Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The chain gang....

There may come a time in your life when you suddenly realize that you are mothering or fathering your parent.

Role-reversal they call it.

If you're anything like me you'll tiptoe around and try to be respectful and cautious as you try to wrestle control over the situation gently take the reigns.

You may even say things like "Dad, would you please consider using that cane thingy so that you don't fall over.."?

When what you really want to say is "will you pleeeee-ase take this muthereffin cane before you bust up your hard azz head, and look here mister don't you dare make that face at me and try to swipe it out of my hand...if you keep this shit up I may have no other option than to crack you over the noggin with it.."

Keeping in mind that phrase you've been waiting years to use...

"you wanna cry??? I'll give ya sumpthin to cry about"...

Your Dad, if anything like mine, would surely respond "I'm not a damn invalid".

And you, if you're anything like me, will take a respectful step back.

For a minute anyway.

When he still refuses, I'm all but forced to take a different route...

"When you trip and fall on Sweetie (his very petite best girl) you will kill her, just sayin...

"They'd call it a murder- suicide" he responds.

When he is finally, thankfully, hospitalized my mothering reaches magnitude proportions.

Did you eat? Are you in pain? Did the doctor come in..?"

"No" he shakes his head "I haven't seen the doctor".

"He hasn't been in?" I ask.

"Yes, he's been here" a voice from around the curtain contradicts.

"No-ooooooooh, he hasn't" replies my father-aged son.

"Yep, he was here, sure was" the voice countered.

I peek around the curtain to see a balding man with an ear to ear grin.

A man sized baby, sitting behind his dinner tray like its a high chair.

The movie One flew over the cuckoo's nest instantly crosses my mind.

Okay, so one of them is nuts... and it isn't my dad..

or is it?

Every day when I come to visit I bring in sweets and more sweets and he doesn't eat most of them.

 "How many more cookies can I eat or do I need?" he pleads when I come in carrying yet another small bag.

"They aren't cookies, they're donuts" I say.

The man around the curtain laughs.

His other daughter brings flowers and newspapers and entertaining conversation.

He tells me that one of the nurses asked about the flowers and then commented on how "well" his daughters must have been raised.

He talks about the lucky hand, daughter-wise, he's been dealt.

"Uh, huh" says his nosy neighbor.

When the surgeon resident comes in to take a look see at my darling favorite senior citizen he offers her a "twenty" if she'll let him go home.

"You don't look very comfortable" she says pointing at the feet-leg combo that is out from under the covers and hanging two-feet off the foot of the bed.

"I'm doing this so when I shift positions I feel really good" he chides "that's all I got".

She (and the man behind the curtain) laughs.

"I'm nothing but a convict" he says when she leaves the room "just doin my time till the warden releases me"

There is a belly laugh from the other side of the curtain.

When I talk to my dad's doctor later, I tell him that I'm concerned that my dad didn't remember his visit.

"He was getting his pic line in, he had the covers over his head, so technically, I was there, but he didn't see me."

I'm happy to know that my dad hasn't lost his mind and it's probably a good thing that he's feeling well enough to entertain the people around him...

A good attitude usually bodes well with the parole board.

Happy Tuesday...make it a damn good one!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Keep on truckin....

Ever have a moment in your life when you really wish you were someone else?

Maybe you have more than just a moment of feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin and move on down the road.

Yeah, that has been me lately.

Wanting to change my name, rank and serial number...

not to mention, my pants size, my hairdo and my crappy attitude.

My dad is sick and it's taking too long for him to get better.

And how is it the weight of the world feels like it's teetering on my shoulders?

Helplessness will do that to ya every time.

To quote a quote that decorates a cup, a gift from Marmie that rests on my desk...

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing"

I figure it's much harder to hit a moving target.

I wish you the most delightful of days...


PS.. If you are the praying type a really big prayer for my dad and his health would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Everybody's doin it....

Lately, every time I've had occasion to be in my car tooling about town I've looked over from behind the steering wheel and noticed people noticing me, with the windows open during our early and unseasonably warm Spring, I probably sounded (and may have looked) a bit like this girl, only not as on key, and not nearly as cute.

Like this little doll, I've got it bad for Adele and I don't care who knows it.

PS... see you soon with a blog post with lots of my own words.

PSS...thanks Trouble for the CD, I've not entertained other drivers like that for years.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mutiny and Martha ( a wannabe story)....

I had it in my mind to do an old fashioned home economics class with the loveables.

Button sewing, ironing creases in dress pants and shirt sleeves.

Sharp lines and clean looking and how to get that way.

I'd add a bit about the proper way to sort a load of laundry.

How to remember to clean out your pockets before you toss your things into the washer.

