Thursday, December 08, 2016

Funny and Not - Again

On Monday Mom had a doctor's appointment at 10:00. Although I had called the evening before and she remembered her appointment, she was asleep when I went to pick her up.  Her first words were,"I don't have a doctor's appointment." It didn't bode well for the rest of the day.  Still, she got up and got going, and we got to the appointment in plenty of time. As we were leaving her apartment, she told me she wanted her key to the backdoor of the building. Without thinking, I replied that I did not have that key. She insisted that I did have it - that I had always had it - that she had not had it since she quit driving. And so the argument started.

It is funny how her mind works or doesn't work sometimes. When she loses something (which is all the time these days), I always tell her to keep looking in her house. She will insist that she has already looked, and I insist that she look again. Recently, but at different times,  she has lost her insurance cards, her driver's license, and now her whole purse. She loses her hearing aids about once a week.  Eventually, she will find things or not. Sometimes she says someone stole whatever she can't find. Usually, she calls me and says, "Lou! Do you have my driver's license?" or whatever.
"No, Mom, why would I have it?"
"Because you don't want me to drive."
"Mom, you don't have a car. I'm not too worried about you driving."
"You have it! You took it!"
"Well, I don't have it. You need it for identification. I did not take it. Did you look really well in you other purses?" And sometimes, she finds things after looking again, and I always encourage her to keep looking, which irritates her. And sometimes things are just gone.

So on Monday when she insisted that I had the key to the backdoor of the elderly living place and I insisted that I did not have it, she told me, "Well you need to look again. When you get home, you need to look through your stuff..." See how her mind works - she can't remember that I have never had her keys and that just a few weeks ago, I showed her how to use the key for the backdoor. But she can remember that I always say to look again, and she used that on me! To keep her happy, I told her I would look again.

While sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, she brought up the key again saying, "You took my key when I quit driving and I want it back!" We actually had lots of discussion with me trying to show her that I don't have the key and would not have it. Eventually I said, "Mom, I have never had a key to the backdoor. Why don't you believe me? Would you believe Pete?"
"Yes!"
"Okay." and I began texting Pete, Kathy, and Jesse concerning the key." Then Mom in her very sassy way said, "A steak dinner?!"
I was surprised at her her making a bet, but I answered, "Yeah, a steak dinner."
Immediately, I got replies from everyone. I showed her Pete's reply, "Mom has always had the key." She read it. Then she said, "What does he know?!"
"Mom, you said you would believe Pete if I asked him!"
"No I didn't."
So, I guess I'm not getting that steak dinner. She told me that I had better keep looking for the key at my house.

In other news: I'm having a paint party on Friday night. Ladies are coming over to paint simple Christmas/winter paintings.  I have painted a few for reference and will probably paint a few more today. It should be a fun time.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Too Gone Too Long

Randy Travis sings a song, "Too Gone, Too Long."  That is how I feel concerning this blog, since I have not written in forever. My life is not very exciting these day. This past week has been mostly house cleaning and cooking. Twenty-one people sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a good group and lots of fun was had. The weather was beautiful for playing outside, riding the four-wheeler, taking walks, fishing in the pond, and sitting on the patio. Glad to see them come - glad to see them go!

In the meantime, Toby had the outside fences taken down around our property.  The fences were old and falling apart. After pulling post and rolling up barbed wire, I feel old and falling apart. Now the county guys are here with their big machinery to level the fence line. We had to pen the horses up in an electric fence - to keep them from getting out on the road. Several times the electric fence has failed to keep them in - thanks to the miniature horse, Frances, who can go right under the fence and causes the others to follow. He is not our horse. In fact, we only own two horses, but there are five in the pasture. I'm not sure why we are taking care of other people's horses, but we are. When the horses escape the electric fence, it is the job of the ranch-hand (me) to pen them back in and fix the fence. I could go into detail about fixing the electric fence since the solar charger will NOT turn off.  But unless you understand the workings of the electric fence and you know me, the story is not nearly so funny. Take my word for it, though, me and electric fences do not work well together, which can be funny, especially to Toby, who swore that if you used the orange rubber gloves, you would not get shocked.

