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Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I’m not someone who offers excuses for not writing too often. From 2006 until 2013, I wrote this blog religiously five days a week. However, this week I got waylaid and sidetracked (yes, both) by the newest development in dementia-ville. So I need to postpone the story of the medical professional who shared with me (unbidden) the details of the nasty stomach bug she picked up in Canada and a whole lot of political ranting.

~~ I’ll skip all the updates on the aide who looked me in the eye and said she wasn’t doing what she was so obviously doing and lashed out at me to stop talking to her “because I don’t know who you are.” And the aide that had to leave because her ex-spouse committed suicide but never heard me offer a word of condolence as she was constantly chattering on the phone and refused to acknowledge my presence.

~~ Let’s skip to yesterday. A new aide replaced mourning aide Wednesday evening. I didn’t have occasion to be home until 12:30 pm Thursday, when I see her emerge from the patient’s room. “Hi,” I say. “Good morning,” she says. As I look up from chopping carrots, she says, sternly, “I’m addressing you.” I advised that I’d said “Hi” but as it wasn’t morning, I didn’t return the greeting. “Harumph,” I believe was the reply.

~~ Up the stairs she goes to her room. When the aide doesn’t return after a few minutes, I check on the patient, who has slumped down. The only thing stopping her from falling on the floor is the wheelchair lap strap across her windpipe. I call the aide, “[Name] she’s slipping from her wheelchair and is about to hurt herself.” Nothing happened. “[Name] she’s slipping from her wheelchair and is about to hurt herself.” No response. So I check on patient again and yell, “[Name] she’s slipping from her wheelchair and is about to hurt herself!” [Name] slowly lumbers down the stairs and asks, “Who?”

~~ It’s obvious as she futilely tries to re-right her patient in the wheelchair that [Clueless Name] doesn’t know what she’s doing. And I’m starting to doubt she’s all right in the head, to boot. She retrieves the lift that raises and lowers the patient and runs it over my flip-flop wearing foot. She then smashes it into the patient’s leg and aimlessly moves it about without connecting with the target. I propose we put the patient on the couch and instruct [Clueless Name] to watch her carefully until my husband can get home and (re) train her.

~~ There are details I’m not sharing but know that my husband’s call to the agency yielded an immediate visit by a nurse. Seems the agency knew they’d sent someone who wasn’t experienced — just a damn warm body they could throw into the mix when the mourner needed out.

~~ As my husband and I walk into the patient’s area with the nurse, I spy a round, pink, scored pill on the floor. “What’s this?” The nurse grabs it but the suddenly swift aide lunges, snatches it away, and proclaims, “It’s a vitamin.” (One of my scavenger dogs could have ingested that and also, I was right — she’s on something.)

~~ Stuff, more stuff, still other stuff happens and then… [Clueless Name] walks into the kitchen with pots and food to start making her dinner. Except I’m cooking dinner already, so I ask her to come back when I’m done. She stands there blocking my access to the cabinets and drawers, and after I ask two more times, she walks back toward the patient, who is wide-awake. I remark, “You need to be in there watching her while she’s awake, not cooking.” She replies, “Oh, I asked her and she said it was OK for me to cook.” What? “She has dementia,” I blurt out, “and you’re here to interact with her and look out for her safety.” Her comeback: “She has dementia?”

~~ Today we’ll have a new aide.

~~ The weather was lovely for the past few days. Though I rarely “do lunch” anymore, a housebound friend with a broken foot enticed me to take her out for a couple of hours. It was awesome! The company was delightful and the 80-degree temperature allowed us to dine outside along the water. Remind me to do this again in 2017, please?

~~ I’m having my “Nasty Woman” card laminated. You can make one, too!
~~ Is this clever marketing or just sheer stupidity writ large?
Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Please promise you’ll stay with me now, as it may get confusing in this week’s recounting of life in dementia-adjacent land.

~~ The aide that wasn’t supposed to leave last week and did? The one that replaced her turned out to be the most knee-jerk liar this side of Donald Trump. The first day she arrived, she trots up and down the back stairs to “her” room (our former guest room) at least three times that I hear/see. When my husband says to her later that first evening, “When I drove up, I noticed the light is on in your room while you’re down here,” she immediately says, “I haven’t been up there yet.”

