Tags: grandma


Counting Years and Blessings

Happy Birthday to GRANDMA:

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Have I mentioned she's a maniac? Yes, she's a maniac. Also, quite talented: She can burp on command! Not just your ordinary burp--a long, earsplitting, drawn-out belch that instantly makes you check the front of your shirt. In her ultimate wisdom, she taught her grandson to do the same. He took advantage of that and would speak in "burps" when he was small rather than answering my questions. Um, I think he still does that...

When she laughs, it's a loud, hearty belly laugh that can be heard down the halls of her nursing home. She tools around with a wheeled walker decorated with stuffed animals and Hawaiian leis, stopping to chat with long-time residents and nurses whose names she can no longer remember. She flirts with the EMTS who pass through to cart off her neighbors ("Hmm, that one's cute!"). Though she can't tell you what she had for dinner five minutes ago, she knows exactly what time they serve ice cream on every unit.

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"This is MY hamburger. DON'T TOUCH IT!"

With Grandma now in the moderate stages of Alzheimers, our conversations are circular--stuck in "The Loop" as Beth calls it. Little hints every now and then warn us that, sadly, if she does live to be 100 as she so often threatens us, she may not recognize us anymore. After her last trip to the hospital she briefly forgot my name. When Nate visited her the other day, without the rest of the family around as a cue, she continuously asked him, "How's Nate?" She obviously identified him as part of the family. But something was missing.

We are prepared. In the meantime, though, we are truly blessed to have her.


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Happy Birthday GRANDMA!

Grandma's birthday

Yes, she just turned 87 and is still kicking butt at the nursing home. The whole family stopped by to see her:

Grandma's birthday

Beth and Chuck (who has since lost the Grizzly Adams look after months of nagging)

Grandma's birthday

Miss Ruth, Grandma's roommate (love her, love her, love her! --I swear it's like being in a college dorm) and Nate

Grandma's birthday

And even Eli, who has his very own Special Visitor's Card!


Of course, all those wags and kisses wore him right out. :)

Phone Co. RANT

Grandma lives in a very nice nursing home. We pay for her private telephone line. She calls us 3-4 times a day (minimum!) to tell us the same 3 things and ask the same 7 questions, but hey, it's Alzheimers and she has NO short-term memory. Yeah, it's annoying at times, but I wouldn't dream of disconnecting her phone. Just so you know.

Somebody disconnected her phone.

I find this out, first when she calls from the nurses' station to say her phone is "broken." Then I hear it again when the nurse calls to ask me why we had her phone disconnected.

Say whaaaaaaaaaat?

When I called Phone Co. they said they got a work order from the nursing home to d/c the service. The nursing home denied this, of course, and said it was a mix-up, something to do with the room numbers being changed, and the guy came to d/c the phone (presumably for someone else) and maintenance took them to the room number that wasn't really the same room number...oh, I'm shutting up right now, because the more I write this, the more ridiculous it sounds.

Anyway. My main issue is with the Phone Co. (although the person who eventually helped clear this up was very helpful and courteous, never mind I was somewhat of a bitch, no surprise).

Issue: when I called the phone company to find out what happened, I had to talk to several people--again, no surpise. Each time a new person came on the line I again had to verify my address AND the last four numbers of my SS# because the phone is in my name and the bill comes to my house.

Now here comes the big fat WTF: *I* have to verify that information repeatedly--yet my PHONE can be disconnected at the request of some maintenance man without verifying this with the person WHO PAYS THE FRIGGIN' BILL? Yeah, that's me--not the nursing home. Does that mean I can call up and, oh, I don't know, disconnect my neighbor's phone for S&G?

My secondary issue is with the NH for not double checking with me. Seriously, why would I stop her service out of the blue? Let alone without warning them? Because Grandma's wreaking havoc up there now, asking every 5 minutes what happened to her phone. And she'll be wreaking it all weekend, till they reconnect it on Monday.

I've been assured I won't be charged the installation fee. If I am, expect another rant.

Random Monday

1. Today is the day to sign up for JoNoWriMo: "It's a bit like NaNoWriMo, only you get an extra 1.5 months AND you don't have to write an entire novel. Basically, it's a time each year that a bunch of writers get together to support and encourage one another to meet a writing goal and/or finish a project." So get over there, dudes, and commit yourselves. Jo rocks. You'll love it!

2. It's official: I'll be signing books at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster, Ohio on November 7. Anyone in the area, stop in (if not, road trip!) It's an awesome book fair, so much fun. More on this later.

3. Thanks for all your support in regard to Saturday's Blogger-Reviewer Rant. Isn't there a website where you can post the worst-friggin-review you ever received? I think so. Anyone know where it is?