As for art, I've been working on some Christmas cards. Maybe I'll even get them sent out by Christmas. Make sure I have your address if you want one. Maybe I'll even get the Christmas decorations out before Christmas. Don't hold it against me, but I admit that I listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Truthfully, I could listen to Christmas music all year long. Weird!

Mom came for Thanksgiving and stayed two nights. She did really well. Having other people to talk to her and keep her entertained was good. She did not have her hearing-aids making conversation difficult,. But then, what else is new? Family, who had not been around her lately, reported back to me that Grandma was very negative. Geese Louise! She she did not throw a fit or get upset with me or anyone else - I thought she was great! Something funny: She told me over and over that she was going to take one of my aspen paintings home with her. She justified it with, "After all, I gave you the magazine that you painted it from." Which she did not do, but it was okay. She even remembered to take the painting when she left - pretty darn good for her. And it was nice that she liked my art. I have missed that - her liking anything about me.

Like I said, my life is not really exciting these days. Now and then I get this really excited feeling in my heart. What could that mean?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Crazed at Wal-Mart

Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart. I made the mistake of getting one of those smaller shopping carts. You may be thinking that was my second mistake - the first being the fact that I went to Wal-Mart. You'd be right. Anyway, I like the smaller carts because you can get around people in the aisles easier - you know the ones - the ones with big butts and big carts and all the time in the world. A few weeks ago when shopping with my mom, she said, "You shop like your dad!" I'm not sure what she meant, but my dad was a man on a mission when he shopped - get in, get out, get it over with. If that is what she meant, I'll take that as a compliment.

Yesterday, I bought several things for Thanksgiving, which added to my usual list. Some things were. bulky and took up lots of room in my little cart.  No matter how many groceries I have, I like to do the self-checkout. It keeps me sane. Since I bring my own bags, I can fill them like I want to fill them, which is full to the rim. I hate those plastic bags where checkers put a few items in them and send you home with ten-jillion bags. I can check myself out, stack my own groceries, and get out much faster and happier than at the regular checkout.

Anyway, there was no one at the self-checkout yesterday, except the helpers - the ones who watch what you do and help you or come to your aid when you buy spray paint or booze.  I managed to get all my groceries stacked neatly in my little cart for the trip out to the car. My dog food bag was balanced on the back of the cart. At the automatic doors, things got bottle-necked with several carts and elderly people slowly moving about. One of those Wal-Mart greeters was standing there also, so I said, "I guess I'll just slow down, since things are not moving very fast." She replied with, "Can I see your receipt?"

What!? They don't usually do that anymore. I have always found it irritating to be treated like I just stole something. I was glad when Wal-Mart quit checking your receipt years ago. I often wish Sam's Club would do the same. It makes me crazed to shop through a huge store with lots of people, check out, and then have someone hold up everyone at the door checking your stuff and causing a long line. Although, I can kind of understand at Sam's Club, because you don't have grocery bags to prove that you went through the check-out.

So I fished my receipt out of my purse and handed it over. The Greeter slowly and carefully went down the list. Then she said, "What is the name of that dog food?" because she could not find it on the list. I told her that I did not know what it was called, but it was the last item on the list. She looked at the list again, checked it off, and handed me back my receipt.

 Did I look like a thief? I saw lots of folks in Wal-Mart that looked more desperate than I did. I wanted to ask her if it had been worth it to make me crazy - crazier than Wal-Mart usually makes me?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sort of Funny

Let's start with something good and sort of funny first. After the big day with my Mom on Monday, she called several times on Tuesday about her prescriptions. She wanted to know what pharmacy we used. Never mind that we have been going to the same pharmacy since she moved into the elderly living place. Each time she called, she was very nice. Talking on the phone with her is always difficult, because she can't hear and has lost one of her hearing aids again. The good part was her attitude. She told me that she appreciated me taking her and Larry around and getting their nails done and for putting up with both of them. She laughed and was quite pleasant. She said she appreciated all I did for her. Wow! Of course, I answered, "Thanks, Mom! I love you."

