act of therapy. Since I do not tend to self medicate I have begun self typing.  It is much easier on my body and if I don't post anything for a while I never suffer from withdrawals. This post is generally generated by Mom,  but as we see not always! This is a very short, in fact almost nonexistent list today, because I saw very few oddities this week. However, My Beloved Sister had custody of her most of the week so you might get a different story if you ask her.

Tuesday:  The train started running early this morning. Mom told me Monday afternoon that she had a doctor's appointment at 8:30 Tuesday.  Though it was short notice, it was no problem since everything I had planned could easily be shifted to another time.

She likes to be at her appointments early which is fine but we have to pass 4 schools on the way from her house to the docs and we must leave earlier than if we did not have to allow for school traffic. Our fair little suburb sees no reason to offer school buses as a means to get children to school therefore every kid in the system is transported by car. In turn this means a  boatload of vehicles on the road between 7:20 and 8:15.
I picked Mom up at 20 till 8 so we could begin the trek. We got to the doctor's office at about 8:10 (Mom's arbitrary 20 minutes ahead of her designated appointment time).  This is the only doctor in her litany of docs that she goes to see without me physically being at the appointment, mainly because all he does is make sure her prescriptions need no changes. I usually drop her off at the office door and then run down the hill, park in an office parking lot, read and wait for her to call my cell phone so I can pick her up. (This saves the 3 bucks for parking in the hospital parking deck, plus it is just plain easier.) Tuesday, though, I noticed I was about out of gas so instead of parking I headed to a gas station for a quick fill up before waiting. As I was gassing up I heard my phone ringing and who was it but the receptionist calling to let me know Mom was there one week too early, and that her appointment is next Tuesday at 9:00.  I blame myself for this one. I trusted her and did not double check the date, which btw was on her calendar for May, 9 at 9:00 a.m. Yeah, no one to blame here but me.

Wednesday: Mom called me with a tree emergency.  She has had no bids on the tree removal, even though I told her that 3 weekends of high winds and storms following a severe drought last summer equals much more tree removal work than there are tree removers. I also told her I had been in contact with them and they would leave bids as soon as they could. Then she told My Beloved Sister she didn't think I had even called them.

Thursday: "There is a truck in front of my house and a man in my yard.  Come down here, it scares me"
"Mom it is one of the tree guys, he just called me  from your yard with the bid"
"Well I don't like strangers in my yard"
"They pretty much have to come look at the tree in  your yard to give you a bid"
"Well I just don't know about those things"

Monday: Until today the crazy train has been at a virtual standstill.! Yay! What is very
upsetting about today's event is that it is my creation and not Mom's. This afternoon I had a huge plate of mixed greens ready for lunch and was making some paleo ranch dressing using almond milk. It seems this week when I bought it I bought unsweetened vanilla rather than plain.(unintentional purchase) Unknowingly I made a batch of vanilla flavored ranch dressing and poured it all over my salad. I had no clue until I took the first bite and it tasted sort of like an unsweetened melted vanilla milkshake with savory seasonings.  Really ,really bad but I ate it anyway because it was the only fresh vegetable I had in the house. If I am like this now what will I be when I'm Mom's age.