Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dill Slices

I wished for cucumbers for dill pickles, and lo and behold, Uncle Charles arrived at the house Saturday morning with, ta da, a sack of cucumbers and squash in hand. This Sunday morning I got to ooh and ahh over my gorgeous 9 half-pints of dill slices. To boot, I put up 3 jars of squash just to see what they'll taste like. Tonight Mom and I will dine on fine squash.

Now if I can just get my pickling solution recipe tweaked for when the okra come in. Those are my and Lola's favorites. Max and I still laugh about an incident from when we were first married in the early 90's. I had canned my first pickled okra and proudly took a jar to his mother. She eagerly bit into one, and the look on her face was priceless. I think her eyes crossed and her pucker was uncontrollable. Oh my, that recipe was horrible, so very sour. She tried so hard to hide how bad they were, and Max and I were about to fall out of our chairs laughing at that look. That taught me the hard way to never give away something I've canned without tasting and checking the recipe first.

Gorgeous Dill Slices

Friday, July 29, 2011

Canning Meat

Here are some pics of the meat I've been canning. I had a leftover roast, a lot of taco meat, and decided to throw sloppy joe mix into the canning spurt.

Taco meat and cubed roast beef for stew.

Sloppy Joe mix. Yum!
Half pints, the perfect size for 2 4-ounce portions. 

Oh, my. The Mess!

Green Lime Cucumber Pickles and Squash Lime Pickles

Thank you Uncle Charles. These are from the cukes you brought me this week. They turned into my Green Lime Pickles. I sure hope your cucumber plants keep producing and Aunt Agnes gets sick of putting them up because I'd love to do one batch of dill pickles before the season ends.

Anyway, this is the way I grew up with lime pickles looking. At the right is a jar of the leftover syrup. Is that not atrocious!

When I canned the first batch and didn't have any food coloring, the finished product just seemed wrong to me. Yet after canning these and looking at that green syrup, I don't think I'm going to do the green ones anymore.

Joe and Lola's Confusion

Yesterday, Lola ate a whole packet of honey mustard with no food. I'd bought chicken planks for supper. There was an extra honey mustard that I left sitting on her tray. About a half hour after she'd finished her meal, I noticed her finishing off the extra honey mustard. She must have liked the sweet taste.

Later on she brought a panty liner into the living room and sat down in her chair. She was fumbling with it trying to open it, and when I asked her what on earth she was going to do with that in the living room, she said, "Throw it away." I  exclaimed, "Mama! It's brand new." She just looked disgusted and tossed it in the trash.  She's looked disgusted most of the day today. Her disgusted look is priceless. By the end of the evening there were 3 more panty liners on her table. I have no clue what got stuck in her mind about them.

Joe was a real handful trying to get to bed last night. He'd gotten up and started his process, so I got his Seroquel and gave it to him. It really helps put him to sleep and can't be given much before he lays down. Except last night he got distracted and went back into his den.  By the back way, and I didn't see him. When I checked on him and found him not in his bed, I went to the den, and there he was asleep in his chair in his clothes.

He really fought getting up from there. He fought all the way to the bedroom. I left him with his sweat pants in his lap so he would change. In a few minutes he called me back into his bedroom and tottered to the window behind his bed. He started patting the frame and telling me it was all attached. Well, I couldn't make any sense out of that and led him around to his side of the bed and eventually got him in there. As I turned away, I realized he'd opened the other window in the bedroom. Ah, Ha! That's what he meant about the window being attached - it was closed instead of open.

I closed the window and left him to sleep. Sigh. Will this heat wave never end? Even at 10:00 p.m. it was 85 outside. With that room by the A/C thermostat, there's no way in the world he should sleep with the windows open. I've adjusted to having it at 78 during the day and 76 at night. That far beats the 72 and 67 we keep ours at in our apartment in Memphis.

Earlier in the day, he just had to mow. It was pretty late, and as cool as it was going to get, so I started the mower for him. When he finished and had brought the mower into the garage, he was taking a long time. So I went out to the garage to check on him, and found him trying to get to the back of the garage. I asked him what he was trying to do, and he said he didn't know. So I just got him back into the house sitting down with a glass of cold water.