(on a side note... teacher, may want to teach thyself, yo. Some dummy at my house washes things that shouldn't be washed all the damn time)

I'd talk to them about keeping themselves safe while cooking, how not to sicken themselves with raw meat juices, how to put out a grease fire and how to know when the milk has gone sour.

Hot damn, I was on to something.

I was feeling really full of myself planning this class out, minute by delicious minute, in my head.

What the loveable's mothers (grandmothers, guardians) had failed to teach them about basic house keeping, mending, cooking... all the old fashioned Marthy Stewert-ery type things I was going to step right up and enlighten them.

I would do such a good job that one day, maybe 50 years from now, a reformed loveable would be showing a grandson how to sew on a button.

How to iron a shirt, and properly clean a toilet.

And he'd have me to thank.

I found myself on the morning of the class not as prepared as I should have (or would have liked to have) been, I also found myself having to take half a day off work to attend a doctor appointment with a loved one.

(that's how life rolls sometimes... a chink in the already chinked up armor)

As the day wore on and I wasn't making much progress in my planning I came to the (not so startling) conclusion that I must really like flying by the seat of my pants since I seem to do it so often..

(my attempted pep talk to myself in the car on the way in sounded a bit like this...just get r' done.... just do it....fake it till you make it...crap, I'm going to have call in dead).

Man, I was screwed.

I had no choice other than to go ahead with what I had (not) planned.

People who work with juvenile offenders know that these dawgs smell fear...

I came in to class smellin to high heaven.

Reeked may be a better word.

After clearing my throat for five straight minutes, and taking up about ten more shifting from leg to leg trying to see which was more comfortable to rest on I was ready to launch into an introduction of my juicy subject matter.

Right off the bat one particularly surly loveable had a nice thought he wanted to share with me and the entire group (of very suggestible youth)

"Are you freakin kidding me, what a waste of my time, this is paaa-thet-ic" he hollered when I told them what we'd be doing this day in Life Skills class.

"Please sir, be respectful" I said, then added "who is your PO?"

The loveables don't like being asked that question.

I usually don't go any further than just asking...them not knowing why I'm asking is usually enough to get them squirming in their seats,

and when they're squirming in their seats they shut their traps.

(hey, don't judge...whatever it takes people, being on the front line with these hooligans can sometimes be a thankless hard ass job and some days you gotta do whatcha gotta do)

"Okay, Mr" I say "you know how to do this, well then, here ya go" and I tossed on his desk some material, a spool of thread, a needle, a pair of scissors and all my confidence.

"Go ahead, sew on that button" I challenged him.

He did, in record time.

He also sewed on the next one I tossed him, and the one after that too.

Even the one with the loop on the underneath.

Flawlessly, the loveable thug sewed the buttons on the material.

The others followed suit, and with the exception of one youth they had their buttons done in about 3 minutes flat.

Then they began to grumble and wiggle in their seats.

The looked out the window and pulled out their phones and looked at them low in their laps where they thought I wouldn't notice them texting.

I tried to pull all kinds of useful information from my ass, tried to remember all the things that I wanted to tell them about,  but the little guy on my shoulder had different plans.

He rudely kept pointing out that the children were bored and totally uninterested and he wouldn't stop telling me to put a lid on it.

At one point, because I was trying so hard not to listen, he decided to scream in my ear about my shitty class and my lack of proper planning.

I knew in my heart I was washed up,

and then I choked up,

and with nothing left but a hairy arm up my sleeve, I was forced to throw in the towel.

And feed them brownies.

I so freaking hate it when they do that to me... (and I let them)

Loveable thugs 1

BethKoby (one TOTALLY unprepared, confidence lacking, ink pen washer) 0

Friday, March 9, 2012

No appointment needed....

Not to brag or anything, but my Arm-chair Therapist/Psychologist gig/side job has been going great.

I've been dishing out advice and recommendations like I know what the hell I'm talking about.

It's a family thing, I guess.

Marmie and Googie both share whatever it is that I possess that compel people to spill their guts, ask for directions (not literally, DUH), seek our opinions about stuff.

We, in turn, give them our two pennies worth (or more depending on if we think they need it).

Are we knowitalls?..

Why hell yes, we certainly are, (just ask us).

(Mostly) all kidding aside, we do have good heads on our shoulders.

If you read this blog at all you know that I often dole out advice to my loveable thugs.

I feel like a bit of an authority on good mother/daughter relationships... I have a couple myself.

You may have read this post (this one right here) about a female loveable that hates to cry.

She and I had another deep convo the other day, would you like to be a fly on the wall and hear all about it?

Well then, read on....

"Can I talk with you a minute, when you have time" my young loveable asked.

"My mom and I are fighting real bad" she confessed when I told her "start singing lil chicky"

"A good friend, a really good friend of mine died the other day, it was a accident. This kid spent a lot of time at my house while we were growing up. I didn't want to go to the funeral home and my mom called me a heartless bitch. That hurts."

