Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Love Me Some Buffaloed Chicken…B'not Buffalo Pie

There was a cry for help posted by: Swistle for a Blog buddy Michelle, who needs recipes for her son’s special needs school fund raiser recipe book and below is my response.

These are two test-kitchen tested TASTY recipes that I could/have eaten with delight and GUMPTION dag-gone-it! Easy, tasty and sure to delight the family or friends or co-workers that you serve em up to. Both have the taste of Hooters Hot Wings without the boobs. If you love you some boobs, serve these braless, for an Extra Martha Stewart Panache.

Buffalo Wing Dip

2 (8oz.) packages Cream Cheese
2 (10 oz.) cans Hormel canned Chicken (I use chicken breast 95% fat free can’t you tell!)
1 cup Ranch Dressing
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Red Cayenne Pepper (as much as you’d like or care to stand)

Soften cream cheese al a microwave, drain chicken, and mix all ingredients together. Let dip sit overnight so that Cayenne Pepper permeates the mix well. But you don’t HAVE to if pressed for time. Place into a crock pot to warm, sprinkle with additional cheese and serve with crispy tortilla chips.

Buffalo Dip

1 lb. chicken (cooked and shredded-again I use breasts…see a pattern here?)
Frank’s Buffalo sauce (Hot)
Lg. cream cheese
Celery (about 4-5 stalks is good)
Marie’s blue cheese dressing
12 oz. mozzarella cheese

Layer cream cheese, boiled celery (just to soften it – drain real well), shredded chicken, blue cheese dressing in a glass 9”X 13” baking dish. Top with jar of Buffalo sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Both of these are a favorite of guys. Guys love them some Hot Spicy food, just like their women. Hey, cook some up for this Labor Day weekend! I think I will too, if you don't mind and if any of you care to contribute to Michelle’s quest it’d be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Have you ever realized that you wanted something, um, but didn’t know what it was and then realize that it was something very simple. You just wanted, no, needed a hug.
Physical contact with intimacy thrown in – a hug.
Nope, I never really knew.

My current husband gives great hugs. He envelopes you in strong arms and squeezes just right and suddenly all is right with the world, time stops and you feel how much he loves and appreciates who you are and everything is forgiven and forgotten and you are in the here and now and it’s swell and real and nice. It’s a genuine hug.

I remember giving those same type hugs to my children. The babies and the toddlers, and as they grew I’d sit beside their bed at night, tucking them in, singing them songs, listening to them recant their childlike days of “who said what to whom” and “what is tomorrow going to bring” and on and on. I’d kiss their cheeks and hug them tight. Or the times I’d sit in the evening, after they had been bathed and ready for bed and invariably one of them would crawl up into my lap, their head still damp from that bath and their homemade pajamas all moist, smelling of Mr. Bubble, they would hug me tight and nestle on my lap. Safe and sound, all loving and everything was forgiven and all the past forgotten and they are snuggled in the here and now and it’s genuine and nice and swell.

I wasn’t raised with kisses and hugs as a way of greeting, and only as a small child at bedtime did we kiss our mother and father. As I grew, those times lessened, and then almost disappeared. I married, starting my own family, and I married a man who was also not comfortable with the PDA (public displays of affection) but we could hug and squeeze those kids to a pulp.

I was 23 years old, the mother of a three year old, a one year old and three months pregnant with my third child when my father (age 54!) suffered a massive heart attack that left him in a coma, on a ventilator with no possibility of recovery. I remember standing at the foot of his bed in the ICU, watching the pump of the vent push air into his lungs, whooshing and pumping, his chest heaving with unnatural breath sounds. I glanced at the tubes and the bags attached to him, and standing beside me a small nun had slipped into the room. She stated that it would be okay if I wanted to touch him, to hug or kiss him. I was frozen in thought. I really wanted to. I really wanted to say, Daddy don’t leave! I watched his strong, tanned hands, and wanted to grasp them. But I didn’t do so in life, and it was uncomfortable in death, so I did nothing. The moment passed. Later I stroked his forehead, and whispered so no one could hear me, except him, and said, “please come back, those babies are waiting for you Pops, Adam and Sarah are waiting”, and then I left.

