Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little white lies and an empty wallet.

Have I been online lately? Have I been reading blogs? Well - yes, and a little. I have been online, shopping. See - my Mom is coming to visit. I've got stuff to buy so she has somewhere to sleep and so she will be safe in my bathroom.

I haven't seen her in almost 2 years. In those 2 years her health has deteriorated
and she has become more frail. Amazingly enough, she is still sneaky and manipulative. I say that in an amused way more than anything. Part of her personality I didn't realize she even had until well into my adulthood, and even now into old age (hers, thank you very much!) I think it's become more pronounced.

Example - she lives with my brother whom I will call "brother." Brother had to travel on business and had his girlfriend stop by the house and spend time with my Mom, take her shopping and to run errands. Brother's GF asked Mom if people were calling and checking up on her (since Brother had arranged for people to do that) and she said "Oh yes, people have been calling. But I don't tell Brother that when he calls." And this statement was accompanied by a smirk when Brother's GF (who KNOWS how he worries about Mom) stared back at her in open-mouthed amazement. She was purposely making Brother feel guilty for being away! But somehow there was a disconnect when it came to admitting her behavior to Brother's GF, as if she would keep that secret from Brother.

Also, Mom wanted a pet. We talked about it on the phone. I suggested a cat because besides being a crazy cat lady and just liking cats (me, not her), a cat just made sense for her. She got a dog. And then she would complain about the dog. My question was "Mom, why did you get a dog? Why didn't you get a cat so you wouldn't have to worry about it chewing up your shoes (maybe just pooping in them) or needing to go outside every half hour?" Her answer - "Oh, Brother wanted the dog. He saw it on that Westminster Dog show thing on TV and thought this kind of dog would be a good dog to get." Oh. Didn't sound much like Brother, but I didn't question it. Until I mentioned it to Brother. We were on the phone but I swear smoke came out of his ears! "SHE wanted the dog! I still have the emails she was sending me at work about dogs and the elderly!!"

So, I bought a bed because there wasn't one in the room Mom will be staying in. I bought a hand held shower thing to attach to my shower. I bought a shower chair because I'm terrified she will fall in the shower. I already have a bath mat. I bought a grab bar to attach to the side of the tub in case she needs something to hold onto getting in and out. I bought a potty booster thing. I still need to buy bedding for the bed I bought. So not only am I broke, I'm a nervous wreck about this visit. She'll be flying with a nebulizer and will need a wheelchair to get through the airport. So many details.

But I'm wondering if more than anything else that I will have to deal with - trying to
tell the truth from her colorization of it may be the hardest part!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maxine Monday

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Friday, September 25, 2009

The ginormous litter boxes are here!

The ginormous litter boxes are here!

Enjoy the fabulous-ness!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Mom's money

My Mom's money belongs to her. She wants to leave it to me, my brothers and the sister we don't talk to. We understand her desire, she has raised 4 kids who are wildly ..okay.. none of us are wildly successful in any way. We have jobs that are kind of secure and good, no CEOs in our family. Both of my brothers and my sister (and my mother if we're counting her) have been divorced twice and are currently unmarried. I have been divorced once and just don't want to add to my family fun statistic.

So yeah. There is a distinct possibility that she feels like leaving us some money will be something she can give us that can improve our lives. Well sure, a chunk of money (and it wouldn't be that large) would always be welcome. But not at the expense of my Mom's care. We are trying to do what is best for her but I know we cannot afford care whether it be adult day care, in-home care, assisted living, to whatever we need. Not because we're worried about running down our savings, who's got savings??? Nobody is worried about not being able to afford a vacation, who does that? No. It's worried because we don't have it.

Anyway. I talked to an attorney today who specialized in Elder Law. No I didn't, I talked to his administrator whose name was Dottie. She
was very helpful with the law in New Jersey, the ins and outs of Medicare, Medicaid, elder care, etc. Comes down to - Ma - we have to cash in the stuff you want to save for us so we can take care of you. Period.

