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Monday, May 1, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

Crazy train Tuesday is nothing more than an outlet for me to try and maintain some semblance of sanity. Since my dad's death it has been up to Son2, My Beloved Sister and me to make Mom's life bearable. While we are all trying our best to make her transition to being alone as easy as it can be, we all feel like we are beating our heads against a wall at some time or another. (or every time we talk to her).  I understand some of this is situational. Mom was very happy to let Dad take care of all finances, business, real estate, portfolios, repairs and repair persons, heavy lifting, most yard work, and nearly everything else.  Mom cooked, kept the house, and did what I call lady gardening so she never developed the skill set to do life.  Now we are responsible for her tasks as well as keeping her safe from everything that scares her. (which is everything!) Since blogging is therapeutic and costs so much less than a psychologist, here I am with a daily recounting of what route the crazy train took this week. Enjoy, laugh,weep or don't bother reading at all. Just please don't call me out on this.  It's therapy remember!

Tuesday:  Mom wants the tree services to give her estimates on having two large trees taken down, so our conversation went like this:
Me: "Mom, I have a half dozen recommendation for the tree service.  Do you want me to call them for you and set up times for their estimates?"
Mom: "Yes please do"
Me: "What day and time works best for you?"
Mom: "Anytime, except Wednesday afternoon and Thursday from morning through lunch and I have something Friday, besides I don't have to be here for them to give me an estimate"
Me: "Yeah Mom, you do because you have to let them know what trees you want cut down"
Mom: *Crickets*  "Then you just decide when it will be best for you to be down here and take care of it ok"
Me: (Silently to myself) "I could have gotten these damn bids done anytime last week but now you want me to bust my ass getting them on a week I have plans every single day and don't have time to hang out at your house all &^%$#@& day to get the &^%$#@! bids for your #@%^ tree"  (Aloud and kinda tersely) "Yes Ma'am"

One of us knows how to create a crisis, mentally create a scenario for the task, create an arbitrary completion  date,  create a reason/ reasons why we can't participate in the process, and create a solution for getting someone else to take responsibility for our desired crisis management.  And the other knows how to cuss like a sailor in her mind while verbally agreeing.  Now you tell me which one is crazy (like a fox) and which is the idiot.

Wednesday:  Mom believes that because she has made all of her clothes all of her life, she should continue with it even though she does not remember exactly how to do all the fine sewing she once could do.  In addition she has lost much weight and now is barely over 100 pounds soaking wet, so nothing she has worn before fits.  Instead of getting new fabric and cutting new clothes or (heaven forbid) shopping and buying new ready to wear duds, she spends hours taking them apart. Then she tries to take them up, but she is so tiny none of her old patterns have her current size to use as a cutting guide, so I have to spend vast amounts of time with her while I pin, she bastes, then I re-pin and she re-bastes__ wash, rinse, repeat.
She has decided she needs to have a decent funeral dress so she brought a huge black dress to my house for a fitting.  After many trials we finally had the blooming thing so it looked really nice on her, when she looked in the mirror and noticed the very tip of the zipper at the top of the dress was approximately 1/16 of an inch off. Now keep in mind that I am fitting a dress over a dowager's hump that she swears does not exist, plus we are scaling this down 4 sizes (I am not sure even a zero will fit her anymore).  I finally told her she is 86 years old and gets a 1/16 inch pass, and no one will refuse entrance to any older woman in a black dress and pumps because the tip of their zipper is not perfect. She called me a smart ass__again!

Thursday:  There was some major confusion over her Discover bill today.  She had a total bill of 78 dollars and change and she could not understand it because she didn't charge anything that cost 78 dollars.  (Please understand that all of their lives Dad took care of every single transaction they ever made and Mom did not even know how to write a check for cash, because any time she needed money she told Dad and it magically appeared.)
I went through all 3 itemized purchases and she was very quick to point out that there was not a 78 dollar purchase listed. No $#/+ Sherlock! I still have not convinced her the bill was for the sum of her purchases instead of a single 78 buck charge.  And instead of calling me a smart ass again, she flipped me off.
Life was much easier when she let me do all of her finances, but has decided she needs to learn how to do it. Beware of old dogs who want you to teach them new tricks.

