Log in

Tossed Salad Friday

I’m breaking this blog up into three parts today. I have attracted new readers who crave continuing craziness from dementia-land, and I’ve been depriving a loyal group of readers (some who go all the way back to 2006 when I began blogging) of the political rantings they request. So feel free to skip and choose. I’m just grateful to have such great readers!

Details from Dementia-Land

~~ My husband finds the aide sitting in the shade of a tree in our side yard with her elderly charge in full sun. What’s going on? “The sun is no good for me,” says the aide. Well, it’s not good for an 88-year-old woman who’s not wearing a hat or sunscreen, either. The aide shrugs.

~~ Oh, but that’s nothing. We are now privileged to have a “Messenger from G-d” in our home. OK, OK, I’ll back up and elaborate: There was food of the aide’s in the microwave for at least 10 minutes after the cook cycle ended, and my dogs wanted dinner. Tired of waiting, I opened the microwave and went to remove the plastic tub. It was hot, so I held it gingerly around the edges and walked it the three yards into the area where the aide sat on the couch gabbing on her phone. I released it onto the table and was walking away when I heard, “You treat me like an animal dropping my food like that.” What? I turn back and say, “It’s hot. Thank you would have been sufficient.” I know I shouldn’t have said anything, but who could have predicted her dropping to her knees, waving her arms in the air and screaming, “Oh, thank you for treating me like a dog! Thank you! But you don’t know that I am a messenger from G-d and YOU   ARE   EVIL!

~~ There was more, of course. Apparently I couldn’t do her job because I “just sit around all day” and she’s “keeping a list.” (Uh-oh.) I snarkily said, “Satan is leaving,” and I departed with a semi-obligatory door slam.

~~ She’s gotta go, of course, but her lazy and nasty personality is only part of the problem. Home health care agencies need to do a better job of assessing the long-term temperament of employees they assign to live in for weeks, caring for someone who yells, BIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH! at the top of her lungs for an hour. Or NAKED! NAKED! HEE, HEE, HEE, HEE, NAKED! for that matter. It’s a hard job, but the screening process is pathetic. With a capital P and that rhymes with B which stands for Bullshit.

Life Observations

~ The doctor’s office says it can’t give me a copy of my recent test results unless I sign a release and wait seven to 10 days. Moreover, I need to confirm that I have an appointment with another doctor or I can’t have a copy of the results. I say, “If I was in the office when the doc discussed this with me, she would have hit print and I could have had it on my way out, right?” Yes, the Politburo-in-training record clerk confirmed. But because the doc called me, I had to “follow procedure.”

~~ This:

~~ I told a friend I was anxiously awaiting seeing the “Absolutely Fabulous” movie this weekend. “The TV show’s a movie?” she squealed. Yes, I said, and her voice rose even higher. “This is the best thing ever since I won 87 dollars in the lottery!”

~~ If you’re seeking recommendations for books, the list I compiled for Boating Times is a really good one: http://boatingtimesli.com/NY/hotreadsfortheboat/
You don’t have to be relaxing on the deck of a boat to enjoy any of these, but it’ll make it better, believe me!

WTF Politics

~~ I’m writing this before Thursday night’s speeches, so just reach out if you want my reaction to Trump’s sermon or anything else that you want to discuss respectfully.

~~ This week has shown two subsets of people. One is the group that has no idea how to spell plagiarize. And the other has no idea what it means (yes, there is overlapping). Look, typos happen, but Twitter and Facebook have spellcheck, so I’m thinking these experts believe they know better. Then there are bottom feeders like Chris Christie who claim that if 93% of the speech isn’t copied, it’s not a ripoff. I guess if his teachers gave exams with 100 questions and he only copied seven answers from the smart girl in front of him, his teacher would have no cause to flunk him and his school couldn’t suspend him?