The sort of funny part was on Wed. Mom went out to eat with my brother and Jesse. My brother said she did pretty well. He mentioned to Mom that he had recently spoke with our older brother. This reminded Mom of her recent conversation with Craig - the conversation where she told Craig that she wanted him to get her money away from me. She did not want me to have her money. She told Pete that she wanted him and Craig to take care of her finances. Pete reminded her that he did have control of her finances. Well, she just didn't want Lou to have them. So much for the appreciation :)

Now for a bit about the election: I did not vote for Hillary, so there has been no crying around here. Mostly I have felt great relief that maybe the Clinton Era is over. I'm not thrilled with Trump, but I have more confidence in him than I did Hillary. I don't know what the future holds, but at least, it won't be more of the same.

Through out this election, which was quite horrible and forever long, I did not unfriend any of my liberal friends on Facebook. Sometimes I thought they were very wrong, but rarely did I argue with them or get mad.  Sometimes I showed them other viewpoints, but I was never ugly. I take that back. On Monday of last week with all my Mom troubles, I did pick a fight with someone on FB. It wasn't someone I knew, but he was enormously stooopid and arrogant. It wasn't a fight exactly (although I was willing) but I did show the guy some links and argue a bit. And since he was not my FB friend, I didn't feel bad about it.

But after the election, some of my liberal friends have been even more horrible - name calling, whining, etc. And you know what I did? I un-friended one of my old buddies. Enough is enough.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Crazy Monkeys

Today was so crazy, that I just had to share. Tomorrow is election day - probably more crazy.

My mom has a boyfriend, Robert. He has been around for years now. He is very good to take her and do things. Although he was a good friend of my father's, he is not my father and I don't think he wants to be. He tries to stay out of Mom's personal business, but sometimes he oversteps his boundaries. We have had a few dealings.  Still, he means well.

Mom has also had a few boyfriends at the elderly living place. Early last summer, she went out with one guy when she was suppose to go out with Robert. Robert didn't appreciate that, and so they were broken up all summer. The new boyfriend has since moved to another elderly living place.

So while Mom and Robert were broken up, Mom found a new guy at the elderly place - a guy named Larry. I've met Larry. He seems nice enough. I can't really say that he is actually a boyfriend, but Mom seems to need someone to primp for. Anyway, Larry is retired Air Force. He has had several strokes and can no longer drive. That makes him not so great boyfriend material. So Robert has come back in the picture somewhat now. He has been taking Mom here and there, but they have been fighting some too - mostly over Larry.

Does this remind you of high school?

So last week Larry tells my brother that we need to take Mom to a doctor (Mom has been picking and scratching at her head and face for a while now). Pete explains to Larry that we have taken Mom to a doctor. But Larry says that he knows a doctor - he wants to make mom an appointment. Obviously, Pete did not get thru to Larry, because yesterday she called me  to say she had an appointment at 9AM the next day. She didn't know the doctor's name or anything about him. I tell her I will be there at 8:30 to take her.

This morning I got up and headed to WF. I had to leave the house early to get there by 8:30. At about 7:15 Mom calls and asks if I am almost there. No, I'm just getting going. I say that her appointment is not until nine. She puts Larry on the phone. He says the appointment is at 8:30 and we need to be there early - that they are leaving the elderly living place at 7:30. I say, "Do not go to that doctor without me." He says I had better hurry and that they will meet me there. I ask where. He cannot remember the doctor's name. I become a crazed person. He manages to give me an idea of where the doctor is located. I call my brother who is in the vicinity of the doctor's office. He finds a skin doctor's office and goes inside to see if Mom has an appointment. He is told that Mom does not have an appointment, but that her birth date is in the computer - possibly meaning that they had an opening at 9:15 and that maybe Mom was coming then. Eventually, Pete sees Mom and Larry in the Elderly Living Place's van which has pulled up at the skin doctor's office.