~~ It goes on like this for almost a week. She “fries up a bake” on the stove and leaves flour all over the counter, but she didn’t clean because it wasn’t her mess She heats up something red and smelly in the microwave, but when I have gobs of red and smelly stuff clinging to the inside of said appliance, it wasn’t she that cooked.

~~ She places a fork in front of her patient and tells her to eat. My husband says, “She needs to be fed.” [Lying aide] says “[Prior aide] says she eats by herself.” Sure.

~~ The patient has an open cut and [Lying aide] is told to keep it bandaged. During the course of the day, she comes to find me for plastic cutlery and other sundries. That evening, my husband sees there’s no bandage on the open wound. Why? [Lying aide] says, “There are no bandages here.” What? You come in to ask for plastic flatware and Pine Sol but not a Band Aid? Shrug, double-shrug.

~~ I tell her clearly that we have a very old cesspool and under no circumstances can we do more than two loads of wash a day. On Tuesday, I hear her do a wash, then another, and I know my chance to wash the towels just got delayed. Then I hear a third load go in and I ask her what gives. “Oh, they told me to do it.” They? “Yes, the agency called and said [Prior aide] is returning tomorrow and I need to wash the sheets for her.” Ummm, wouldn’t you wash them tomorrow, because you’ll be sleeping on them tonight? Shrug, glare, double-shrug.

~~ Next day (“tomorrow”) she moans to my husband, “Oh, I am sick. I called the agency for a replacement but they told me [Prior aide] is in the hospital.” WTF? She told me yesterday she was leaving today!

~~ My husband calls the agency and is told, “[Prior aide] is out-of-state and we just found out [Lying aide] is so sick. You’ll have to help her out until we can find someone.” My husband related that it was Yom Kippur, we were on our way to services, and we were being played by [Lying aide] who either lied about the laundry/leaving or is lying about the sick/leaving.

~~ [Lying aide] leaves and new aide comes in. She takes a look at her room and says it’s disgustingly filthy. I sympathize and she says, “It’s OK. [Lying aide] was sick.” No, she was a slob. And a lying denier.

~~ I made a note to write to day about stagnant stench. However, I forget which stink on what day. Your loss, I guess!

~~ I have so much to say about the disgusting man who wants to be POTUS despite being a thin-skinned serial assaulter, megalomaniac, racists, would-be tin pot dictator, perv, misogynist, xenophobe, and thug who looks like he’s never been in a locker room. I’ll just let this stand:
~~ In a very interesting discussion about the browning of the USA and why so many people in this country think the country is “broken,” a reporter cited a man he’d interviewed. That man remarked that we’re trying to hold together a democracy when we’re really a plurality. There’s no template for that — the USA is different from the homogenous empires of the past. White kids in pre-school today will be in the minority and those who wax nostalgic about the 50s and 60s can’t accept that any more than they can accept a black man or woman as POTUS. To quote Cher, “Snap out of it!” Or to quote me: We are who we are and we are who we will be. We can accept and thrive, or splinter apart. (OK, Texas can go. And maybe one other state.)

~~ How about we ponder something even deeper and potentially more meaningful? This fortune from a cookie might say it all…
or it might be some giant head game being played by a bored copywriter in the fortune cookie factory!

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ “Happy new year!” I say to the dementia patient. “It’s Rosh Hashanah!” I don’t think so, she responds. You are wrong, wrong, wrong.

~~ The aide agency says there’ll be a switch of persons. Then there won’t be. Then there obviously was one, because as I’m driving home yesterday, I see the (former) aide walking down the street. Not pushing her patient in the wheelchair, but alone. At noon. Walking away. Inside, there’s a new aide, barely minutes into her stay, already messing with the washing machine and talking on the phone.

~~ Overheard: “She gave him three chances to leave his wife. Don’t you think that’s plenty?”

~~ How about these generalizations?