I always regretted not kissing or hugging him as he lay there dying, but it felt so unnatural to do so, when mostly you only hugged small children.

Then I met my current husband. I think he’d hug the mailman. He hugs everyone. I saw him hug my then teenaged children, and they hugged him back. He hugs in greetings and he hugs in joy and he hugs in comfort and he hugs for no.good.reason. In his family, everyone hugs and kisses when you enter and when you leave. They are genuine, they are casual with it. It’s no big deal. I saw him hug my mother, who was so uncomfortable. He hugged her repeatedly over the years and now she extends her arms, stands up to receive him; I wonder if she’s hugging back, but I know she is. I hug her more easily now too, and she hugs me back. Hell, I hug everyone now. I feel the need to show the people in my life. I love you, I accept you, I forgive you, I hope you forgive me. It’s just a hug. But it means so much. Hug me back, damn it. Did I forget anyone? No, you there, don’t you get away, I’m going to hug you. X X X X X
My son, he won’t hug back, my girls are hesitant, but they’ll hug me back. They are a work in progress, and someday they’ll understand completely. I hug their husbands, and I hug my stepchildren.

I thank my husband for that, this hugging thing among the other gifts he brings. And when I feel the need, I ask him for a hug. No reason, but to feel his strong arms around me, to make time stop, to feel his heartbeat, and all is well and right with the world as we know it. I thank his parents for teaching that skill to him, for teaching him to openly show his acceptance and affection for everyone in his life. And for showing that to me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If the Pants zip, WEAR EM

The package arrived in a timely manner. Underneath the plastic wrapping were three fall additions to my wardrobe. Suits that were chosen for their color, cost and I am embarrassed to admit, their size, which is one size larger than the rest of their closet companions. My ego bruised enough at the failed attempt to lose the few pounds necessary to keep the rest of my wardrobe comfortable, I had to give in, and order a few new pieces to wear to work. It is with deep regret and sorrow I find I must write the letter below. Aw, who am I kidding – it’s time that the garment industry pays for it’s crimes on humanity namely WOMEN of FASHION!

Dear Fashion Garment Industry:

While I find it endearing that you seek to bring exciting and fashionable clothing into my life by sending catalogs to my home, please allow me to recant to you my personal experience, some might say “woes”, as of late.
Trying to introduce a few casual suits into my wardrobe, I ordered three very similar styles of two piece suits in a rayon blend, size 14. (Those of you who know me, please don’t gasp here) They arrived in a neatly packaged plastic bag, individually cased in clear plastic wrap. Before I placed them onto hangers, I tried them on. Reluctantly, I might add, although I saved myself the embarrassment of yet another brightly lit and mirror tainted department store dressing room.
Of the three suits I ordered, all the same size, one suit fit nicely, one too tight, and one suit’s pants wouldn’t zip.
Isn’t it enough that Americans are experiencing large increases in food costs, we are gouged at the pump for gasoline and now, the Guatamalian sweat shop laborers have “punked” us by creating the façade of yet another hike in my weight. By creating pants in a willy, nilly fashion to cause a frenzy of terror among unsuspecting American women. I know, I know, the $1.25 a day you pay the sweet sweat shop girls to deliver the goods directly to my doorstep isn’t nearly enough to avenge my cries of “Unfair”. I beg, I swear, I’m trying to get down in these too tight pants, to my knees to beg of you…send the garments to CHINA!
Why China you may ask? Because I searched my closet and that of other trendsetters in my social circle and our well made, really well fitting clothes (although the price drastically is increased!) are made not in Guatamala, or Vietnam, or even in Haiti, nope, China does it good!
“Made in China” is what I found on the tag of my favorite black Ellen Tracy suit. (that and Dry Clean Only) Made in China on my Chico’s, Made in China written sideway’s on my Dana Buchman jacket and skirts and even on the cute pink shell with the fitted waist. I think maybe the Chinese not only create good Olympian’s but their ready to wear fits me well, is durable and stylish. So, while I order another bucket of chicken fried rice and veggies, order me up some new fall Made in China stuff m’kay? Oh, and by the way don’t bother with the catalogs filled with pages of polyester pantsuits in “Guess My Size”.