I talked to her tonight, I think I was the first one to bring up the idea of (eventually) needing assisted living or some kind of full time care. I was gentle but I think she was shocked. I told her we don't want her to have to go anywhere right now and later - if then - only if it's necessary. We talked about her dropping the price on her home (which sits empty) so she can get it to sell, spoke about spending some of that money for a place she can go during the day to be around other people to socialize, and also be near people who can help her if she falls. Adult daycare couched in words almost sounding like "play date". A place to go to meet people, play cards, TV, talk to people, maybe do crafts.

Not a fun talk. It didn't help that she got up and was moving around while we were talking and when she sat down again she had some serious wheezing going on. I wanted to breathe FOR her. Through the phone. So .. there wasn't much discussion. I tried to emphasize that these are still her decisions, we aren't trying to take those choices away. She said "it's a lot to digest all at once." Yes Mom, it is.

After I got off the phone with her I went to my Insurance Company's site and sent an email to my agent. I need to look into long term care for myself. I don't want my kids to have to figure out how to care for me. I'm 50 now, and if I wait - the price is only going to go up so I might as well check into it now. I have no idea what kind of planning other people do, I'm sure it's quite different for couples, but I guess I've never discussed it with anyone.

Are any of you planning that far ahead? Are you worried about possibly being a burden on your children?

For me I don't see myself as a burden really, but I just want there to be a plan in place so when and if it becomes necessary I want my kids to know there is something in place for that eventuality. I don't want them to have to agonize over it.

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

My daughter will just have to forgive me . .

when I open the door and invite my crabby old man cat to take a walk. I sent her the pictures, I will spare you. He pooped in one of my favorite leather flats. I love these shoes. And he pooped AND peed in that shoe. Grrrr ....

Doesn't he look all sweet and innocent? NOT!

I bought new litter boxes recently and I don't like them because they are too small. We've only had them for 2 weeks and I've been keeping them clean, so that's not the problem. BUT - I have ordered some new ginormous boxes along with a "Litter Locker" which is like a diaper pail for litter scooping. I'm all about giving these cats the right place to do their business!

Let's face it, I just get no respect around here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just shut the hell up already!

Kate says it's all been very hard, very difficult. Jon says he despises Kate. Kate says she doesn't know who Jon is anymore, they've become 2 very different people. Jon says he loves his new girlfriend more than he loved Kate. Kate has a meltdown when Jon introduces the kids to his girlfriend. It goes on and on and on . . .

I can relate to a lot of this - when SHOULD someone introduce the kids to a new girl/boy friend? My vote is you need to put your libido on hold for a year. At least. Or at least make it a year before you introduce any new love interests to your kids. Sorry Jon.

But here's the main thing. STOP TALKING ABOUT EACH OTHER AT ALL!!! You have 8 adorable children, TALK ABOUT THEM!!

When I got divorced one thing I told my kids was something to the effect of - I might get mad at Daddy sometimes now, and he might get mad at me. And none of it has anything to do with you, it's not your fault and nobody hates anybody. But if I ever say anything bad about your Dad because I'm mad in front of you - stop me. Stop me and remind me "Mom, that's MY DAD you're talking about."

Honestly I don't recall either of them ever saying it to me, although I don't remember what time to go to bed most nights so it means nothing. But I vowed to myself I would not put their father down or speak badly of him. And when they got older (18 and beyond) and started asking more questions about the divorce, I tried to stress my part in it as well as his. Don't get me wrong - there were times I wanted to put things in a different light or demonize him, but I had to stop and think of what he would say, what his side of it would be, and try to provide both sides. Because rarely is it just one person. More often I would say it is simply two people who probably never should have gotten married to each other at all. Not that one or the other was a jerk or any other nasty word you can think of. Some people don't belong together.

For Jon and Kate it's worse because every little story ends up in the tabloids - true or not - and someday their kids are going to see all of it. That makes me so sad for those babies.

I know Jon and Kate both read my blog on a regular basis for .. hot flash updates and cat advice *cough cough* so I will say this to them directly: "Jon, Kate, SHUT UP ALREADY!!!!"

I feel better now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maxine Monday

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Let your nail polish be your guide

Taking days off work is a wonderful thing. Having enough time in at work to take a lot of time off is an even better thing. I took Thursday off just because, and Friday because I always take September 11th off.
Thursday my BF came over to spend some time with me and help with some outdoor chores. YAY BF!

