Sunday, June 28, 2009

Senior citizen decision - Chocolate or Vanilla?

So, I get Mom all cleaned up yesterday - hair's done, fresh gown and robe. Clean as, well, an old daisy.

I asked her if she wanted an ice cream sandwich. 'Yes, please' was the quite polite reply. I asked if she wanted chocolate or vanilla ice cream (having been the thoughtful daughter and purchased both).

'Chocolate, please' was the polite reply.

So, all is well for exactly 5 seconds when I hear a very small 'uh oh.'

I look over and, well.....

After she tried (in vain, I might add...) to clean it up, she looks at me and says:

'I guess next time, I'll have vanilla.....'

Two more very quick things this morning:

1. I'm not sure what's gotten into my hen and chickens but one looks particularly happy:

And 2. There is a reason Mom told me to stay off motorcycles (owwww and, ewwww...):

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Missing Dad!

Well, lookie, lookie! We've got our first tomato and, let me tell you, dear Joe has been sitting on my shoulder every single time I went outside to check its ripening status. I could literally hear his voice 'It's not ready yet.' 'No, not today, maybe next week.' 'It's looking pretty red, Lori' and so on. Yesterday, when I went to pick it and presented it to Gert, I heard Dad say 'Is that it?' Amazing how he impacts my life daily, even though he's no longer physically with us.

I find it interesting also that I've become a tomato eater just in the last 2 years since Dad's been gone. Always hated the little buggers but now I actually crave them. It must be his spirit infusing itself in me as he loved nothing more than to head to the garden with a salt shaker. He'd come back in 30 minutes, licking his lips and rubbing his belly.

Mom recalls a trip down to the Everglades in Florida where they went into a pick-your-own tomato field. When they got their sack of tomatoes and the proprietor put them on the scale, Mom told the gyy that he should weigh Dad instead of the sack...

Gert's doing ok but is having spells of shortness of breath still. I've finally got her adjusted to using the inhaler (boy, was THAT an interesting time...) as we use something called a 'spacer' with it. Much easier to use now although she still can't use it alone but that's ok, I don't mind helping her. I'm hoping though that, after her cat scan and follow up appointment with the pulmonologist next month, we'll have a clear reason why she's having periodic episodes. I've been checking the air quality index (AQI) daily to see what the code is and have certainly been aware of restricting even going on the porch to days when the AQI is excellent. Otherwise, she's pretty well and keeps me entertained, as do the dogs and the cat.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Getting creative with a senior citizen

Now, took Mom for a manicure and pedicure last week and this is what happened! I think it's just too cool that she went for blue! Talked me into it too - I have polka dots. As they were finishing mine up, Mom looks at me and says 'I have nicer feet than you do.' Thanks, Mom.

Here's an ehow I just wrote about a creative way to hold a hand of cards - Note: mom won $.83 in this game - she doesn't have any problems being a card shark:

How to Play Cards With A Senior Citizen

Now, on a different note, here's how John and I spend sunny days. Not a bad life at all. The pool has been quite delightful so far this year and we've actually been in it more this summer. Unfortunately, due to Mom's breathing issues (she can't sometimes!), she has to stay in the house instead of joining us pool side.

I took Mom to a pulmonologist last week as she complains of shortness of breath. Really unfortunately, her breathing spells are unpredictable so movement is sort of restricted at the moment. She's on an inhaler 4 times a day (try to teach a 92 year old to use an inhaler - let's put it this way, senior services would NOT like to see me pinching her nose shut). Anyhow, she's fine today but that doesn't mean she'll be fine in 5 minutes.

The pulmonologist did an X-ray which was quite clear - no masses, no nothing. The doctor was fairly impressed! The doctor does want Mom to get a cat scan though so the doctor can get a better idea of why mom has this problem so we'll do that before our follow up visit next month. Other than the breathing thing, she's doing quite well and is chipper, as always.

Finally, here's 2 more ehows (I don't think I posted them earlier but my memory isn't what it used to be - I'd have to ask Mom...):

How to Get A Price Sticker Off A New Picture Frame

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to catch a cat in the act

So, you know the tale tell sign that the cat is grooming - the lick, lick, lick, slurp, lick, with a few sighs of content thrown in. I came upon these sounds the other day while JB was in the kitchen. Now I've been fascinated by watching him groom previously; this cat gets into some acrobatic poses that would make the Cirque d'Soliel performers green.

So, the only thing I had handy to document the poses was my phone - good thing it has a camera. I was on picture 4 before he realized something was up. I just love these photos (if he had a middle finger, he would have used it in the last photo):

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We're on our way to being millionaires...

Ha, sure...

Mom and I have decided that we just can't let the Belmont Stakes run without a bit of our money on the winning horse (it's our theory anyway). Now, this 'theory' has already cost me an extra $50 as, when John and I went to the Cracked Claw last night to place Mom and my's bet (100 to win on Mine That Bird, 20 across the board on the same horse - well, we couldn't decide....). Anyway, the gambler in me just had to hit a few races so, $50 later, I had nada. Nothing. No money. Out.

My Dad was there, right on my shoulder, as I placed my (stupid) bets last night. I bought a program for $4 (but not before checking the trashcans for tossed ones....). John and I looked through the program and picked horses by names - yep, you read that right. No need to check if it was a 'mudder', no need to find if it was a 3 year old maiden (never won a race....). Nope, we didn't need any of those pesky statistics that the owners throw at you; after all, the font is SO small, who over 50 can read it anyway....?