~~ While trying my best to convert an undecided voter into a Hillary Clinton voter, I thought I was prepared to counter any propaganda. Yet the question, “Don’t you think a woman who wants to be president should wear a dress?” threw me for a momentary loop. I finally answered, “Not since 1952.” He laughed and continued the conversation, but frankly, that’s the lamest indictment I’ve heard since “hormones.” Dude is concerned about the IMF and Syria, and yet he wonders if dresses make a difference.

~~ Someone shared a Facebook post about the difference between being broke and being a millionaire was a person’s “mindset.” When I replied that broke can happen for any number of reasons other than those she enumerated (including watching TV instead of reading, holding grudges, and being fearful), she came at me full-force for trashing millionaires! She’s a Trump supporter, and I respected that because she never seemed overtly racist, sexist, or deplorable. However, once you praise or condemn someone solely based on what’s in a bank account rather than in his or her heart, that’s a step beyond politics. Apparently, she had no more use for me, either. Once she delivered a rousing missive on the good qualities millionaires possess as a group, she un-friended me.

~~ This was a very bad week for me. I found myself surrounded by people who love me, and I’m coping due to the wise words shared by a smart woman, yet I sank into an abyss all the same. Stick around for the navel gazing below, or come back next week, please. I’m OK with whatever choice you make.

~~ The state of my finances and the status of my household meant that I couldn’t reciprocate for Rosh Hashanah dinner as we have done for decades. That provoked some very dejected episodes. It also meant that I peered into a closet filled with clothing that ranged from early-George W. Bush times to pre-Bill Clinton times. I’ve never been a trendy person, but in pre-W times, I bought good quality, semi-timeless clothes that suited me just fine. Since W drained my coffers completely, I’ve bought clothes that cost under $20.00. They fall apart at the slightest provocation or gape, sag, pill, droop, and fade after the first wearing. But they ensure I won’t get arrested for public nudity and keep the cold away, so I never complained. Until I ended up going to the first day of holiday services wearing a shlumpy sweater and yoga pants. Yoga pants!

~~ The next day, everything I wore to services was older than my quarter-of-a-century-old son. Except my tights. My tights are definitely Obama tights.

~~ I don’t need clothes like I did when I practiced law and dealt with the public on a daily basis. I can type 800 words in a This is What a Feminist Looks Like tee shirt and no one’s the wiser. But geez, I never really expected to show up in photos taken 16 years apart wearing the same damn thing. Or have to wear black yoga pants to shul because the derriere of my good-quality pants (circa 1998) have become so tissue-paper thin that sliding across the car seat might cause me to moon the congregants in the parking lot.

~~ Then the Mets broke my heart once again. I could blather on about the excitement of the season, the wild ride towards the playoffs, the over-exceeding expectations. Nevertheless, I won’t. Because it’s my pity party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Have a great weekend! If you’re observing Yom Kippur, have an easy fast and an auto-entry into the Book of Life.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Imagine a boiling pot with soap, wool, mulch, and gym socks (but far less pleasant). That was the smell permeating my nostrils the other day. I won’t be surprised if I have a nightmare about a giant cauldron spewing malodorous zombies that slay citizens with just their fetid odor.

~~ I hear the cabinets in the kitchen opening and closing. The rapidity and frequency unnerves me, so I investigate. I see the home health aide pouring a stream of our salt into whatever she’s preparing. I question her because she’s supposed to supply her own food (and hadn’t asked to use ours). Her response: “Salt isn’t food.” OK, let’s try it again. It’s a seasoning that costs money. “No, no. Salt isn’t that either. It’s just salt.” Next time you go to the store and they are giving away salt, let me know, please. I want to pick up enough for me and Ms. Saline.

~~ It’s not the salt I begrudge her.
It’s the total violation of personal space and sanctuary.

~~ The dementia patient is screaming very loudly as I start to write this post. Is everything OK? It seems so, but there’s no way to know because most sentences end without finishing, and she runs the gamut of emotions in the space of seconds. Anything I can do? No, you are stupid!

~~ Oh, wait. She’s yelling Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! so I start to walk that way again. I turn around as soon as I hear the maniacal laughter.