But before he got there I went to have my oil changed. My car gets treated nicer and nicer the older it gets. I needed to have my transmission flushed too, or my transmission fluid flushed, or - whatever. I had never had it done and the recommendation is every 15,000 miles. Um, 54,000 miles without it? Oops!

So I had that done and the fluid still
wasn't a pretty color like it's supposed to be. So I had it done again. I told the guy "well at the risk of being the silly female, shouldn't the color be closer to my nail polish?" If the first flush didn't take out all the nasty sludge and ugly stuff, shouldn't I have it done again? Well, the guy wouldn't actually recommend what I should do but after determining I wasn't going to get charged double to have it done again, I had the re-do done. The guys in there said they had never had anyone try to get their transmission fluid to match their nail polish before. Silly boys! It's as good as any method THEY have!

I got home to find the front bushes almost done being trimmed. In the end there was a whole pile of clippings and some tree sprouts to get rid of so my BF decided to burn them. He pulled all of it around the back of the house and loaded a lot of it into the outdoor fireplace he got me just for that purpose.
We came into the house where BF showered and then we were deciding what to eat for dinner when I saw a police car driving by. Slowly. It turned around and came back and next thing I knew there was a police officer walking up my driveway. Never something I want to see if the truth be told.

Apparently one of my lovely neighbors called the police because I was burning leaves. You're kidding, right? I told the officer we were burning branches that had leaves ON them, but - it's not fall - we weren't burning leaves per se. She told me that it's not against our city ordinances to burn branches, or sticks, but you are not allowed to burn leaves. Hmmm. She said she just had to tell me, took my name and phone number and then went and sat in her car for about 10 minutes, probably checking for wants or warrants. Lol!! For me?

So ladies always remember your transmission fluid should be a nice shade of pink - not quite red, and never brown. If it's not a shade you would wear on your nails - have your transmission fluid flushed.
Or your transmission. Or whatever. And if you're going to burn branches in my neighborhood, strip the leaves off first. Oy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Please don't forget.



Monday, September 7, 2009

Have a great (Maxine) Labor Day!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Strange times

It's been an odd week. Not bad, just different I guess. And I'm tired. I did some power shopping at Tar-jhay the other day, came home with some handy dandy clean and brandy new . . . litter boxes. Yeah. Exciting, huh? It's been a while since I changed out the boxes themselves so yeah, it was - well it was something. The sad part? I dreamed about it. I dreamed that the cats weren't using the new littler boxes and they were scooping the new litter out of the boxes and it was all piled up on the floor next to the boxes - and that's where they were doing their business. Yep! Dreamed about cat boxes. Bet YOU can't say the same thing!

On a more normal note, one of the gals I work with who lives in Texas came into town and I got to meet her. She loves me just as much in person as she does on the phone and in email! She brought her adorable teenage daughter with her who really needs to eat a sandwich just to ground her before the wind catches her.

My office - room-mate and I went to lunch with the Dallas Diva and her Daughter Diva and we had a great time. It's kind of strange to work with a team of people but to have actually met very few because we all work in different parts of the country.  Our conference calls are the only way we socialize, I and a couple of others provide the smart ass remarks and our dear Dallas Diva supplies the Betty Rubble giggle in the background.  Or is it Wilma?  I can never remember.  But it was nice.  Really.

Yesterday I went to buy gas for my car - I don't do it often, my son usually does it.  But I was doing it this time and I pulled up and got out, unscrewed my gas cap and put it in the little holder in the little door there and reached for a pump.  I reached for the one that seemed the most natural and realized it was Premium and I was like no, I don't need premium.  So I reached to the other end and noticed it said no lead.  I was surprised and said wow - who buys gas without lead these days!?  So I pulled the middle one off it's holder and filled my car with PLUS.  Yeah so, who buys gas with no lead in it these days??  Try: EVERYBODY!!!!!   Geez,  I realized my brain retro moment (or whatever) very quickly and was laughing at myself halfway through filling my tank.  Duh.

 And the burning question . . .
When you see this - don't ya kinda just want to pull it?  Really!!??

I pass this every time I go to the bathroom at work.  Every time.  I've never pulled it.  But I want to!