In the meantime, I'm driving as fast as I can without breaking the law too seriously and it is raining cats and dogs slowing my progress. A few prayers later and the rain cleared off and I made it to the skin doctor by 8:30. Of course, Mom's  mysterious appointment was not until 9:15. We got in to see the doc about 9:30.  While we were waiting, my brother calls to say that he had called Larry's son. Larry's son was horrified that his dad made Mom a doctor's appointment. And he says that Larry is suppose to be at his own doctor's appointment at 10. He calls Larry on the cell phone to remind him. Larry yells at his son saying that he does not have an appointment. Great. Turns out that Larry has dementia brought on by his eleven strokes. Great.

After the doctor's visit, Larry wanted to take us to breakfast. That went fairly well, although he got my burrito by mistake. When I mentioned to Larry that I was going to take Mom to get her nails done, he said he wanted a pedicure himself. Great.

While waiting on Mom to finish her manicure and pedicure, Larry sat down beside me and started telling me that Mom was still scratching her head and that I should buy her some sort of cap. I must really look stupid to Larry or maybe he thinks I am just some sort of unfeeling hick. Or maybe Larry is just some Yankee a-hole that likes to butt into other people's business. I remained calm. I told him that I knew he had made this appointment because he wanted to help Mom. And that I knew he meant well. BUT...basically I told him not to ever do it again - I spoke very nicely, but firmly.

Then I took him and Mom home. I went to get a prescription for Mom, but there was some sort of problem. The skin doctor was too slow to respond to the pharmacy's request for info and so the prescription did not get filled. Great. I went back to the elderly living place to explain that to Mom. As I walked into Mom's apartment she was trying to call me. It seems Larry had lost his phone. I found Larry in the lobby and helped him look for the phone, made a phone call to the nail place, searched the car, etc. No Phone. So I moved on. This was not my circus and this was not my monkey, although it was a lot like my monkey.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Catching Up

This painting of aspens was giving me fits. The photo that it was taken from has this wonderful light showing through the trees. I was trying to capture the light. Then I lost the sky - too many leaves. I guess I got carried away. So, I've continued to work on it off and on the last few weeks. Since I have not posted in a while, I thought I'd show the painting.

Today is my little girl's art class. I'm looking forward to them. We are going to do a little watercolor of fall trees. They have been doing lots of drawing lessons, but we need a break. Gotta spice up our art.

Things have been busy. Toby took off work last Thursday and Friday so that we could work on the house. We did stucco on the east side. It only had the scratch coat. All of the house needs a color coat. Maybe we will get that done in the next ten years or so. Stucco is tough stuff. It wears us out. We should have done this when we were younger. At least the weather was really nice. Although, I'm looking forward to some cooler weather rather than the mid 80's. It is almost Novemeber, after all.

Saturday we went to WF to do the usual mom thang. Toby's mom is frail. I worry about her. My mom is not frail and she wants to fight. Her dementia is getting worse every day. It is a tough situation.  She is not a happy camper. I spent some time writing up my thoughts - keeping a diary of sorts on Mom's dementia, but not posting them. Yet.

The good part of going to WF was seeing Jesse. She had volunteered to do trunk or treat for kids in the neighborhood around her school. She dressed up as Frida Kahlo and had a pumpkin toss.

Toby made her a firebox for her backyard. She designed the box and Toby did the welding. We put iron casters on the bottom so she could move it around. The box is heavy duty!

I'd better get a move on. Lots to do today. Thanksgiving is just 25 days away.