Ok, so maybe they aren't geniuses with thier choice of haberdashery, but dog gone it, swords as accessories are Kick Ass!

Movie Madness or Tuesday Night Boredom - You Choose

Abba Lovers UNITE!

I hate to burst your bubbles, and perhaps all of you have more sense than I on a Tuesday evening, what with riveting speeches from the Democratic Convention clogging up the television airwaves, than to pack up your purse with candy from the corner drugstore and head on out with an ABBA loving friend to see Mama Mia like I did last evening.
Wow I think that was three sentences-sorry, but I’ve come off my sugar rush last night and I’m really low, almost a sugar coma…so I wont’ be spell checking or fixing any sentences today suckahs. Deal with it.

I ate a whole box of Junior Mints, and ½ a bag of buttered popcorn - and that was during the previews. My friend and I? We were the only two people in the theatre. All night.

My Tuesday night girlfriends have taken a break. They thought that because several of us have children who have just started school, and some have started new jobs, that it has been hectic and we should take a break for awhile. I’ve really got nothing going on. I’m not ashamed to admit it, it’s the lazy daze of summer! Anyway, my Abba crazed friend and I decided that we’d do a girls night trek out to the “theatre” and see Mama Mia so here’s a movie review for you.

There, I’ve said it. I would like to keep Pierce Brosnan's image forever safe inside of my tiny fantasy mind as a hot, suave James Bond type with a swift wit and a smirk to his knowing smile. That vision has been blown away forever, since my ears were assaulted by his off key bellowing baritone trying to sing Abba tunes. Alls I can say (as I shake my head sadly) is that his son’s must need college money now that Remington Steele hasn’t been cycling in syndication. And my lady Meryl Streep, although she can sing, was miscast in this flat character (I’ve moved onto Milk Duds and Diet Root Beer at this point) that no one cannot connect to or bond with. The scenery is BEAU-ti-ful, luring me, wantint me to pack up and spend the rest of my summer in Greece, but beyond that and the sassy young leading actress who plays her daughter, the movie was flat and dragged by even for those on a sugar high. I think that Abba is taking legal action – or should if they hadn’t thought about it, the songs were so unappealing.

So, before you have to sing “S.O.S. darling, can’t you hear me, S.O.S.” , I say, don’t bother. Although, I must say, the company and the Swedish Fish were an interesting Tuesday night dinner for me!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday's Fun Facts

So, Yeah, TGIF my dear internet friends.

Fun Facts coming from my DAY OFF! But you won't be seeing me doing any bike riding, or gardening, or lazing around by the pool or skeet shooting or 10K running or any such thing that would require the great outdoors to be free of THUNDERSHOWERS. Yeah, all my days off are jinxed by rain or thundershowers. It's almost as if I scheduled a vacation. When the hubby and I schedule a vacation away from home it almost always rains. Just a fact for you.

*It not only rained of our honeymoon, I also had my monthly "visitor". Oh, yeah, fun was had by all.

*It rained when we went to ARIZONA, who was in the middle of a draught (aren't they always?) and the whole state thanked us because the cactuses (cactusi?) started to bloom and there were critters and grass on the prairies and desert. You're welcome AZ.

*Last month's day off I planned a blueberry picking day with my Little Miss of a granddaughter...It rained and thunderstormed. All.Day.

*It rained on our trip to Shenandoah State Park so hard that the Shenandoah River itself was near to flooding the area where we were holed up in a little bajillion year old B&B. (with no TV).
Fill in the blanks here_________ with what you think we did those four days.

*I think I'll work up a whopping Yah-Whoo and go and get my driver's license renewed today. Yah-Whoo. Hold down the excitement. Although I can't hear you over the crashing thunder. I will again lie about my weight as expected. What does your license say? How old were you when you weighed that?