More and more he simply doesn't know what he's doing. He's taken to walking around the house and picking up all the trash cans and emptying them time after time. He can't remember which one goes where, and they end up in all sorts of places they don't normally go.

His drive to be doing something is so strong it can't be quelled, but he can't really do anything any more.

Odd Pieces

On the 26th Joe was trying to be helpful. There was a glass of juice on the counter that I was drinking. While I was out of the room, he decided it needed to be put in the fridge. So he kindly put it on a shelf in the refrigerator door. Of course, the next time I opened the door, the glass slid right off the shelf. It's amazing how far liquid can splatter. Y'all would be proud of me. I didn't say a word to him, just sighed and got the mop.

Lola has reached the point where she needs a magnifying glass to read almost anything. I saw her reach for it to reread Bebe's obituary. The funeral home gave her a nice laminated card with it. Lola keeps it in her basket by her chair and looks at it almost every day. It's at least a 14 font, which she should be able to read with her glasses. I wonder what she actually can see anymore. She has no care about it, though. Taking her to an optometrist would upset her more than her not seeing.

Whenever she reads the obituary, she has taken to asking me if I remember Bebe.  How can a person lose that much of their mind? Really. Doesn't it make you wonder just what she does remember of her life?

On the 27th, Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m., Joe was sitting in his den in sweat pants, a tee shirt, and a fleece jacket. The sweats are his sleeping clothes. In other words, for some reason, he was still in his jammies. That's unusual for him. What struck me just as much is that the temperature in that room is averaging 85 degrees. Whew!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meds and Teeth

This Sunday morning Joe left his plate of breakfast and came and sat beside me on the couch. He had his medication in his hand. He asked why so many pills. I told him 3 were to keep him from pooping in his pants, 4 were Ibuprofen to help his aches and pains, 1 was for his tummy (prilosec), and 1 was blood pressure.  He sat there looking at them not saying a word.

I couldn't tell whether he just didn't hear me, or whether he just didn't understand. Perhaps he's entering another stage of senility. Whenever Josh was little and beginning to come down with something, his first symptoms were him acting out - throwing a tantrum, getting stubborn about something, whatever, as kids do. After I'd gotten thoroughly exasperated at him, usually yelled, he'd say something about not feeling good, and I'd realize he was in reality getting sick. Then I'd feel like a heel for getting on to the little fellow when he wasn't being a naughty boy but just being sick.

Maybe Joe is doing this now - acting out and being contrary  more than usual (ha) because he's becoming sicker.

After he sat there looking at the pills for minutes on end, he told me his tooth was just killing him. I told him he needed to take his partial out because it was hurting his tooth (simple word for socket of pulled teeth). I had wondered yesterday how he was standing it. He didn't want to hear this. It took the dry-erase board and a round of simple sentences. Still he didn't take it out. It couldn't sink in to him that the metal that hooked onto the missing teeth was hurting the socket. Finally it took an out and out order to take the partial out. He finally did it, and the partial is now hidden in a drawer.

I expect it will results in rounds over this during the next week, because the partial is for his front 4 bottom teeth, and you need them to eat. Now he's also missing two back molars on the right and some on the left. Sometime this next week he has to get into the dentist again and see what can be done. I suspect the dentist will recommend pulling all the teeth and getting a lower denture.

Oy, vey. There's a dilemma. The local dentist will charge at least a thousand for it. A place in Paducah will be able to do it cheaper. Yet the local dentist will allow us to pay in installments, and the place in Paducah will demand payment up front. Pay a lot to make payments.

This morning at 10:45, while Joe was doing his morning rituals and I was waiting to get him breakfast (he slept late), Lola came into the living room. Her face was wrinkled into irritation, and the first words out her mouth were, "What on earth is everyone doing up so early and being so busy about?" Okey, dokey.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On Being Demented and a Jerk

Joe's stayed mostly indoors today and yesterday. He hasn't gotten on a mowing jag today. Thank heaven.

Saturday evening Lola decided the person standing outside in the dark on our porch was friendly, and she sat there merrily waving and smiling. Problem is, there wasn't anyone there, and if there was someone lurking in the night, she should have been screaming for help.