Friday: The telephone rang and I picked it up. Caller ID had already let me know it is Mom so I greeted her with a "Hey Mom, what are you doing today?" And the answer of course was "5 and 6"
After a few seconds of crickets on my end and telling her I had no idea what that she meant she said, "I have knocked that wrens nest off the porch for the fifth and sixth time and it keeps rebuilding it."  I reminded her that wrens like to build close to people plus she always loved birds nests near the house so she could watch the eggs hatch and see the baby birds.
Her reply: "I've seen baby birds before but I don't want bird mess all over the porch." (The birds are trying to build a nest in the corner of the porch approximately 20 feet from the front door, so tracking stuff in the house is not an issue)
And the last call to me today was just one word followed by a hang up "11', as I stood with the phone to my ear just shaking my head. Anyone ever read "My War with the Ospreys"? She is having a reverse Steinbeck moment with her wrens.

Saturday: Mom came back to the house for a fitting of the same black dress we have worked on every day this week.  Now one sleeve is invisibly shorter than the other. (Her well trained eye is the only one that can see the difference) so I had to take the sleeve hem out to mark it again (at the exact place I marked it before) but now it "looks so much better". I am always happy to oblige I guess.
And guess what? The pesky wren is building her nest again. And once again I had the gall to suggest Mom just let nature take its course and promised her I would come down every couple of days to hose off any offending bird matter that fell onto the porch.

Sunday: The train wasn't running today, which was lovely!

Monday: Mom came up today to help me cut circles. I can cut circles perfectly fine by myself but she has been griping about having nothing productive to do.  The circles were for making flowers to go on top of fairy night lights. (Another post for another day) While she was here we talked about the same 3 subjects every 10 or so minutes since she had forgotten we had just talked about them
1. Yes Son3 is excited about graduation, but not exactly thrilled to have to pay for everything himself.
2. Yes Son3 and Swiss Miss are still dating, and yes she may come here in August.
3. Yes, Swiss Miss is going to Europe for the summer.
Then begins Mom's speculations about why SM is going home for the summer.
"Her parents must miss her. How could anyone let their daughter go abroad for college."
"She is already a college graduate. Mom, but applied and was accepted to a musical theater program  so she is technically a first year but is 24 and has been on her own for a few years"
"How is she a freshman when she has graduated/"
"This is just like getting another degree, but it's very specific"
"So she's a ballerina?"
"No Mom, she is in musical theater, she does dance, but singing is her thing"
"Why is she going home?' Do her parents want her to come back home?"
"No, Mom, she needs to work to earn some money"
"Well why doesn't she just get a job waiting tables"
"Because of her Visa, she just has a student Visa"
"What difference does what kind of credit card she has make?"

Wonder what this week will bring?

29 comments:

  1. You need to be remembering all this shit so you can pull it on your own kids when the time comes. Perhaps secretly she is getting back at you for sneaking out the window when you were 16?

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    1. You know I actually did sneak out of the window at 16, walked around for about 5 minutes, decided it was too dark and kind of scary so I snuck back in!

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  2. I love her life, I want her life. (your moms) (:

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    1. It is just such an interesting time now! I am afraid Mom's life could possibly be my future. Sorry sons!

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  3. oh my gosh - that last conversation had me laughing out loud!!!

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    1. I called My Beloved sister as soon as Mom left, told her and we both cracked up laughing. With Mom there are very few dull moments.

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  4. I feel your pain. Your mom would be a good roommate for my mom. If we don't laugh we will either strangle someone or go crazy ourselves!

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    1. Live close to Alabama? Mom has lots of room at her place. And you are so right, if I didn't laugh I would implode, or maybe explode but there would be some serious ploding going on somehow.

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  5. Hilarious! I will be looking forward to reading your Crazy Train Tuesdays for a good chuckle. I always tell my daughter I'm going to end up like that, too LOL

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    1. Come on along and if you have similar stories feel free to share it!