~~ Listen, the plagiary isn’t an ordinary mistake. Melania Trump claimed on national TV that she wrote it, though a staff copywriter came forward days later to say she did. This is a national convention, people — whether the speech was written by the college dropout who lies and says she has a degree or the Trump employee (who has been publicly accused of errors before in one of the books she co-wrote with him), no one scanned the speech for plagiarism? It takes moments with readily available software that editors and teachers employ all the time. The speech Melania ripped off was no different from her husband blatantly appropriating Queen’s music without permission or payment. Or Ivanka Trump’s allegedly ripping off Aquazzura’s shoe designs. These are entitled people who wink at each other and take what they want, thinking we’re too ignorant to find out or too insignificant to matter. Just ask all the people Trump has stiffed and smeared along his route to this point.

~~ According to Eric Trump, animal slayer, his dad is going to bring Christmas back from wherever it has been banished by President Obama. I reread the Constitution and I can’t find Christmas mentioned anywhere! Then again, I can’t find “Article 12” either, which Trump has pledged to defend! http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/07/07/donald-trumps-pledge-to-defend-article-xii-of-constitution-raises-eyebrows/

~~ Hey! I just realized that I’m evil and Ben Carson says Hillary Clinton is a Lucifer-worshipper. Could that mean Ben and Newt’s posse is coming after me, too?

~~ Mike Pence is on record stating women have no place in the military, LBGTQ have no place in the country, and that it’s “hysteria” to think tobacco kills. You OK with that? I’m not.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I tweeted about boating with the family being challenging but mostly FUN. Here’s what happened that changed the meaning entirely when someone retweeted that post:

~~ A caller to a sports talk show cracked me up. He said, “I’m a Yankee fan for 30 years, and I want you to know about me. Some people see the glass as half-full and some see it as half-empty. I don’t even see the glass!”

~~ A friend told me, “I had a dream about you where you bought a zoo and you let me run it.” I asked her what she thought it meant and she said, “Dunno. Probably too much Mexican food.”

~~ I heard a story that every parent can probably relate to at some point. The storyteller shared how the family drove to New Hampshire from Long Island because her teenage child was participating in a lacrosse tournament. When they arrived early enough to grab a leisurely lunch before the action started, the teen asked, “Where’s my bag?” It seems she left all her equipment home, so they drove to the nearest sporting goods store, which happened to be 30 miles away in another state. They spend a ton of money on replacement equipment and arrived back at the field with minutes to spare. My kids usually announced at 10:00 pm they needed posterboard or a tie-dye tee shirt by 7:30 am the next morning, but it’s a quick jump to the lacrosse story.

~~ Regular readers know I live with someone with dementia. Yesterday I swear she was repeatedly screaming, at the tip-top of her lungs, SWING, BATTER, BATTER, BATTER! There was a semi-song that went YOU ARE POOOOO, DOO, DOO, DOOOO, YOU DON’T KNOW, HATE, HATE, HATE, and a lot of hocking up phlegm and lecturing on things that made no sense to me whatsoever. And a pervasive smell of latex and poop.

~~ The aide got under my skin 12 ways this week, aside from being on the phone so long that I am sure she sucked up the data allocated to at least three small countries. Listen, I know it’s hard to be in someone else’s house, but you’re in someone else’s house. Try to be respectful and not leave behind wet paper towels, a dirty sponge, knives facing up in the dishwasher, crumbs on the counter, and a top of an oatmeal packet. Don’t be all up under my armpit coring an apple as I make the dogs their dinner, and don’t take one of the sweet potatoes I roasted —there were six when I put them on the counter to cool, and when I returned, there were five. When I inquired, she said, “Oh, maybe I thought they were for the lady’s dinner.” Right.

~~ Maybe next week I’ll have the strength — and words — for some soapbox roaring. Lord knows I have enough material. Right now I’m all wrung out from no baseball all week and life at the nut farm. I’m hearing YOU ARE DEAD, LA LA, DEEEEEEE-AAAD, LA LA as I type this. Four rooms away.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Here’s what I heard every day this week, screamed for extended periods at the top of remarkably robust lungs:




~~ Line number three is a favorite refrain, whether shrieked in glee or anger. Sometimes it’s both semi-simultaneously.

~~ Unless you’re a telephone operator, make cold sales calls, or do customer service, I challenge you to prove that you are on the phone more during work hours than the home health aide. What in heaven’s name can you have to say for 10 or 11 hours a day?