~~ A woman is texting as she walks along the sidewalk. A guy parked on the street opens his car door.  She’s about to walk smack into it because her head is down. “Look out!” I yell.
She halts, assesses the situation, turns to me, and blurts out, “You didn’t have to startle me so loudly.” I shrug and keep walking.

~~ The freelancer doing a job is not a native-English speaker. She professed that it wasn’t going to be a problem, but apparently it was when simple written directions confused her (so did illustrations, but that’s another story). At one point, after she repeatedly mixed up a list of people I’d put into alphabetical order — despite my communicating my displeasure — I made the mistake of telling her why the order was important. “That’s not alphabetical!” she responded. Since when is:
not alphabetical?

~~ So Don-the-Con has a “bigly” plan to defeat ISIS he won't share unless he's POTUS? That's possibly jeopardizing people’s lives right now, all over the world.

~~ I was going to jump up on my soapbox and rant more today, but you already know where I stand. I’ll take the time to work on HRC’s campaign instead. It’s easy if you want to help, too: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/forms/volunteer/

~~ I’m wearing a NY Jets tee shirt. Before yoga class starts, a guy says to me, “So, are you a Jets’ fan?” I wanted to answer, “No, I found this dumpster diving,” or “How many times have you repeated first grade?” I didn’t. I just laughed and answered, “Of course. Who’d want to advertise that they’re crazy unless they really are a fan?”

~~ The woman squashes a bug in front of me in another class. “Oh, I would have taken it out!” I say sadly. “Are you a Buddhist?” she asks. No, a vegan. “Well, then, relax. You didn’t eat it!” she declares.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Yesterday, I went to toast an English muffin but there was someone else’s food in the toaster oven. I tried to do a load of laundry but someone else’s clothes were in the washer. I ate a cold lunch and tried to read the paper, but instead heard a tedious tale told in trilling tones involving (I think) the health aide and “a crazy-ass bitch.”

~~ She kicked up an area rug as she walked past. I said, “Please smooth it down if it comes up like that — someone might trip,” as I straightened it out. She looked at me and said, “Oh.”

~~ The dementia patient clapped her hands as if happy to see me. Hmm, I thought, today might be a good day. Never fear, she pronounced: Shit is here!

~~ I thought about writing a play I’d call “Nutbags and Scumbags.” Even before I started drafting it, a problem arose that made me rethink such a literary foray. My theatrical vision has multiple villains while the protagonist will likely sit alone in the front row of the theater, crying her eyes out.

~~ This:

~~ When you’re having a discussion with a friend over whether Trump reminds you more of Hitler or Mussolini, you know this country is in trouble if hatred prevails. (And don’t give me any speeches about how “Trump’s a business-man who gets stuff done” — you haven’t seen his taxes but you do know he stiffs people, bankrupts companies, uses foreign workers here and ships manufacturing overseas. So you’re voting for him either because you are a hater or gullible as hell.)

~~ The acquaintance says her sister just left her husband and declared it “good riddance.” I must have looked remotely interested, because she elaborated: “He was always a stupid jackass but now he’s a stupid jackass with a girlfriend.” I don’t know the girlfriend but, honey, you could do better than a married and brainless man.

~~ Seriously?

~~ It was comical to listen to three women try to correct another woman’s pronunciation of the name of a person they all knew. The fourth woman kept saying Lane-ah instead of Lah-na, and the other three said Lah-na multiple times. One looked at me and shrugged. I shrugged back, because what did I care? It was the only thing all day that didn’t cost me a cent or cause me a headache!

~~ My dogs were kind of jittery, running back and forth between their multiple beds and blankets for no discernable reason. I lost interest (see reason above) then happened to key in on how quiet it had become. Here’s what I saw:

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ She says she can’t believe that no one has noticed she’s done great on her diet and lost five pounds. I say people are often in their own worlds and oblivious to what’s happening around them. “Hmmmph,” she replies, not listening to a word I say. “Maybe I should wear tighter shirts.”

~~ “How’s the new aide?” is the kindly question I am often asked. Let’s see, on a scale that runs from Completely Inconspicuous to Thoroughly Obnoxious, I’d say we’re at a four now. Except she has a detestable habit of sitting on a chair and planting her bare feet on my wall. Who does that?