Joe's language skills have been so poor the last 2 days, he's been almost impossible to decipher. A few minutes ago, he asked me if I had had dinner, which I translated as: I forgot that I've had dinner and must have it again. After finishing some taco meat on a piece of bread (because he likes the meat but won't touch a taco shell or tortilla), he came back in and asked me, "Have you found something good back there?" I translated this as: I want an ice cream bar. I got one for him and stupidly asked him if that's what he wanted. He said, "Well, this is the best so if someone else needs it, I don't want it."

I'm throwing my hands in the air over communicating with the man. Do you want it or not???? Because you're not fooling me one bit with that unselfish act.

Now mind you, this all is happening at 8:45 p.m., with 8:00 p.m. being his usual bedtime. By this time I get antsy because I'm just tired of dealing with him and really do want him to simply go to bed.

Lest you wonder, my issue with the communication is not that his mind is slipping, and figuring out what he needs is difficult at times. My issue is selective deafness and that most of what he says is in a tone of voice that conveys irritation, anger, and superiority. In other words, he acts like a jerk. Many years ago, Joe proudly told my husband that when he (Joe) got old he was going to be a shitty old man and an asshole.  He can be proud of himself.

At 9:15 p.m. he finally got himself in bed. I noticed that he had put his partial back in sometime this evening. I have no clue how he was standing to wear that over the sockets of his pulled teeth. I have to trust he could bear it. I got him to put the partial and the upper denture in the denture cup and put a cleaning tablet in there. Whew. Did those uppers ever need it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Joe, Sigh - Heat Wave and Mowing

Well, we're in the middle of a heat wave that is a killer, and Joe wants to mow the yard. Y'all just have to put up with me venting here. The back field can get a foot tall. I DO NOT CARE. I am not going to mow it while it's this hot.

Today we've gone round and round about it. He wants to do it. He wants to ride the Bush Hog. According to him there's never been a time in his life when it was too hot for him to do what he wants. According to him he does too weigh enough to keep the machine going. According to him he's perfectly safe on it regardless of how many trees, stumps or houses he runs into.

With his pulled teeth, he's not eating well, nor drinking enough. He fell yesterday and today. Earlier in the day he came in dripping blood from a barked elbow. It's a bloody miracle he hasn't broken a bone yet.

He's having bowel movements in his pants on a daily basis. He's not got enough sense to clean himself well or the rooms up.

Folks, I'm coming to the end of my rope with Joe. I'm beginning to look for alternative solutions. I've tried to keep him home till he dies. He's becoming belligerent and combative. He refuses to give anything up - fighting all the way. He's making everyone around him miserable.

I can't continue to take care of both him and Lola, get their groceries, cook their meals, wash their clothes, clean his shit, try to keep him from killing himself and live away from my own home and husband much longer.

I've desperately tried to not give up these roots to Arlington. After all, my folks have been in this area since the 1860s. I like being where people know you, care and look out for you. I've never really felt like anywhere else was home. Yet, my husband is in Memphis. My son is in Frankfurt. My friends are in Waverly and Oak Ridge. I'm here in Arlington. There's a lot wrong with that picture.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Haircut and Color

Whee!  I finally have both the haircut and the dye job I've been wanting. Lemme tell ya - I've been struggling for years to find someone who could cut my hair, as fine as it is, and get the right dye job on it. For the haircut, most people don't have hair as fine as mine so most hairdressers are simply out of their element working on it. For the dye job, it seemed like no matter what words I used to describe how I wanted the highlights or what colors I chose, I couldn't convey it.

So after going to place after place in Oak Ridge and Memphis, Tennessee, in my vain search, I go to Hair Affair on downtown main street Arlington, Ky., pop. 379, and find the best hairdresser I think I've ever had. Here's a big Hoorah for Sharon at Hair Affair.

Taking a picture of yourself on your computer, however, is a whole different task! It ain't easy.

Green Tomatoes, Pickled - Batch 2

Yesterday I canned 13 jars of pickled green tomatoes. I had high hopes for these, but I don't know about them now. First off, they started getting ripe before I had all the ingredients. I bought garlic for them, but when I opened the box, the garlic bulbs were bad. It must have been very old.