~~ As I type this, she’s speaking loudly and animatedly in a language that I cannot understand, although the words “shitty ass” may or may not be part of the conversation.

~~ I believe she has locked onto some punitive pirouette wherein she hears me heading for the kitchen or the washing machine and she gets there even faster. She puts something in the toaster oven at 450 degrees and then leaves it there for 20-30 minutes, or lunges for the microwave or washer. Call me paranoid if you like, but I have varied my times in an effort to avoid this maneuvering and territorialism.
Yet anytime my flip flops flap on the floor — Abra Cadabra! Like magic, she appears posthaste.

~~ I overheard one woman telling another, “I went to your acupuncturist twice, but he’s more hands-y than needle-y. Who really wants that?”

~~ The guy tried to toss a coffee cup into an outdoors trash receptacle and missed, splashing the cup’s remaining contents across the sidewalk in front of me. I stopped just short of the stream and made startled eye contact with him. He shrugged and said, “It’s just coffee, honey.”

~~ Maybe that story is a metaphor for life nowadays. If whatever flies by you doesn’t actually splash you, shrug it off and say, “It’s just coffee, honey.”

Have a great weekend!


Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I have to admit that this is getting harder and harder all the time. Putting an amusing, flippant spin on my life, I mean. I live and work in a looney bin, dear readers. However, I’ll try to maintain some superficial glibness and hide the absolute destruction of my will to carry on.

~~ The song is loud and clear, in a voice still melodic despite dementia. “La, la, la laaaa, KILL HIM!”

~~ The names have changed in her fog-filled brain. I was “Him,” now I’m “Shit.” Freddy has become “Joe.”

~~ The aide is très dramatique if you call her on anything. She engaged in Occupy Kitchen both Tuesday and Wednesday for three-plus hours at a time, halting me from having lunch. Finally, starving (it was 3:30 pm and I’d had breakfast at 7:00 am) I went in to inquire how fast she could wrap it up. “Oh, oh, oh! You never want me to cook! I’ll never cook again as long as I’m here!” she started, and then continued shouting until I thought my brain would burst. Like a 12-year-old, I went to my room hungry, slamming the door for emphasis.

~~ Yesterday morning I set out to make a cup of tea. She came from her room and literally cut me off on the way to the dispenser. Of course, she drained it entirely.

~~ Unless you are willing to inhale copious amounts of Lysol (I am not — yet), the stench and stink is pervasive. I chose to use both words because they are not redundant. There’s the ever-present stench of someone losing their grip on their body as well as their mind, and there’s the sporadic stinking up of the premises by deceased creatures, abundant unfamiliar spice combos, and burnt toast. Slices and slices of burnt toast, leading me to believe it’s a choice, not an accident.

~~ I have a sliver of good news:  My husband’s car is dead, but it’s summer, so it’s easier for him to walk to work.

~~ I wanted to comment on politics here, across the pond, and everywhere else in the world, but it’s a holiday weekend where everyone deserves a break from my well-known proclivities for ever-expansive, all-inclusive, violence-free advocates and activities.
Have a great weekend! Happy 4th!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ We’ll subtitle today’s blog Cooking Beans and Conversing. Because that’s what killed any possibility of me finding a nice quiet stretch of time to write on Monday. I don’t get why some people shout on a mobile phone — I believe smartphones are supremely capable of picking up normal conversational tones. But don’t tell that to the woman who yakked so loudly that I’m sure people two blocks away wondered why their TVs and radios played only Creole.

~~ Or perhaps we’ll subtitle today’s entry Listen, Listen to How Much She Poops. Better yet —Why You Don’t Have a Broom? is kinda catchy. I was in the zone, so close to finding a great ending to a story, when I was asked the latter. And less-than-enchanted by a recital of the former while I tried desperately to get some alone time with my washing machine.

~~ Did you hear the one about the aide who broke the motor in the hospital bed, then insisted to the agency that it’s an inhospitable place to work because the bed is too low? Don’t worry if you didn’t — it’s not actually a joke.

~~ How about one more non-joke joke? This one’s about a visitor who took a shower in our guest room — the same place the aide resides. The aide apparently took the guest’s wet towel and put it outside over a fallen screen in our backyard, where my husband happened to come across it. Why was it there? “To dry,” of course.