*Although this rain is good for the garden and flowers, I'm done gardening in the tomato plants I put out. I found a HUGE green tomato worm eating my little tomato's the other day. I put a plastic bag over the sucker and cut the branch off to suffocate that tresspasser to his smothery death. Have you ever seen one of those creepy things? Sworn me off collecting tomato's from those scrawny plants. They are camouflaged by their green-ness. For the Bug Challenged it's not pretty.

That's it for my Friday facts...later dudes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

***NEW FEATURE****Oddball Thursdays or Deep Thoughts

Congratulations to New Daddy – Ricky Martin!

Seems Ole Ricky decided to start his family using a surrogate and through means of insemination became the proud father of twin boys!

Well, honestly, isn’t that a nice surprise? Let me just say…

Come out, come out, wherever you are Ricky…
(I mean I’m just sayin…OH Y’all know you were thinkin it too!!! Settle down, is anyone surprised? First George Michaels now Ricky)

Another odd little item.

I bought some Icebreaker Mints, in this round container

Notice how they are encouraging good manners? One opening is labeled "to share", the other opening, "not to share". I sure hope whomever you share with washes their hands! Was this a reflection of proper upbringing or rather genius marketing? If one shares said mints, they might disappear faster, hence good mints go out among the mass population in a MASS marketing idea of the CENTURY! (sorry, I’m hung up lately on the word CENTURY!)
½ a century.

Not much going on lately, hence the deep thoughts above.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are You "Right" for Me?

I have a long, arduous history with interviewing candidates for various positions in the organizations that I have worked for. I have studied personality quirks, took a semester or two in “Reading In-Between the Lines” and “How to Read Body Language” (part one and part two – one in normal behaviors and one in psychotic!, came in handy once or twice)
But here’s the deal. It’s really like shooting craps. I have a set of dice in my desk drawer that I roll every time I want to make an offer to a prospective candidate. There are so many things I’d like to ask, things that are not relevant to the job at all.

Me: What’s your favorite color?

Me: Who cuts your hair?

Me: Describe to me your relationship with your mother.

Me: Are you pregnant? (Thinking of becoming pregnant?)

Me: If you cross a penguin with a pelican what do you get?

Me: Coke or Pepsi?

Me: On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, what do you think of my new shoes?

I’ve thought about it, and feel that it is STILL a crap shoot. Everyone (including moi) puts on a happy, intelligent front when interviewing for a position that you relish. We all “fake” it somewhat and embellish our tiny accomplishments and assets. (Although I recently interview someone who embellished her assets with a tight purple sweater and push up bra, let me just say The Girls were in Line)
I’ve tried all types of questions to bring out a best in a shy and quiet type. I quieted the loud and aggressive types. I’ve made some cry when I ask a simple “from whom have you learned the most?” (two people to be exact, so I quite stating it that way)
I’ve had some come in, shake my hand, and then announce, “Hi, I’m So and So, I’m a religious fanatic”. SWEAR!
I had one woman come for the interview and hawk a book she was writing on line, told me that she would wait while I read a bit of it. Um, not at this time.

So, I go for a round in the next month or so of trying to fill a newly created position and I’m up for the challenge. Ready as pie. In I’ll go with my Tarot cards and Ouija Board. I’ll light candles, offer coffee and perhaps a massage. Still, all in all, I’ll toss the dice in the end.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sorry About the Blog Lag

Please forgive me my new is crazy with our internal audit taking place. Perhaps I'll be able to poke fun at our senior citizen surveyor at another time. Until then-carry on, and keep checking back, I'll be back soon.
Fade to serious face and posture....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun Fact Friday-Olympic Style

*I started walking 3.5 miles every evening, and day 4-blew my kneecap out of line “warming up”. I blame the influence of the Olympics.