I couldn't say much about the garlic, though, or take it back. It was after hours any way, and while I was at the grocery store in the first place, the owner gave me a huge box of plums about a third full. So I'm going to go back screaming and demanding a replacement of a 70-cent box of garlic after receiving that many plums as a gift? I don't think so.

Thus, this batch of GT pickles don't have any garlic, and they're getting pink. I think it makes a pretty jar of pickles, though.  I lessened both the vinegar and the salt by half. After a week or so, I'll open a jar and see what I think. When I get it just right, I'll post it for the files

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bad Teeth

Joe had two back teeth on the right side pulled yesterday. The night before as he was eating, he winced and could barely finish eating. The next day wasn't any better, and the dentist worked him into the schedule in the afternoon. The teeth were nearly eaten through with decay, and one had an abscess.

This is a thing to watch for in the elderly. His dental hygiene is terrible. He refuses to respond to requests or reminders to brush his remaining teeth and his appliances. In fact, his whole hygiene is terrible. Right now he just plain stinks. I know he's been in the shower this week due to accidents with his bowels, but he won't wash his hair. It's his hair that stinks. He resents any intrusion by me into how he takes care of himself.

Well, back to the teeth. Joe weathered the procedure well. I kept him pumped full of Ibuprofen the rest of the day and managed to keep him sitting. Had a hell of a time keeping a piece of gauze over the socket in his mouth, though. He says it's hurting today so I'll keep giving him Ibuprofen.

Finding something for him to eat is a bitch, though. He will hardly eat potatoes anymore, no nice soft mashed potatoes for him. He won't touch macaroni and cheese. I tried feeding him oatmeal for breakfast and found the full bowl outside in the garage for the cat to eat. Guess we'll get through on bananas and ice cream.

Now we'll have to get another partial. Those pulled teeth were the ones his partial hooked on. Wish we'd win the lottery.


The other night was interesting. Joe had a confused spell and didn't get to bed until 10:15 p.m. He's usually making going-to-bed preparations at 7:30.  This seems to point to his spells of confusion being mostly at the end of the day.

He wears you out when he gets that way. He wanders around, sits down in odd places and gets stuck there, and talks absolute nonsense. There's no ignoring it either. He's very demanding.

I wondered if it was something in the water, because Lola was rather confused that same night also. For some reason, she asked me "Do I just sleep in these things" plucking at her jammies. Why after wearing them 24/7 for months on end (not the same ones), she asks that?  I don't have clue.

After getting her hair cut and styled, she's sat around all week wearing her hair net all day so she doesn't mess her hair up. Sigh.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Canning Pickles

Here are a few shots of some of things I've been canning.  I have absolutely got to find someone to till up a garden in the back yard next year. Having all the produce around is driving me nuts. The problem is it's all in other people's gardens! I've gotten a few things from a produce stand in the next town, and a a batch of pickles from the cukes Uncle Charles brought me.
Bread and Butter Pickles  and
Squash Pickles from Uncle Charles

B&B and Squash up close
Pickled Green Tomatos and Rag Pickle Relish

I love the pickled green tomatoes, but I've lost my good recipe. This batch isn't very good; it's way too sour and too salty. Will have to tweak the recipe again.  This time I'll write it down instead of trusting my memory, which is a bad thing to do.

I'm putting most of these things up in 1/2 pint jars because we simply don't have enough people in the family to eat a whole pint jar without getting sick of them. I've also put up 5 1/2 jars of blackberry jelly from the blackberries the neighbors brought us. They're already downstairs so I doubt I'll get a picture of them.

I'd like to can tonight, but I'm giving my cut finger another day to heal. It's still taped to the popsicle stick and rather sore. no infection or anything. Not much swelling either. That's good!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hearing, Hair-do's, Blood & Mowers

Here's another refrain on an old familiar gripe of mine. How can a man supposedly so intelligent be so completely dense when it comes to interpreting what you can't really hear? Tonight Joe came into the living room, Lola wasn't there.  He asked where she'd gone. I replied, "to the bathroom." He looked at me and asked, "Bob's room?" We don't have a Bob in our family. Now, this isn't the old-age senility. He would have asked this far-gone of a question 10 years ago when he still had a brain that worked - kind of.