~~ A lovely yoga teacher shared this great quote:

~~ I am truly going to dedicate myself to boredom. I’ll let you know [yawn] if I’m successful.

~~ Seeing as how I’m way behind in my writing and starting to feel some pressure to let things go, I’ll just post this with pride:

~~ And finally share with you that even when you’re lucky enough to find the right person, 37 years of marriage is frickin’ amazing:

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Two women are talking and one says to the other, “Her hair annoys me.” I couldn’t linger longer to eavesdrop, but what could tresses possibly do to annoy another person? I mean, my hair sometimes pisses me off, but I’m fairly certain it hasn’t upset anyone else.

~~ I watched almost every minute of Senator Chris Murphy’s filibuster Wednesday morning into Thursday night. I was proud of the Democrats (and the handful of Republicans and an Independent who showed) making the simple case that 90% of Americans already embrace — it should be a lot harder to buy a weapon than cold medicine. We should be regulating guns like we regulate shampoo on an airplane. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

~~ If you didn’t watch, you might not know that Bernie Sanders didn’t stand with Democrats against lax gun laws. That’s because he’s not a Democrat and he’s not for regulating guns. But other than that, he’s the freaking savior, I’m told again and again on Twitter.

~~ Want to know what it’s like living with someone suffering from dementia? Imagine the most irritating television or radio show you’ve heard, and then blast it 14 hours or so a day. That begins to approach the atmosphere in my home. Shut up, Rush Limbaugh, shut up!

~~ Do you know the song from Spring Awakening called “The Bitch of Living”? It’s not one of my favorite shows, but I sing the song a lot lately.

~~ There’s a growing contingent of readers who tell me they regard my weekly stories of as some kind of (benign) schadenfreude-y soap opera. Since I can’t escape, I’m here to serve. So, let’s go!

~~ We have a new aide again. She asked for a pot to boil a plantain, and four hours later, she was still cooking in the kitchen. My dogs couldn’t eat, we couldn’t make dinner… she just kept cooking. What was she making? “It’s all natural,” she says. Turns out natural means something that revolts me so much that I cannot even type it.

~~ I’m doing laundry and can’t get the stain out of a shirt on the first try. I re-treat it with the stain remover and put it back in the washing machine while the rest tumbles in the dryer. While I go upstairs to get another load, the aide decides that I “forgot” to put the shirt in the dryer. Therefore, she takes it out of the wash, stops the dryer, and tosses the goopy shirt in with the clean clothes. When I seem annoyed that she didn’t ask, she says, “Oh, oh, I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” And she walks away.

~~ My husband confirms his mom is set for dinner before he heads out with our son. The aide calls him to say his mom has no dinner. Frustrated, he calls and asks me to make her something. I do and when I bring it in, I say, “Why didn’t you ask me? Why did you call my husband, who’s out, when I’m two rooms away?” I then get hit with a verbal barrage that included, “Listen, listen, I’m a 63-year-old woman and I don’t need nobody telling me how to do my job!” and “What should I do, your husband says to call him on the phone. I’m not going to walk through the house yelling, ‘Mr. Blah Blah!’” I gave up when she says she doesn’t like being “observed.”

~~ Here’s what’s going on as I write this blog:

 Beep, beep: aide starts microwave.
 Swoosh, swoosh: she washes something in the sink.
 Beep, beep, beep: she re-starts microwave.
 Swoosh, swoosh: she turns on sink again.

Rinse and repeat four more times.

~~ My friend Audrey shared this on Facebook. I hope it makes you laugh!

Happy Fathers Day! Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ If you’ve tuned in for the Further Adventures of Life in the Dementia Lane, you’ll need to check back next week for details. Just know that a new aide arrived after five days (yes, five) and I am typing this to the sound of a potty-mouthed-goat impressionist bleating obscenities while honing her major league spitting skills. Just about the only incentive I can muster up to carry on is my excitement to vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8.