~~ There’s also the tête-à-têtes on the phone that continue as she heats food in the microwave. She stands fairly close behind me as I read the paper, and she talks for two minutes or so. No “Hold on,” or “I’ll call you back” for this aide — she just natters on and on in Creole. She was talking to someone named George, I think, because she said his name a lot. I’m such a petulant child that every time she mentioned George I muttered, “George sucks.”

~~ In addition, there’s some food she likes that, when microwaved, smells exactly like a high school locker room one week into a janitors’ strike.

~~ OK, on that scale I established, she’s now a six. Or seven. I don’t know what I was thinking with a four score.

~~ The dementia patient has been a smidge subdued this week. Her outbursts are still as rancorous, but decidedly shorter. Instead of variations on You’re so ugggggggggggggggggggggggggly! I’ve mostly been hearing No! No! However, there was one prolonged flare-up that sounded like Porky Piggy! Porky Piggy! Porky Piggy! Porky Piggggggggggggggggggggy! When I walked in to see if I could quell it or confirm what she was saying, she gave me a cold-eyed stare and used her pet name for me: Ass.

~~ How is it that many of the people who demand that the US flag and anthem must be saluted don’t remember that those are symbols of the freedoms we hold dear?

~~ I wish my grandmother was around so she could smack Donald Trump Jr. and tell him that Holocaust jokes are never, ever funny. Except I guess they are to anti-Semites and white supremacists — part of the deplorables making up the Trump family and supporters. My stomach dropped three stories when I heard him make the gas chamber reference, yet the haters are loving it:

~~ In the past few days, the NY Times has said that Trump “stretched the truth” and “dissembled the facts” because they won’t use the word lie. And neither will NPR:

~~ And as for the nasty pundits who say Hillary Clinton was trying to “hide something” when she went to a memorial service while suffering from pneumonia, let me tell you a quick story. The day after laparoscopic surgery, I developed bronchitis. Two days after surgery and one day into bronchitis, I did two closings and cared for my son while my husband traveled. I taught a class and had a contract signing before eventually collapsing, but I don’t consider it extraordinary. It’s just what people who need to move ahead do — we muscle on until our bodies apply the brakes.

~~ I don’t have to root the Jets on again until after next week’s blog. Am I lucky or what?

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Someone complimented my writing, calling me a “humorist.” While I am flattered, I truly wonder — do humorists need to see a situation as funny?

~~ This week’s aide is the Trump of home health care. She does something then flat-out denies it. Apparently, she’s not on the phone all day, despite appearances to the contrary. She just carries it in one hand with earbuds in place and talks to herself from 9:00 am until 8:30 pm. She scolds herself sometimes and laughs hysterically at her own jokes. Awesome, right? She probably saves money without a data plan.

~~ I also saw her opening up my dishwasher wearing disposable gloves. I wondered, did she happen to use the gloves recently to change her charge’s diaper? “Oh, no, ha ha, this is fresh gloves.” Suuuuuure.

~~ The dementia patient has a very lovely singing voice. It almost, but not quite, eases the sounds of You are horrible shit shit shit and YA-YA-YA-YA-YA-RRRRRRRR coming from her. Sometimes she doesn’t sing, however. Yesterday she screamed at the top of her lungs Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Maybe she’s just talking to herself like the aide does?

~~ There are lots of strange people in cyberspace. Some insult you for sport, some creep you right out (I’m looking at you, Anthony Weiner), and some try to see if you’re open to whatever. Here’s a Twitter conversation that never went anywhere because I wouldn’t play along:

~~ Beware of a yogi who gleefully tells you she has “a couple more tricks up her sleeve” when she’s wearing a tank top.

~~ On the topic of yoga, here’s a photo I was asked to take for a studio flyer.
The woman on the right walked in, dropped her purse, and flew into that position in under two seconds. Try taking a steady photo when your jaw is rapidly dropping!

~~ The woman on the left shared this quote with us:

At first, I loved it, and then I started to think, do I really want my yesterdays returning for any reason, let alone to express jealousy? (Yes, readers, I overthink almost anything.)

~~ At least I get that quote. What the hell does this fortune mean?