I finally forced Mother to go to a hair salon yesterday. I have absolutely no skill fixing hair.  I can cut my own hair, but don't like to anymore. I tried trimming Mom's but didn't do the best job in the world. She used to go get her hair fixed every Friday, but she reached a point when the arguments to get her to get up and go became harder than living with her hair not fixed.

However, to keep her hair from growing long enough to need putting up in a bun, it needs to be cut every now and then. So yesterday, I made her go the beauty shop. Sharon, at Hair Affair, did a fantastic job of the cut and the style. Lola came out looking like Lola.  It was so nice to see her normal.

Yet, today, she has sat around all day in a hair net. I tried 3 different times to get her to take it off. She'd take it off, and the next thing I realized, there it was again, back on so she didn't mess up her hair. I told her once to go in the bathroom and pick out her hair. She came back saying she just couldn't do her hair anymore. Sigh.

Mowing? Well, hallef*glullah, I went to Paducah today and bought Joe a new lawn mower. Uncle, you can come over and pick up the old one. Joe's finally got one that he can start and that will start again if he lets it quit. It's a wonderful machine.

The only problem with this new mower is that it tried to cut my finger off. I did the same thing to a different degree that Uncle Charles did with another of our mowers. The riding mowing tried to skin the back of his arm.

The front wheels needed resetting. Why, oh why, do manufacturers set the front wheels to a setting that is for "level lawns only?" Like, 1 in 20 people have level lawns. So I needed to reset the front wheels, after I attached the back ones. Of course, the wheels had to have the screws put in with hydraulic tighteners, I swear. So normal people, or at least women in their 50's, have to struggle with undoing the bolts to reset the wheels to normal levels.

As usual when working on the underside of a mower, the wrench slipped, and something hit the blade. In Uncle's case, it was above his elbow, and I was useless and begged him to go the doctor's. In my case, it was my middle finger, and I was a big baby.

It put a gash over 1/2" long just below the middle knuckle on my right hand. It hit the bone. I slopped blood all over the place - on the mower, the driveway, the back of my car. I made it across the pink carpet safely (like that's not so old and filthy it would have mattered) with cupped hand under bleeding hand. I dripped blood down the faucet.

Admitting full-fledged panic, I called Sandy, one of our sitters and pleaded for her to drop everything and come help me. Like an angel, she did. By the time she arrived, I'd calmed down a bit. I'd applied pressure, and the bleeding was mostly stopped. My stomach turned every time I tried to assess the damage, but we finally decided I could probably do with a couple of stitches; though the world wouldn't end if I didn't have them.

There were no veins or tendons cut. There were no butterfly bandages in the house; so we made do with a big band-aid. After we put that on as tight as feasible, we whacked off a Popsicle stick and band-aided that to my finger so it wouldn't bend. A few hours later, I redid everything to reposition the popsicle stick, and of course, started a fresh flow of bleeding. But I've gotten everything cleaned up, washed out, drenched in antiseptic and anesthetic, repopsicle-sticked, and am managing to sit here and type without my middle finger.

Why do emergencies always seem to happen on a weekend? It's a little swollen and bruised. If it doesn't get worse by Monday,  I'll have a scar and be okay. If it does, I'll have my butt into the doctor's first thing Monday morning.

But Joe has a mower he can start and that doesn't cost a fortune to mow the grass with. He has something to do to make him feel useful, much less actually be useful. It actually starts when you pull the starter, and doesn't give you blisters trying to start it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Bit Eclectic

Just a bit of an eclectic post. Julia and Larry, next-door neighbors, brought me a gallon of blackberries the other day. Tonight I got 5.5 jelly jars of blackberry jelly put up. Will have to wait until tomorrow to see if they jell.

Tonight my Dad whistled at me while in the kitchen. I turned around and asked him what my name was. He replied, "Debbie?" I asked him what his daughter's name was. He said, "I can maybe tell you tomorrow." He said, "You're tearing me up." I wonder if that's because he realized he was missing something important but couldn't figure it out. Then in a few minutes, he said, "Daughter, I'm going to bed," and kissed me good night.