~~ Tears flowed as I watched Secretary Clinton speak Tuesday night. She spoke of wishing her mom could be with her, and I immediately thought of mine. Two generations are gone now, but the other two will be finally fulfilling the mantra that women can achieve everything. (In the U.S., that is — some other countries nailed that female fulfillment thing long ago.)

~~ I thought of my dad Tuesday night as well. The first presidential candidate I worked for was Shirley Chisholm. Things were different then. You couldn’t sit in your office and make campaign calls, directed by your computer screen; you needed to go to a mall or supermarket and hand out postcards and pins. When you’re barely in high school, you need a parent to chauffeur you to canvass, so my dad drove me to a Bohacks supermarket. (I’m pretty sure he circled slowly around the area for 30 minutes to make sure that I was OK.) I was broken-hearted when she bowed out of the race, but dad said it was still a winning campaign. She “broke ground” and I “followed [my] heart.” Dad would have beamed hearing Rep. Chisholm lauded 44 years later.

~~ This tweet hurts my head:

~~ Way to go, Joe Biden. Your letter to the victim of the Stanford rapist is openhearted and smart:

~~ I shake the hairspray can and hear there’s quite a bit left, but nothing comes out. I clean the spray thingy, I wash the nozzle, I twist and turn, but zip comes out. Defeated, I toss the capless can into the trashcan, spout down, where it commences to spray. I remove it, it stops, so I dump it again. The ssssssssssssssssssssssssss of spray continued for a solid two minutes.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ My spouse sees the aide giving his frail mom cheese and crackers in mid-day. He wonders if it’s already time for an afternoon snack. Nope, he’s told, it’s lunch. I guess the aide thought he’d call the agency to report her laziness, so she called first to report that we had no food in the house.

~~ Next aide comes and I walk into the kitchen where I’m greeted by the sight of a pot full of boiling something sitting above a huge gas flame. And no one around. So I walk to another room where the aide is lounging on a couch and tell her she cannot leave a flame unattended. She grumbles and when done cooking, she calls the agency to report that I won’t let her use the kitchen.

~~ My husband hears that from the agency and immediately calls bullshit. When he returns later to check on his mom, the aide tries to enlist him to get me to lay off her. He says no way — we have few rules, but one is not to burn down our house. 

~~Next morning Ms. Firebug yells at me. It’s my problem if I’m “scared of fire” and anyway, she doesn’t have to listen to me because she doesn’t work for me. She works for my husband. He corrects her in no uncertain terms.

~~ She calls the agency back to change the story from my prohibiting the use of the kitchen to my having some psychological issue. The agency calls my husband to explain that I have to get over this irrational fear of flames being blown towards my wood cabinets as a ceiling fan turns rapidly overhead. Leaving a cooking fire unattended is “cultural,” he’s told, and I must be tolerant.

~~ Later, I hear the aide call me an “impossible bitch” to someone on the phone. However, you haven’t heard the worst yet.

~~ From where I’m standing making a cup of tea, I can see the aide’s lower torso and legs as she’s eating in the next room (her head is tilted back and she’s wearing headphones, so I guess she isn’t aware of my proximity). One of my dogs inches towards her —he’s seated— to see what she’s eating, and she kicks him. TRY HOLDING ME BACK NOW. I get the boys away and my husband calls the agency to have her removed. But they don’t promise any quick action.

~~ Next thing you know, my husband sees a very large bruise on his mom. Aide first claims it was there and calls the prior aide to get her to confirm this. Of course, she says it wasn’t. So then the aide starts screaming, gets her stuff, and leaves.

~~ Now we have a frail, bruised woman without care unless we both don’t work today. And an agency rep who tells us that if we need a break, we should try to get my mother-in-law admitted to a hospital.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ The radio announcer said, “Additional charges cost extra.” When were they ever free?

~~ Who takes out a sticky lint brush in the waiting room of a hospital and starts rolling her clothes? She looks at no one in particular, shrugs, and says, “My cat sheds a lot.”

~~ I heard about an actor who died while performing on stage and another who passed while watching TV. These days, those departures from this mortal coil sound so civilized to me.

~~ On the subject of passings, I was very saddened by the announcement of the death of Beth Howland. She was adorable on the TV show Alice, but I adored her so in the original Company!