~~ The September issue of our magazine is out.
Enjoy! http://boatingtimesli.com/NY/

~~ She told me the media was “all liberal.” I protested, saying that both the NY Times and NPR seemed to be bending over backwards to insert a ‘Hillary issue’ into every story about a Trump gaffe. Then I saw this affirming story (which came out before Matt Lauer’s brutally different treatment of the two candidates Wednesday night): http://bluenationreview.com/in-the-name-of-decency-stop-tipping-the-scale-for-trump/.

~~ Sunday is a very somber day for our country. It was quite sobering, in an altogether different way, to hear a woman say that her daughter —WHO IS IN HIGH SCHOOL— hadn’t even been born on September 11, 2001. Something so seared into our hearts and minds is just history to a generation or two, folks. Whoa.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I overheard some crazy and blush-worthy stuff earlier this week. There was the woman who was talking on the phone to Devin, whom I’m guessing was her son. “Wait, it’s the first day of school tooooo-day? I didn’t hear anywhere that Stony Brook started. Are you sure?” [Pause.] “OK, maybe I should have known, but you didn’t emmmmmphasize it.”

~~ There were two women discussing divorce. Denise was divorced and Michelle was contemplating it (I know their names because they introduced themselves to each other at the end of their conversation). Denise spent three years arguing with her spouse, a firefighter who’s been messed up since 9/11 (“Really, like he expected me to keep waiting for him to get better?”) and warned Michelle that divorce is a tough slog. Michelle protests. “I want to love someone, and my husband just isn’t the one. He loves me and he’s OK, but I want someone who’s neater and smarter and makes a better living.” To which Denise snorts, then exclaims, “Good luck! Those guys aren’t out there but if they are, they are looking for someone 20 years younger than you.”

~~ Michelle apparently is planning to tell her husband this week that she’s leaving him, so she’s having her lashes and nails done beforehand. Denise wonders if she’ll be getting anything fancy, nail-wise, to which Michelle replies, “I’m not going to get those sparkly flowers or anything. What if I pick my nose or masturbate and lose the sparkles up or down there?”

~~Funny, sometimes I want to know more when I eavesdrop. In these cases, I knew way too much already.

~~ This week’s tally of things the aide left empty in place so I’d discover and replace:
1. The water cooler
2.  The paper towel holder
3.  The laundry detergent

~~ Then again, she’s just another unpleasant memory now. The care agency told us late Wednesday the aide was leaving Thursday morning — despite their promise of a switch never occurring on a Thursday or Friday and never before a holiday.

~~ The screams from Dementia-ville were less froglike and much more demonic in the past few days. Picture the ghost in the cheesiest horror movie you’ve ever seen bellowing BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA over and over. Then the ghost spies another specter threatening its haunted territory, so it shrieks YOU ARE UGLY! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! UGGGGGGGGGGGG-LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

~~ If you’re keeping score at home, I still don’t drink.

~~ Two women are discussing a book club that one is urging the other to attend. “It’s not like So & So’s club,” she says. “We don’t really discuss the book at all.”

~~ I wish I understood more about what happened with and to Dilma Rousseff, but from what I read, there’s a sexist thread running through her impeachment.

~~ This:

Have a great holiday weekend. Thanks to the people who work while we relax. (Or yearn to relax.)

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ There are TV commercials for all sorts of debilitating aches and maladies, and I guess by repetition they are seeping into my brain. Last week I felt stinging pain in both my feet and blistering hot itchiness. I’m thinking, what if I have chronic something-something and I become debilitated unless I take that medication that may cause strokes or sudden death? Suddenly, the cause of my agony became comically clear:  I was sitting outside (next to a basket of fruit) and bugs were swarming and biting like crazy. Whew!

~~ Last Saturday I attended a lovely party my friend threw for herself. I mean, I think it was lovely, because we arrived many hours late. Driving from NY to NJ is not for the faint of heart and the habitually prompt. We spent hours driving in a near-monsoon, complete with flooding, and then hours more watching crawling bugs overtake us on the highway. Five hours there, three hours back, all in one day. That’s crazy.