4. Beth and I visited Grandma and Miss R. yesterday. Party in the dining room, with a band that played polkas and Big Band music and the old standards you expect to hear in a nursing home. Grandma sang along, clapped her hand and wiggled her feet--and then got up and danced with her walker! I swear she hasn't danced in half a century (and this is the woman who could barely walk a year ago). Twice she paused in front of an elderly man, took his hands, and swung them in time to the music as if they were dancing in place. The old man beamed with pleasure, and all I could think was: so what alien from which planet kidnapped that infinitely crabby woman who drove me straight up a wall for years and years, and replaced her with Miss Congeniality, the queen of the ballroom?!?

5. Kanye West previously made an A-double-S out of himself by proudly displaying his lack of literary genius, among his numerous other antics that made the news. Now he's out-Kanyed himself with his horrendously disrespectful treatment of Taylor Swift at last night's MTV Music Awards.

Stun gun, anyone?

Random 5

1. Just survived my 5-day stretch at work. I beleive I'll rant about this in a later post.

2. saraclaradara mentioned me on her Magical Mystery Tour!

3. See Eli staked out in backyard. See nosy little Yorkie run in our yard, yap-yap-yapping, like: "Ha, ha, you're tied up and I'm not, la-la-la!" See Eli do his monster sized WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! and catapult after the shocked Yorkie, dragging the stake behind him, and chasing Yorkie straight back to his own house. Yorkie may be traumatized for life. Eli appears quite proud of himself. Not sure if the stake survived the ordeal.

4. I'm about 1/4 way through my hard copy revisions. I love Rinn's world. I want Rinn to make me rich. Light candles! :)

5. The problem with having a relative with Alzheimers is that she calls me twenty times a day because she doesn't remember the first 19 times she called. Yet she remembers the number. Go figure.

Off to Borders or I won't get anything done!

Monday Catchup

1. I stayed off the computer all weekend which I think is going to be my rule from now on. Usually I stay off only on the weekends I work, but I got much more done by avoiding the internet. Of course that means I had 67 emails waiting...

2. I'm 2/3 of the way through my hundred-page revision. I already performed 2 character abortions and eliminated a whole storyline. Down to 118k (first draft-wise) with a goal of 90k (or less) by the time I finish.

3. HAY FEVER! I'm dying here. Nothing works except Benadryl which is one of the drugs we use at work to knock out-of-control people down a few notches. I'm drugged, drugged, drugged, and I haven't been this miserable in years! I'm leaving a trail of snot rags wherever I go.

4. Elijah caught kennel cough! Yes, he'd been vaccinated but only a month ago so I don't think he built up a full immunity. The vet says it's only a mild case. He's on antibiotics now, and hasn't coughed since Saturday. Or puked up his dinner because he was coughing so hard. BTW, it's amazing what you can find in a puppy's puke. Ever look? ;)

5. Doctor's appointment today that I'm not looking forward to because she's gonna yell at me...for a variety of reasons.

6. Grandma's 85th birthday was Saturday! We took her to Dairy Queen for her favorite hot fudge sundae (while Beth and I snarfed down fat-free ice cream sandwiches) and hubby had a chicken sandwich and a chocolate milkshake. Whoa, are Beth and I made of steel or what?!? BTW, after 3 years Grandma has a new roommate--and it's Miss Ruth! I hope it works out. It's one thing being best buddies with someone, and something else entirely when you're sharing one room. Her last roommate was mute, wheelchair-bound, and mostly out of the room, so Grandma essentially had the room to herself.


Elijah is down for a nap, Beth will be home in an hour, and I am OUT of here ASAP! Laptop! Coffee! Uninterrupted time for me! Byeeeeee!

P.S. I wore Eli out taking him out to the nursing home to visit Grandma. You should see the residents' faces when he prances by! Grandma adores him. He's definitely a future therapy dog!

Friday 5

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
87,348 / 90,000

Yeah, the progress looks good, but two problems: the first draft will surpass 90k (probably > 100k again)and no way will this be finished by the end of the year.

I'm okay with that. I have "goals" not "deadlines," remember? If you don't reach a goal, no big deal--you extend it. You don't reach your deadline, you're...um, dead?

2. Christmas tidbits:

Beth and I called woke Nate up out of a sound sleep by calling him on his cell phone and singing "Holly Jolly Christmas" at the top of our lungs (we HATE that song). He actually listened without hanging up on us.

Grandma came over, ate dinner, opened all her gifts, and then asked, "So, did you get all your Christmas shopping done?"

