Monday, June 9, 2008

The beginning of a wondrous time

Well, having decided to take the summer off (coincidentally, I gave notice 2 weeks before I got laid off - had to ask in a meeting if I quit or was fired......). Anyway, have decided to take the summer off to devote more time to making some memories with my dear Mother. So, this blog is designed to keep everyone updated on Gertie and our travels as we go about our days.

Just got back from Nassau where bff Bobbi and I kicked the summer (and my 50th birthday) off in fine fashion at a resort smack dab beachfront. Lots of beach sitting, trash talking and drink sipping occurred. Darling boyfriend, John, stayed with Mom while I was gone with periodic visits from Jeff and Sophia who made a chinese dinner feast one night (yes, we're totally blessed by the best friends ever). I was a bit concerned when I left (for John's sake, not for Mom's), but, all went well at the Mansion East while I was gone - thereby proving that I'm not really all that necessary after all. Mom, John, and all 5 dogs survived. Whew!

But, summer is starting off a bit slow around the Mansion East. Have been hoping to get Mom out (moving and shaking) but have been largely unsuccessful as of late. Too much heat (with an advisory for the elderly ) means that we'll stay in the Mansion in the cool. Well, as cool as we can get with window unit air conditioners. But, doesn't mean we won't have fun. Early mornings and late evenings might find us spending a fair amount of time on the balcony watching the cars go by or on the back deck watching the grass grow. Not too bad at all. One thing Mom's taught me this past year is to slow down and look around periodically. One of the many lessons she's quietly (and sometimes, not quite as quietly as I would prefer) taught me.

Bobbi, Sophia, John and I spent the afternoon in the pool yesterday (well, someone has to do it). Gert took a nice nap, along with John's pug, Matee, who tends to curl up with her. Mom credits this dog with her greatly reduced blood pressure at her last doctor visit last week - 120/60. I think her bp is better than mine. Rita (my newest little dog) does not get credited at all - it just figures. Mom's way more attached to the 'rental' dog. At any rate, Mom and Matee are fast friends. Matee has a side job as a Hoover vacuum, cleaning crumbs up from both Mom and the floor so there is a symbiotic relationship going on. Pretty funny to watch. My dogs, on the other hand, are not very amused...especially Australian Shepherd Killian who clearly is concerned that his spot as favorite dog is waning.

Spent yesterday evening playing Wii with Sophia and John. Mom loves watching us play the thing, and it really is a pretty good time. You can actually work up a sweat boxing, bowling or shooting archery. Mom tried the thing a few weeks ago but couldn't quite get the bowling thing down; she kept hitting the audience. We'll try again later.

Having people over keeps Mom more engaged so I try to schedule different folks to drop by periodically. The standards (Bobbi, Sophia, John, Jeff, Joni, and the Davids) are always available on short notice. If I could only keep Mom stocked in oatmeal/raisin cookies - she's a glutton when it comes to those. I make at least a batch a week. Made a full batch yesterday and have an order for more for today. Made her some great English Muffin Bread yesterday which she thinks is just delightful toasted.

Heading to the cabin this coming week for 4 or 5 days in the mountains. John's house is a short 20 minute ride from the cabin so that's nice. Bobbi and her 2 dogs will come up Saturday bringing the grand total to 4 people and 7 dogs in the cabin which is always an interesting time. For Mother's Day, one of Mom's presents was a removal of the old (rather scary) steps and the installation of a new ramp so she doesn't have any steps to maneuver now. She loved it! Next up is finishing the basement. Of course, she hasn't seen the basement as she can't walk the steps but, with the use of a digital camera, she's still calling the shots (pun fully intended). She's very resourceful though and has great ideas that my friends and I would never come up with (like the time we were wallpapering the kitchen in the Mansion East and I had underestimated the size of the room. I had run out of paper save one long strip which just wasn't going to make it. Mom looked at the space that needed papering, looked at the long strip and said 'Hang that sucker up there sideways!' Luckily, because of the random pattern, well, we have some sideways wallpaper up there to this day - totally brilliant move).

Mom's also great at sweet talking the workmen we frequently have around the house. Our handyman extraordinaire, Ben, is in total love with her and never fails to ask me 'How's Mom today.' They were dancing 'separately together' yesterday as Ben was doing a shuffle in the driveway and dear Gert was rockin' and rollin' inside the livingroom. That cracked everyone up. And, it's a good thing she's good with workmen as we've sprung yet another leak (sigh) so there will be another plumber here tomorrow (double sigh).

Ok, enough blogging. I hope to update daily but no guarantees. Life can get busy around here.


  1. sounds like gertie is teaching you the meaning of life

  2. Oh, dear Jai. How I miss you. The cancer took your early but I don't think I will ever forget your zest for life - or the fact that you let us borrow your wigs and put them on Gert. I'm sure heaven got a bit sweeter when you hit the gates.


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