I've just finished listening to Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential," which was quite enjoyable and published in 2000 or so. Then I listened to his 2010 book, "Medium Raw," which wasn't nearly as enjoyable.  The first had a flow that the second lacked.

I've also been watching the Gordon Ramsay shows on Netflix that come from the BBC America. His U.S. shows are trash to me. The drama and cursing that seems to be encouraged for American audiences make them unwatchable to me. His BBC shows are thoroughly enjoyable and present an all together different picture of the man than the U.S. shows do.

His series on the best U.K. restaurant were wonderful. They were a battle of different restaurants cooking different cultural foods until a final winner was chosen.  It was delightful seeing the kitchens, chefs, and cooking from all those cultures - Indian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, English.

After that, I watched his 3-hour special on Great Escapes, his to India, where he filmed going to different parts of India to learn the real way Indian food is cooked. It's the same as Indian and Mexican food is cooked in the U.S. The real food eaten in those countries is in no way like the crap the restaurants serve in country.

I'll never forget the shock and initial reaction a manager of a local Mexican restaurant had when I asked him why he didn't have something as easy and delicious on his menu as posole. He jerked back and, with eyes widening, said, "That's real food." Doh! For those that don't know, posole is a soup that has a lot of pork, a delicious broth, and hominy and various other things according to region - as in the difference between dressing in the north versus the south in the U.S.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Whoo Hoo! Uncle dropped off a bag of cucumbers this morning. I'm in heaven. They are chopped and salted and cooling in the fridge as I write.  They will become iced Bread and Butter pickles. My recipe makes 6.5 pints, and I'm going to do these in half pints, so I should get about 13 half pints.

There were some squash in there, too. We have squash for supper. I'm going to pickle a few of them also.

So this is a big Thank You! post for Uncle.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The other day someone called President Obama a socialist. It took me aback.

Wait a minute, isn't the U.S. a bit socialist?

The very 1st definition of socialism per Meriam Webster Dictionary is:
Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
Socialist programs in the U.S. and Carlisle County, Kentucky, include:

In other words, in the U.S., "public" is another word for socialist programs.

The 2nd definition of socialism per Meriam Webster Dictionary is:

  • a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
  • a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

Now you really can't convince me that the Obamas are eager to give up their private property. That house in Chicago is awesome. Click here for a picture.

The President may want to increase some systems or conditions in our society, but we're already pretty socialist. And if you think I want to privatize Social Security as the Republicans are advocating, I have some bottom land and a bridge I'd like to sell you. 

The 3rd and last definition of socialism per Meriam Webster Dictionary is: 
a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Okay, this one is a bit academic.  Ain't gonna go there.  However, I think I can safely say Pres. Obama isn't a "stage of society."

We need to think about ourselves and what socialist programs we actually live with. If we're going to slam socialism, are we willing to give up what we already have - our roads, parks, libraries, fire & police depts., schools, Social Security, sewage, and so on?

Do we really and truly think private companies can and will manage these things as well or better and economically all the while making a profit, which is a company's bottom line? If we don't pay taxes for these services anymore, do we think the private companies' service fees will be equal to the taxes saved? Do we think their service fees will never exceed the going tax rate? Are we willing to give up a say in who runs the "company" or in which "company" controls what, i.e. - voting - Board of Education, Sheriff, etc.?

To me, the label of "socialist" that's been tacked to Pres. Obama is the result of fear mongering and extremism. Fear mongering, per Meriam Webster Dictionary, is scaremongering, which isn't defined as a verb, but a scare monger is:
One inclined to raise or excite alarms especially needlessly
Per Wikipedia, fear mongering is:
the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic, sometimes in the form of a vicious circle.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's The Little Things

Likely it's this way with all families: It's the little things that wear you down. It's the tissue on the denture or sitting down on the toilet and discovering, squish, that Joe didn't put the seat up. It's walking into the bathroom and seeing that someone had a bowel movement, and it's all over the seat and the floor. The little pop-up lid on the adult wipes has been left open, so the wipes are happily drying out.