Us: "Grandma. You just opened your gifts."

Grandma: "I did?"

Us: "Yes, TODAY is CHRISTMAS"--as we point to the BIG FAT TREE and mountains of wrapping paper.

Grandma: "It is? Well, you know my memory..."

I drank exactly three measely sips of plum wine--a gift from the Chinese restaurant we order from every Christmas Eve--and POW! A headache. I will never learn.

3. I got an iPod Nano and I'm not even sure what it is.

4. Karen, Beth, and I drove around Christmas Eve looking at the Christmas lights on the mansions on Edgewater Drive and Lake Road. I've since decided I want to be wealthy. Now, how to manage this?

5. I have to work 3-11 today...

...double back to work day shift tomorrow...

...then day shift Sunday...

...then 3-11 Monday.

So much for ANY writing this weekend. I wish I could grab an hour here, an hour there like other people. My brain doesn't work that way. If I can't have a minimum of 4 uninterrupted hours there's no point in trying because all I do is keep glancing at the clock, thinking: 30 more minutes...20 more minutes...10 more minutes... arrgh!

Random Monday

I need a split personality to work on 2 projects at once. I spent Saturday trying to do revisions for Linn (I decided to put her aside till my vacation starts next week). Then I spent Sunday doing a NaNo "dry run." You kmow how long it took me to do 3 paragraphs? 3 hours. I couldn't just write--I had to edit every line.

Forget that. One project at a time. I can't jump back and forth.

I saw Grandma yesterday, still in a wheelchair. I told her she has to start walking more. I know they're working with her, but seriously, I'm afraid she's grown too attached to that wheelchair. She scootches around in it like nobody's business. But I really don't want to schlep a wheelchair when I want to take her out, like to the apple farm, which she positively loves to do every year at this time. The whole point of this surgery was so she wouldn't end up in a wheelchair. So I plan to drop in there a bit more often and have her walk with me. The nursing home can only do so much.

Anyone else following the Casey Anthony case? Tomorrow the grand jury will hear the evidence against her. If she's indicted and the case goes to court, I'm hoping they'll broadcast it on Court TV. I'm suuuuch a crime freak--ever since my parents traumatized me by dragging me through that wax museum at Cedar Point where I viewed display after display of bloody crime scenes. You know how, when someone is accused of murder and the cops ransack their home and use their reading material as "evidence"? Well, if the cops ever hit my book shelves, I'm definitely toast.

Five more working days and then I'm off for 2 weeks! The countdown begins.

Tuesday Ramble

I've been rotating shifts now for eleven months (yes, next month will be my one year anniversary in this job). So far it hasn't gotten much easier. I work 3-11 during the week and 7-3 on weekends, and this jumping around is getting to me. Waking up at 5 a.m. is now proving to be easier than staying awake till the sun goes down. And it's not as if I can simply go home and sleep.

Saturday: worked till 3:30, visited Grandma ("Can you take me the bathroom?" "OK, here's your walker." "I can't walk!" "Yes, you can." "No I can't!" Siiigh. "Grandma, get UP AND WALK."--which she did, which much grunting and groaning and exasperated snorts) picked Beth up from work, dropped her off at a friend's, went grocery shopping, came home and heard, "What are you making for supper?" (my response is unprintable) and later ate the dinner I most certainly did not cook. Then I collapsed into a blob and didn't move till, yippee, 5 a.m. the following morning.

*Note: one awesome thing that happened Saturday evening is that I got the chance to talk to an LJ friend on the phone--a treat made more special by the fact that she lives overseas and happens to be visiting the states. Yay!

Sunday: a repeat of Saturday, minus the running around after work. Spent the evening semi-comatose, zapping between crime shows and Animal Planet. I also did not cook that day, either.

Monday: Normally I can sleep in because Mondays are the one day I don't have to play chauffeur. Unfortunately, I had the garage door procedure done first thing in the morning, came home, read emails, put deodorant on b/c God knows those techs hate when your armpits slime up their machines, then ran off again for a doctor's visit at 11:30 (yes, I gained weight, yes, I still smoke, and no, I don't want that tube up my you-know-what) and came home (almost an hour round trip) and then flew off to work for an early meeting about a psychiatric crises intervention team a while back that didn't for various reasons go as smoothly as we would've liked. Then another 8 hour shift, including a new admission who kind of looked at me like this--


--which of course abruptly ended the interview. Well, at least nobody asked me to "cook." :)

I'm off today, but I'm exhausted, with a headache, got no revising done at all.

And yes, I'm cooking. cooking a fricking meatloaf. There! Is everyone happy now?