*Does anyone besides me sit down in the evening to catch up on the daily Olympic activities and A: doze or fall completely into a deep R.E.M. sleep over Bob Costas voice. B: Examine the recesses of your brain for any semblance of memory on who the hell the “Guest Olympian Commentaries” are and what sport they came from? (I mean GAH, I had to Google Mary Carrillo…I’m so Olympically Challenged – turns out she’s a former tennis player turned sports commentator - hence the fashionably challenged wardrobe and hair!)

* Does anyone else want to give Bob Costas a proper suit and tie and a good haircut? And ask Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear to make over Mary Carrillo? It's just me, crap. I'm judgemental. Or mental. I want some chocolate.

*I was watching the Olympic Gold Chinese "women" athletes as the commentators and reporters circled their waiting camp and I swear I saw them playing with Polly Pockets. Anyone else?

*I really am fascinated by the padded spring mat that the Gymnasts perform on, when I was an Non Olympic gymnast in my Jr. High and Senior High days, we had a hard floor with a ¾" sponge mat to flip to our death on. This one looks fun and supportive of all the leaping and bouncing right into a double back handspring. Ahhh technology.

*For all the technology and vanity that we are seeing in the Chinese (just like home, really....) they really need some deep hair conditioner. They have really bad haircuts too. And could someone take away the glitter gel from the gymnasts? I long for a Mary Lou haircut, those slicked back, sprayed on pony tails make the girls look dirty.

*Did anybody see the guy who won a silver medal on Tuesday for something like skeet shooting and they showed him bowed down weeping like a 6 year old on the Naughty Chair in an episode of Super Nanny? I told my Mr. “are those tears of joy? Or is he upset with winning the Silver?”

*Don’t you love it when they show the not-so-popular events like, bow and arrow and hoola hooping? It makes me feel like I could eventually Go For the Gold in Corn Hole competition (Women’s only) I mean, with practice....Come on PEOPLE, I’m just sayin….

*To conclude my portrayal of my athletic prowess on this Fun Friday, I must say, I recently joined a sistah on her brand new Wii Fit, and Wii Rocked! The competition was fierce (her 6 year old) and I totally blew out the record for hoola hooping and dodging shoes and Panda’s in the soccer event. Tight rope walking? No prob, I’m a champ. Now when I find an extra $300 I’ll Bii Fit!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm rethinking this age thing...

When my headlights pulled out of my driveway this morning, I had to turn on my windshield wipers the raindrops were starting to accumulate beyond a mere drizzle. I turned the volume up on my radio and began the trek to work. The radio announcer cleared his voice and spoke the phrase only a truly confident man can, “There is no chance of rain in the forecast today, highs are in the upper 70’s…”

Hmmmmm, those are rain drops I see, aren’t they? Forgot, there for a second, whether or not I was fully awake. Must be that he’s special, doesn’t have to be right or wrong at work, just shows up.

Hey! You! I’m counting down now the day’s in which I will forever leave my formative years and plod the downwards path towards inexistence that we know as “old age”. But I’m starting to get used to the perks.
Oh, I’ll have tons of posts ranting on the unfairness of things like GRAVITY, and menopause and the way that the hands of time fly off the clock and down to the floor it flies by so fast. But for now, I have been psyching myself up for the big turn of the ½ century event. Five-Oh.

Perk #1. I don’t really have to hear a thing. Seems quite innocent really, speak the hell up, my dear, I can’t hear you whining, complaining, or asking me to pass you the salt or refresh your coffee or where the screwdriver is. I’m becoming hard of hearing. It was all the rock n roll of my early youth and my 30’s. I blame the WalkMan.

Perk #2. I don’t really “want” any gifts. I buy my own clothes, in fact I love to shop. I am trying to rid my home of the clutter that is the accumulation of the “stuff” that I couldn’t part with, the home décor, hobby items and kitchen gadgets that I found so interesting, but now see no need for. Simplify, simplify. Every day, throw away!