So, we picked by name - come on, who can LOSE with 'Tequila At Sunset'? We could. And, how about 'Kitty Power'?! I mean, come on now... I have a CAT! And, lest we need to explain 'Harbor Lights', who, as I type, is probably rounding the last curve right now.....

We laughed like hell. We were idiots - we faded right into the derelicts around us.

The best bet though was the one I placed in the last seconds before race 4 was about to be run at Penn National race track. The horse was named 'I Will Win' - now, really! Who the hell wouldn't go for that horse? This was a horse with confidence - And, the really funny thing was that there were 10 horses planned for the race and 5 scratched due to the muddy track. That left only 5 horses to run, and I Will Win went off at 10-1!!!! This was not a decision! We HAD to bet on her (3 year old maiden....). So, I went to the make the bet and bet just $2 on the win - none of that 2 dollars across the board needed on this horse. After all, she was going to WIN. After all, they've all but assured this when they named the sucker...We also had another horse in the same race so, we had a 2 out of 5 chance of winning something...
We would have had a better shot if this horse had run...

I'm sure I don't need to detail the moans, groans and cries of disgust as I Will Win came in 2nd. Yes, 2nd. I only had her to win - dammit....John just was astonished that I hadn't bet here across the board, then, at least, we would have gotten something! Nope, I 'saved' $4 by only betting 2 and missed a quite nice payout...

Well, we did quite badly. At one point, John told me that he thought my Dad was tossing in his grave - he was right on. I could hear Dad yelling 'WHAT are you DOING?' 'You shouldn't even be HERE!' 'GO HOME NOW.' John had me laughing so hard on the way home that I had to pull over. I couldn't see.

I don't believe John and I will be back to the Cracked Claw for quite a while...

Anyway, Mom and I went for Mine That Bird for the Belmont (well, our last name is BURDoo....). That horse better come in...

Well, anyway, I'd better find another way to make money so here's my latest eHow: How to Make A Delicious Low Carb Egg Salad

Friday, June 5, 2009

On blogging, or, well, not...

Ok, I hear you people! I've been very remiss about updating the blog so will try, again (sigh), to be diligent and post at least a few times a week.

So, what's been going on at the Mansion East? Not a hell of a lot! Gert is doing quite well - with the break in the weather, I actually got her to go out twice last week. One day, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond where she bought me a nice quilt and bedsheets for my birthday. Then, we tottled over to La Mex where we sat at the bar (whiskey sour for her, marguerita for me) and chatted with the other locals. Had a great time. Today, we have planned to head over to do some off-track betting at the Cracked Claw - we'll, hopefully, go for lunch and place a few bets while we sit there. The real reason for the outing though is to place a few bets on the Belmont Stakes race - Mom and I will take any opportunity to gamble!

Picture to the left is Mom watching a video on the computer - I just thought it was a cute mix of the old and the young.... The other pic is not a particularly good pic of Mom but it highlights the choice little dog sitting spot in the house. If Matee isn't on the back of Mom's chair, Rita is. Can someone please tell me the exact date and time when we lost control?!

Bobbi, John and I spent a nice happy hour last week over at the Comus Inn which is over by Sugarloaf Mountain (it's the closest we get to a 'real' mountain at 1282 feet....). Anyway, happy hour was great - started inside as it was dribbling rain then the sun came out, right in time for sunset! Nice time was had by all

For my birthday, Mom took John, Sophia and me over for fondue to The Melting Pot. If you haven't been there, it's great! It's one of John and my's favorite spots. What I didn't think about though was that I would end up cooking Mom's dinner anyway that night as the poor thing couldn't quite reach the pot in the middle of the table! Had a lot of laughs though. She's so much fun to have around.

Last weekend, Sophia stayed with Mom Saturday night while John and I took the boat down to Cambridge for the evening. He gave me a night in a gorgeous B&B just 1/2 block from the marina where we left the boat. We walked the town, had dinner on the water at Snapper's (ok food, better location - tiki bar was great though and they have a 'beach' area where you can sit in Adirondack chairs in the sand). The next morning found us drinking hot coffee on the front porch of the old B&B which is actually older than my house by 10 years, having been built in 1847! Anyway, we sat on the beautiful front porch and watched, with a bit of dismay, at the deluge occurring outside. I was a bit concerned about how we were going to get home as I didn't have coverage for Mom for Sunday night. I figured, if worse came to worse and the weather didn't break, I could rent a car and just drive it. Anyway, as we considered the options, the weather broke into a fabulous day! We powered the boat to the Bay and then spent the rest of the day sailing around. We stopped outside of Chesapeake Beach, anchored the boat, threw a float overboard and hopped in after it. Water was a nice temp - 71.5 degrees which was just perfect for a few hour float. We also met up with a great friend of John's, Alfonso, who has a new gorgeous sailboat (pictures follow). We sailed along with him for awhile before pulling down the sails and motoring over to the marina where we stowed the boat and went to Petey Green's Restaurant for a fabulous dinner of fresh crabs (well, for me at least - John's too much of a weenie to pick crabs...). I saved all the claws and brought them home for Mom as she just loves the things. So, the weekend was incredible....

I've still been writing for eHow - actually made $98 last month - woohoo. Hell, it's a few happy hour cocktails! Here's a list of the latest since I last blogged - head over, read them and share them with your friends (please!) - as you'll note by the last few, I'm very into blue crabs this year!

How to Get In Shape For Just $75