~~But we did get to linger in the kitchen for more than an hour with our friend, catching up and chatting. That’s a rarity.

~~ WOO, WOO, WOO she screamed from somewhere deep within her geriatric self. CRACK, CRACK, CRACK HIM IN THE SKULL.

~~ After that episode, the diminutive dementia patient began practicing to be what I thought was a bullfrog.Once I investigated, I’ll say she sounds like an eastern spadefoot frog. Take a listen: http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/spadeft2.MP3

~~ Two days ago, the health care aide walks into the kitchen and unspools about 15 sheets from the paper towel holder. Was there a mess? Nope — she was having lunch. So yesterday, she walks in and sees there’s just about 1½ sheets of paper towel on the roll. She rips off one, looks at me, and walks away. No “Is there another roll?” or any courtesy. It’s the little things.

~~ The smells this week are eau de freshly fertilized field and parfum de fish fry. I waste a lot of time gagging when I could be doing something else. Like crying.

~~ The two-three women in the front of a doctor’s office are habitually grumpy and trash the management every time I’m there. However, they are usually pleasant enough to me. A few days ago, I paid my co-pay by check. “Is this a business check?” one asked. No, it’s just sized for the printer. “You have to go get another one. This check won’t scan in and there’s nothing I can do,” she says quite crabbily. That crustacean changed into a sheep once I said, “I was here a few weeks back and you processed the same type of check then without complaint.” On my way out, her co-worker whispered to me, “She’s on a diet.”

~~ This:

~~ And this, too:

Have a great weekend! Can you believe it’s the end of August? Grrrr.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ A guy stumbled coming out of the deli. I trapped his brown bag between my arm and the yoga mat bag slung across my hip. “Wow, thanks, great catch!” he says. “You coulda been a Yankee.” Wearing a Mets’ tee, I winked at him and said, “You shoulda stopped at thanks.”

~~ Speaking of tees, the woman on the next mat in yoga class had a great one: TALK TO ME WHEN YOUR CHAKRAS ARE ALIGNED.

~~ This is a transcript of a phone conversation I had yesterday after saying my name:

Real Estate Agent: Hello, you’re the attorney for sellers, Mr.  & Mrs. ________. We have an accepted offer.

Me: Hi, I’m no longer in practice. I’ll let the sellers know.

REA: What? We can’t waste time — this house took a long time to sell. Just do this deal, OK?

Me: No, but I can give them a referral when I call.

REA: mumble Bitch mumble [click].

~~ I startle easily; I’m told it’s likely due to an excess of stress hormone. (Imagine that!) I’m sitting at my kitchen table, eating lunch and reading an excellent article, when the health care aide walks into the room gabbing on her cell phone. Abruptly shaken from a temporary oasis of aloneness, my heart raced in alarm. I calmed down, of course, but couldn’t shake the resentment that I was vulnerable to such a disruption.

~~ The geriatric dementia person in my house is screaming at the top of her very ample lungs. Dylan Thomas’ poem, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, comes to mind as she rages against the changes that come at the close of our figurative days. She’s unpleasant and downright disagreeable, but who can blame her on a certain level?

~~ Then again, I wonder if I am absorbing some of her repellent demeanor. I worry that if I become as feeble and void of control as she, my subconscious will ignite and spew this same sourness towards those who love me and care for me. How can I possibly apologize in advance?

~~ I went in to see if I could distract her from the shouting. When I inquire as to the circumstances, she says, “I’m not shouting. You are.”

~~ As I turn to walk away, I try to catch the aide’s eye. But she’s too busy texting. Or maybe she’s typing up her own version of this story for an alternate blog, “Barely Working.”

~~ The screams quiet as I reach the door. She goes from frantic to asleep in seconds flat. I stay frenzied for hours, days, months.

~~ The desire to comment on the politics of this past week is eclipsed by the adoration and admiration I have for some Olympic athletes. There’s the vegan weightlifter, the face-making swimmer, and the fastest man alive. I tell you what, if I was having a girl baby soon, I’d be naming her Simone. Her middle name might be Gabby, but it would definitely not be Hope.

Have a great weekend!



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October 2016



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