Perk #3. I’m in no big hurry. Now that may be the largest and most meaningful perk yet. I used to be a speed demon. Drove my car at a rip roaring speed, up and down the driveway! Had a little bit of road rage driving to work behind some slow poke ol lady driver going below or just at the speed limit. Guess what? THAT’S ME!
I’m in no hurry to clean the whole house on the same day, or to pay all my bills as soon as my paycheck is deposited. I no longer organize my junk drawer on a yearly basis. I’m in no hurry…no one judges me on how clean my junk drawer is anyway. I’m no hurry behind the lady with 4 pre-school aged kids in the grocery store who is taking forever to find her debit card. The kids are amusing, cute and hey, what the heck do I have to hurry home for? I’m slowing down a little. Slowing down until I stop? No, not this year, but slowing down to smell the roses I should have smelled for the last 49 years.

So, HEY YOU readers. (oh who’m I kidding? Readers plural? ) Take a chill will ya !

Saturday, August 9, 2008

No Passports, No Jets, No Fuss

Seems everyone has been or is on vacation this summer. Not everyone, but I suppose there are a few of us out there, are doing mounds of laundry, getting caught up on housecleaning/bill paying and escorting their homebound mother into the shower for a scrub down. I need a vacation. It’s not in the cards for awhile.

Ahhhh, sit back, have someone fix you a drink (anything poured over tequila) and deliver a superb snack slash meal that YOU DIDN’T cook! Toggling my pedicured toes in the cool sparkling water, oh, and while I’m dreaming it, I weigh 125 lbs and have on a two piece suit over my tanned, perfectly toned body.

___________________stop. __________________

Instead, I’m escaping minute by minute into this.

The Time Traveler’s Wife, By Audrey Niffennegger

It’s a weird tale of a man who is a librarian and has by some strange fluke of chromosomes the ability to time travel. He cannot control the “trips” in and about his past and future, but along the way, his adult self meets his wife who is a child, and since he is coming from the future, spends time with her as she grows up. Eventually they meet in the present time, she recognizing him, knowing all about him, and he does not know her. They fall in love and marry. Each and every day an adventure. The book is written in both their perspective’s. The time travel portion isn’t all glamorous as one may imagine (he travels with nothing, no clothes, no money and often arrives hungry, naked and nauseated). The love story is unique, the concept well written and thought out and it sucks you into it, forgetting your own surroundings. It takes place in Chicago, which is in my own front yard. So familiar, and so different in this book.

I give it two thumbs up! If you can read it on the beach, with waves splashing in your foreground – that much better!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Resurrecting Fun Fact Friday

TGIF to you all! I need something “fun” especially on my blog if not in real life. So, I resurrected a stolen Blog Idea – Fun Fact Friday! Yeah!

*My mother made it home safely from the hospital. She’s in a weakened state, but spirits are really up now that she is home, in her own bed barking out orders to anyone who will listen. (And then apologizing for them, it’s a tad annoying, but if you have an IPod, you are totally justified in using it in this instance)

*I smelled “autumn” in the air yesterday morning. No, it’s not sharpened pencils and new crayons; it’s a cool, moist crispness in the air that signifies shortened summer days. I did smell it, smell around you all, I mean it- you will too! Don't look at me and roll your eyes, do will too smell it.

*While you are all smelling, I’m noticing lately that along with all the other crap I can blame on the onset of menopause – my sense of smell is really diminishing. Don’t tell my husband or any other guy for that matter-as you can imagine the obnoxious gaseous fumes I’d have to endure.

*Sorry about the above but… Really, everybody poos. Everyone farts. Deal with it.

*Really glad it’s Friday – even though the weekend isn’t a time that I’ll be “off”. I’ve still got household chores, some moderate “nursing” and a dinner on Sunday that will be taxing at best.

*I’ve noticed that on some of my favorite blogs lately, there is a guest post – or when someone is gone on vacation, they have someone else post for them – anyone care to share? Anyone want to exchange blog ideas? Email me if you do, this would be a good idea when there are huge Writer’s Block days. That would be Cool huh? And a really good plug for each other’s blogs! Great-it’s a deal then, a dare if you will, post a comment with your email address if you want me to contact you about this blog share deal. Out of a Fun Fact Friday, a good idea arose. Hmmmmm.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Who's on First? and Other Dramatic Discoveries

She seems confused.