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  6. You have the patience of a saint. I want to call you and whine to you about all of my problems because my son only says, It will all work out okay.

    And he's right, but I want to whine a bit.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I have no patience, but I try and save my irritations for sharing with My Beloved Sister because once we start venting we start laughing.
      To whine? We all do it, though TheHub accuses mine of being more of the"bitchin' and moanin'"variety.

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    2. You don't seem like the "bitchin' and moanin'" type to me if you and your sister can laugh about your experiences with your mom.

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  7. Yet another reason to mourn my childless state. I will have no-one to indulge me. My mother became totally self-obsessed. Nothing had any meaning - unless it affected her. Or she thought it affected her.
    Like a visit to her doctor with her 'Doctor I am so depressed. Other people have daughters who can help them out. Mine has multiple sclerosis and can't do anything for me'. Except go with her to the doctor, pick up her prescriptions and one or six other things.

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    1. I have only sons so there will be no indulgences, just the cheap nursing home that smells like urine when you walk in the front door.
      Oh that (the not doing anything) has such a familiar ring to it. One of my mom's friends has 2 daughters, both single, who are My Beloved Sister's and my ages. They both moved into their mother's house s couple of years ago and I hear constantly how good S and J are to mom's friend and how lucky she is to have them living with her. I always told My Beloved Sister that if Dad died first I was going to give her custody of Mom. I think it is time for some legal action on my part. Problem solved!

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  8. I only have sons too so I guess the girls are praying I stay compus mentis (sp?). Well me too actually, the thought of losing my mental faculties is scary. And I'm glad you can laugh about it with your sister because otherwise I'm sure you would explode. Now get back to that dress - I see the zipper sticking up from all the way over here. Anna

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    1. Hahahahaha! I had just taken a sip of my coffee when I read the zipper comment! Now I have to clean my screen.

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  9. I have to admit that it is good therapy for me to read about your crazy train. I'm sure the laughs I get out of her high jinx is about equal to your frustration and need for therapy. Blog on my dear - it really is the best therapy for me...err....YOU!

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    1. I truly do believe laughter is the best medicine and who would have ever thought a simple blog would put so many shrinks on financial jeopardy?

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  10. Your crazy train takes me on a crazy ride. At one stop, I feel sorry for your mom and all of the things that must be going on with her to make her act as she does. At another stop, I feel sorry for your sister and you and the difficulties you're trying to deal with, but my favorite stop is the one that makes me laugh out loud.

    Keep on, keeping on.

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  11. The whole purpose of this exercise is to bring about laughter. I laugh as I recount whatever craziness happened during the day. My heart truly breaks for Mom who is getting both mentally and physically more and more fragile. As for My Beloved Sister and me, we aren't delicate flowers and can take a lot both physically and mentally, plus we have each other to laugh with.

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  12. Now, I am wondering about the birds, too. Do they never give up? I loved, "I have seen baby birds before." That really made me laugh. She still has her powers of repartee, apparently. This whole thing is funny, hilariously funny in a sad way. Try not to pull out all your hair. Love these exchanges.

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  13. They are funny but also a tiny bit sad. It is hard to watch but she does provide some funny material

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  14. You are such a good daughter to your mom, Anne. I wish I had been as patient as you when I had to care for my mother. I rode a crazy train, too, and didn't have your sense of humor. I've so many regrets; so many things I wish I had done differently. May you continue to have the humor and the strength to help you as you go on that ride.

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  15. I plan on riding it laughing all the way! Of course you have heard the saying "Wanna make God laugh? Make a plan"

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  16. You're mom is a hoot! I love that you have chosen to laugh about it because pulling your hair out would do no good. My Mom's latest -- "I've pissed all your siblings off, but I haven't pissed you off yet because I want something from you." I knew better than to ask what she wanted. I'm still waiting for that shoe to drop.

    Thanks for the smiles!

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    1. Hahahaha! Your Mom sounds like a doozy too! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. That little paragraph at the end of Tuesday is priceless. Your mom is giving you a gift...providing great writing material.

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  18. And the best/worst part is she gives it to me daily.

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