It's opening the kitchen cabinet door and finding the plate someone (Joe) helpfully washed and put up that still has food on it, or the freshly washed paper plate on the stack of paper plates. It's the meal of hot tamales and refried beans that Joe says, "That looked like shit so I didn't even try it."

It's fixing Joe breakfast, and just as the scrambled eggs come out of the skillet, you realize he's out back in the yard, and it'll take him 15 minutes to make his way back to the house - IF you can get his attention without going outside in your jammies. It's Lola deciding at midnight that it's a fine time to go through every drawer in her bedroom. It's feeling like an ogre when you finally say, "Mama, GO to bed.,"

I guess it's just been a couple of days of things gone wrong to get me grumpy. The leaking roof is harder to fix than expected per the roofers that came by to give an estimate. I have a new Droid cell phone, and it's driving me nuts learning how to use it. So far I hate it. I tried to can peaches last night, and it was a miserable, big-time fail. It was nearly 1:00 a.m. by the time I got the kitchen cleaned up. Then I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep for over an hour. By noon the next day I still hadn't had a chance to look at the news.

Just shoot me now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Repeated Questions and Peace

Most of Mother's mind is truly gone. She can carry on a conversation and seems sane on the surface. That's a blessing. But on all other things, she's incompetent. Oh, but she can tell you who the president is. It's like a badge of honor. The reason this comes to mind is that this is one of the questions officials ask if you are trying to have someone declared incompetent.

Every day, sigh, every day she asks me where Josh is. Every day I tell her he's in Frankfurt, works for the Legislature, is 25, is getting married in September. She always says how much she loves him and wishes she could see him. Poor kid young man, whenever he does come over, it is so very awkward. She understands nothing about his life or job. He finds it hard to do small talk with her. I'm absolutely no help. I flunked small talk big time.

Every day I ask Mother to not put her dentures in a tissue because the tissue sticks. Every night I ask her to put her dentures in their cup. Every day she hands them to me in a tissue, even though there is a stack of napkins right by her hand.  Every morning I find her dentures somewhere in her bed wrapped in, you guessed it, a tissue.

Every mealtime, I come to Mom first to get her dentures glued back in before I bring her a meal. Every time, she says, "I guess you know the routine." Yes, Mom, for the 999th time, I know the routine. You'd think these are piddly things, but truly after 999 times, they simply do begin to wear on your nerves.

I sure wish Joe wasn't so untrustworthy with the golf cart. There are a few chores I'd like to do at the back of the field with the wagon cart. Yet, I'm scared to pieces to get it out and do them because then he'll want the key. If he has the key, he's as like to take it to town as not.  At least it's not a swamp at the back of the field, and it wouldn't get stuck now. These are the temptations to set yourself up for a problem. Do the chores and then fight Joe vs. not doing the chores (or doing them the hard way) and have peace. I opt for peace.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gummy Candy - Homemade

I saw this video on a recipe for gummy candy posted on by imstillworkin, and immediately thought of all you that have kids. So I thought I'd put a link of it up here. This is especially good for you who have gardens or friends who do and who have an abundance of zucchini. Who doesn't have an abundance of zucchini if you put it in your garden?

Back in LaLa Land in July

I arrived back in LaLa Land yesterday. This morning (Sunday) I awoke early and chipper after a good night's sleep. Falling asleep last night was easy as I was worn out from an attack of the spastic colon yesterday. You know those charley horses you get in your calf that have you springing up from your chair or bed and have you dancing and stomping around the room?  That's what my colon did yesterday from about 10:30 a.m to about 2:00 p.m. LaMaze breathing comes in handy for something other than childbirth, and this was just as painful. Really.

Dad got his breakfast at 9:30 and was looking for church on TV. It's too early. When 11:00 rolled around and he could get it, he was fast asleep in his chair. Mom got up at 11:00 and is still eating breakfast as I write.  Her bottom teeth have gotten so ill-fitting that they won't even make it through a bowl of cereal anymore. She put them in right before she started eating, and about half way through the bowl I had to do them again.  If that stuff can hardly be unstuck from the denture, you'd think it could be formulated to stick to the gums!

The day ended with no basic problems. No mowing obsession. Mom only waved at the imaginary person in the window once. Dad went to bed with no problems. Mom did too. Okay first day back.