I’m sick of this comment. For the simple reason, the people who mouth the comment are comfortable in their environment. No fish outta water here, Nope, they talk in medical jargon, expecting folks to understand, I do, but perhaps a scared, pissy, 78 year old woman who is afraid she’ll never be able to go home to her moldy home does not.

It just goes to prove: You really NEVER know where someone is coming from.

We are all just different enough that we connect briefly with each other, but not totally.

She is confused.

So would you be if sections of your mind were stuck in the dream land that you find so compelling. So utterly fascinating that it seems like a really great novel, captivating you enough that you don’t want to set it down. And then a portion of your mind is hollering for you to get up and have your temperature taken. Big deal.

You know she is confused.

I see and hear the weird stuff that sometimes comes out of her mouth, her eyes are not focused on your face, they are focused on the bed sheets, staring at them but not really seeing them. Confusion? Nah, she’s more absorbed in her own thoughts, her own day, her own conversations in where the subject is about her, the entire content is about her, there is no one else really. Me, me, totally Me. So the confusion really folks, is yours. Yours because you’ve no idea where she is. So when she speaks and it seems out of context, snap to it Preppy – follow along please, what the hell are you???? Confused?

Mom: I think I ordered fish tonight, I’m so hungry, I don’t know why I’m eating so much here, so much and so fast. I ordered fish, I don’t fix fish at home for myself, and their fish is really good here, I had some a few days ago. Wait until you see it.

Me: (looking up from the book I’m reading) They went upstairs to get your tray, it’ll be here soon.

Mom: I hope I ordered fish. I had pot roast for lunch, and angel food cake. I remember ordering fish, so it must be coming for dinner.

Here comes the tray, she is so excited, as if lunch wasn’t a mere 5 hours ago, as if this were a 5 ***** restaurant, as if she herself were 5.

Mom: Look Jacquelyn, (yeah, my mom calls me Jacquelyn mostly) this looks like chicken.

She asks me to cut up her salad for her and hands me the utensils, she’s getting tired now. The move to a new floor, Rehab, and the excitement of a shower, the prospect of fish…too much for her.

Mom: The chicken here is so good too. So flavorfull, so moist. It’s just that I had myself set on fish.
She looks at the slip of paper that is delivered with each meal, it’s a computer print out of what you have ordered from the hospital menu the day before. It says clearly, COD.

Mom: I did order fish, it says here COD. I hope I get Cod tomorrow, because now I have to eat this chicken when I wanted Cod.

Me: But you said the chicken was good. ( I notice she can barely talk between bites she is shoveling it in so fast)

Mom: I wonder if the Cod went to someone else and I have their chicken. They are eating my Cod. I wanted Cod. I ordered fish. The fish here is so good, and they give you a lot, two huge pieces or one big one.

Me: That’s good, eat your chicken Ma, maybe you can get fish tomorrow. The peaches look really good too. (????)

Mom: It’s just that I had my heart set on that Cod. See here, I told you I ordered Cod, I circled it yesterday. I couldn’t remember if I ordered it for lunch or for dinner, but I knew I ordered it.

The nurses asst. steps in to check on her, and asks are you settling in ok?

Mom: They didn’t bring my right tray, they gave my Cod to someone else and I had to have chicken.

Me: MOM, Let Go of the COD. You can have fish another day. This chicken was tasty and moist and good.

Mom: Oh, yeah, I know. (She nods and finishes her peaches with a renewed zeal)

Where is the confusion? There is none. Her world is so small, so contained, so precise. When she is out of her element, she is doubting herself, and she speaks it aloud. Everyone around her acts as though she isn't present, speaks about her, not to her, and speaks to me as if she isn't there. She feels that they THINK she is losing her mind. I think they pass judgement on the elderly. I think it is they who are confused and don't quite know what is going on. Their world moves at a quicker pace as caregivers, with many patients and very little time to get into the space of just one of them. Can't they see that she's not a sharp 30 year old? That her hearing is impaired, that her mind is repeating the thought again in fragments, so that she can absorb the entire thought and not forget it? And she's doing it aloud, for everyone's benefit. So that you can judge for yourself that she is full of self doubt, but bringing it right back around to victory! She is indeed correct.