~~ If vegan food by definition can’t have a mouth, how is the chia pudding in the refrigerator calling my name?

~~ We all know shit happens, but for Pete’s sake, take those fetid diapers full of it outside.

~~ While we’re on the subject, here’s a tip: Should your washing machine smell foul, check for the presence of turd balls. Chances are good, if you live as I do, that you’ll find a few.

~~ The distance between my armpit and the shoulder of another who suddenly has to wash a paper plate while I’m cooking? About this much: < >.

~~ There’s nothing digestion enabling about eating dinner while someone repeatedly screams, “I’m gonna kill you… Don’t laugh, I mean it!” Unless you deem it preferable to the “Stupid. STUPID. STUUUUUUUUPID FACE!” chant that might accompany breakfast or lunch.

~~ This:

~~ Memorial Day is a somber recollection of those who sacrificed for all of us, including my husband’s Uncle Rudy. Let’s keep them all in mind on Monday, and whenever else freedom is in danger.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Fair warning: in today’s anecdotes marine and land creatures die, suicide is implied, and my mortality is threatened. But there are some uplifting sentences, too.

~~ The lawn cutter left the backyard gate open, despite many pleas. Being too harried by half, I didn’t check before letting my dogs out. Sensing freedom, they bolted, and ran together blocks away. I discovered the open gate and ran screaming to seek them out. A driver passing by pointed me in one direction, and then another pinpointed the duo’s last known location. I’m screeching and bawling, begging for them to hear me and return. Blocks away, I find them corralled by a lovely woman. She’s keeping her kids away until I confirmed they were docile and preventing my dumbasses from getting hit by the buses and cars whizzing by. I didn’t catch her name amidst my wailing and anxiety, but rest assured I thanked her profusely.

~~ Look at these culprits — who would leave a home that makes them this comfortable, and a mom who roasts sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts just for them?

~~ Why was I too harried to check on the gate? Let me start from when I ate breakfast with poop hanging heavily in the air. Followed by returning a few hours later to be greeted by the stench of a river at very low tide. On the verge of retching, I follow my nose and quickly come upon heaps and heaps of crab frying up in my kitchen. [Insert semi-puking sounds here.] I won’t go into all the details, but know it took me three hours to reduce the marine odor to where I didn’t feel the urge to heave.

~~ At three hours plus five minutes, I heard the bang and clatter of my pots and pans emerging (new ones, as the others now filled the dishwasher). And a new stink emerged — this one of decaying animal parts cooking up in copious amounts of oil. Sausages by the carcass-load were in my non-stick pan, above a scorching high flame destined to both destroy the pan’s coating and hurl droplets of oil onto every available surface. Speaking of hurling…

There are now no more windows to be opened and no more air freshener within 25 miles, but as I saw the lawn guy pull up in front, I decided to let the dogs out fast while I inhaled some fresh air. I opened the back door and stepped out, and in a matter of seconds, I was falling backwards, narrowly avoiding striking my head on bricks. Was I that clumsy? Only if you define clumsy as slipping on an empty bottle of body wash and another of applesauce left on the back door mat by someone in the house who didn’t know where recyclables go. And thought that leaving them on the doorstep was better than asking.

~~ Was it coincidental that I soon searched online for a poem by Dorothy Parker that I’d tucked somewhere into my memory bank? I think not:
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

~~ There are good stories in the world. My friend Karen wanted me to include her story here about the honest and kind-hearted NYC cab driver named Moe who returned her money and bank cards. Way to be, Moe.

~~ I shared with some people that my son is turning 25. “Oh, to be 25 again!” one said. I chimed in that I’d like to be 25 again, but just for about a week or so. My parents were alive, I got to see my law school friends often, and gravity was a word that had no personal animus. Nevertheless, my kids didn’t exist then, and I knew so much less than I know now that I wouldn’t want to stay 25 for long. How about you?

~~ Sam is indeed 25. A smart, funny, kind man who has a lifetime of learning and loving ahead of him, and a person I’m privileged to know. Happy birthday, Sam!

Have a great weekend!



Latest Month

July 2016



RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Keri Maijala