Who is confused?

Friday, August 1, 2008

We are all destined for this spot

She’s looking older, frailer (Is that a word?) each day. The stay away from her home (she's almost agoraphobic these last five years) is causing her some mighty high anxiety. I’m seeing things I’ve not noticed before. She is chatting uneasily with every person who enters the room. Housekeeping, the CNAs, the nurse, nurses aids, physical therapy, phlebotomist, all she tells her story to, because they say in monotone syllables, “How are you doing today?. It’s been so long that she’s had some socialization; she tells each of them her story, in a fragmented and confused sort of way.

She’s having difficulty sleeping through the night. She’s up at midnight, staring at the clock, and as she naps, she has nightmares. Nightmares that she can’t shake loose, so when she wakes, she’s half in the nightmare and half out. This causes those who surround her to think that she’s demented. She KNOWS it, and can’t STOP it, so she is ashamed. It’s a cycle, a humiliating and frightening cycle. She talks about it all during the day, through her sleepy morning, and early afternoon, until I force her to nap, stand guard against all the medical personnel who need to gather vitals, blood, give her treatments. “Stay away!”, let her rest peacefully for an hour or two! And she does.

I sit by idly reading the newspaper, wrapped in a sweater that I brought for her to wear because the air conditioning is on “cold” or “heat”, and right now it’s cold. I too have lost control of what day it is. My routine has been shattered as well, so I decide to go outside in the sunshine and make a few phone calls on my cell phone.

I sit on the park bench outside her hospital entrance, no signal on my phone. Watching the comings and goings of “people with a purpose.” (I am a serial finger quoter- GAH) Some how I’m sad. My mother doesn’t seem to be getting better, no, only more frail for having lie in bed for so long, only more fearful and paranoid, from lack of sleep. Her back is worse from this hospital bed. Is there health on the horizon? I really don’t know.

People fascinate me. Their purpose in the hospital is to tend to HUMANITY in a clinical way, however, some forget that they are HUMAN and there is a connection that they must make with each and every patient. Hey MEANIE, do you have a mother/grandmother some where? Is this how you treat her? IS this how you want to be treated? Most are nice to her though, if they need to roll their eyes they do it out of sight. I see visitors who have brought small children (en masse-SWEAR) like it’s daycare in that germy hospital!!!! THAT’S the very reason that we have MRSA -EXPOSURE!

I look at the somewhat strange reactions I’ve received lately from all my friends and family. I remember what my eldest daughter Sarah said to me just this afternoon as we watched the rain and thunderstorm from Gram’s window in her room (great view by the way) “Mom, we keep expecting people to be different, to live up to our expectations, and then when they don’t we are upset. We need towork on accepting them for who they are, that they’ll never change”. If they do, BONUS! I suppose she is ultimately correct, because I want the same acceptance from others. She's so smart, my girl.

My mother is taking forever to leave her slumber laden consciousness. She talks aloud in fragments (much like THIS blogger, with fragments!) that seem to not make sense. She tells me that hot soup will melt the ice and then you can’t ice skate.
Mom do you know what you are saying? Yes, she giggles, but it makes some sense, right? Hot soup will melt the ice. She knows she’s talking crap, but she can’t stop. As she wakens fully, she tells me of her fears. She is anxiety ridden, and starts to get teary. I’ve not seen my mom teary. Bitchy, yep, teary no. I hold her hand and ask her why she is so fearful? She doesn’t know, and tells me, I’m turning back into a child, and I can’t get it to stop.

Today is Friday, pray that there is some sort of relief for her, some handle in the abyss that she can grab onto and make it slow down, that damn spiral.

Dolly, dog and a young "Gram" mother as a child.