"Yeah" I said "that would hurt. You aren't a heartless bitch, that's for sure. I see all kinds of heart in you and so does she, I mean, it would be hard to miss the sweetheart of a girl that you are, just sayin."

"What exactly is your mom..." I ask, wondering if any of our previous "I hate my mom" talks have sunk in or made any impressions on her thinking about her mom.

"My mom is just a grown up girl" she answers.

"Exactly" I say.

I've told her (and many others like her my opinion about grown up girls working as mothers) sometimes they bring their childhood issues and baggage and burdens, their life worries, like bills, juggling other children, their mate, their job, their own parents, the weight of every single burden and struggle that adult woman face and have to fix and overcome and thrive in spite of, they bring it, live it, breath it... (just like you) the grownup girl is sometimes scared, may feel alone and misunderstood.

The grownup girl might feel taken advantage of, taken for granted, overwhelmed, inept,worthless and every other really pathetic feeling one can feel at times in their lives.

AND...the grownup girl is also just as awesome in every. single. way as her "growing up" daughter is.

We girls are the same, really, we want and need love and acceptance.

We crave friendship and caring and kind treatment.

Sometimes we forget that.

I've also told her my feelings on settling arguments with her mother.

One of you needs to stand up and be the bigger girl (like Dr Phil says, some body's gotta step up and be the hero), somebody needs to wrap their arms around somebody and whisper sweet loving things in the other one's ear, or write a love note or some other demonstration of " I'm sorry, I understand, I forgive, I love you, I need you"....

Make it all better.

Somebody needs to do that.

"My mom is just like me" she says "that is the problem, she IS me and I am HER"..

"Why didn't you want to go to the funeral home?" I asked "is it because you hate to cry" I say remembering our many other conversations about her hating to show that emotion in public.

"YES" she said grabbing my hand "yes, that is exactly why I didn't want to go, so many people would be there and I don't want to get emotional".

"Have you told your mother that?" I asked.

"No, she didn't give me a chance, she just called me cold and heartless."

"I can only imagine how much your mother must be hurting too" I told her

"To lose a neighborhood kid like that, she's probably putting herself in that mom's place. I know I would be doing that, feeling how awful it might feel to lose one of her kids, I don't even know the woman and my heart aches for her.

"It could have been hard for your mom to voice that, maybe?"

"While she is your mom, she is a human being and just a grown up girl, right?".

She smiles and nods her head.

"Be the hero kid" I tell her.

"Just give it a try, hug your mother and tell her you are sorry you two have been fighting and tell her WHY you were scared to go and see what she says".

When I saw her next I asked her about how things had gone with her mom.

"AWESOME" she said "thank you for all you said the other day. I went home and tried it and yesterday we spent time making bread for my dad, it was cool, we don't usually bake together, she is usually with my little sister doing that kind of thing. It was nice, really nice".

"I told my mom some of the things you said" she continued.

(Hooooo-ly shit, I hope her mom never asks for my credentials)

Worst case scenario, I could bribe Googie to come in and vouch for me, she'd agree that I do in fact (think I) know it all, and then some.

And while she's at it she can verify that I've been known to have a wicked case of chronic verbal diarrhea a time or two, here and there, every so often, on occasion.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Life of Ignidor Radidor the Learned....

I'm beginning to feel the weight of something weighing heavily on me.

Like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Or maybe, a pair of mud encrusted combat boots to drop, may better describe it.

I hate it when I over-think my life,

over analyze

leading to over-eating,

and being over critical,

and over-ly tired of myself (and those around me).

When I break it down in small chunks my life is totally manageable.

But when I think of the big picture, it pretty much over-whelms.

If you write to me and ask "why?" or "what the heck is going on?"..

I won't be able to answer because I really have no clue.

(And maybe, just maybe that's why they call it the blues..??)

que sera sera...

come what may....

it is what it is...

it be what it be...

Is there really any other option..??

Well, actually there is.

While you can't change the wind, you most certainly can adjust (and re-adjust and tweek and turn and so on) your sails...

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~ Anne Bradstreet.

This lovely image and the quote above it were both borrowed from the Flowers Magazine website
PS..the title of this post? Randomly selected here

Saturday, March 3, 2012

That damn mop.....

When I was a kid and wore my hair to my waist my grandmother used to ask "when are you ever going to cut that damn mop?"

"When I get to be old" I would say "maybe like 25".

"When I was in my early 30's my grandmother remarked "you said that you were going to cut that damn mop when you were 25, when you got "old", remember saying that?"

I nodded yes.

"Indeed, I do remember saying that" I said.

"Well" she replied "what has changed?"

"I guess my definition of old" I answered.

Today Jenny Matlock over at off on my tangent challenged us to write a short story using a prompt that she'd given us... and an additional (very generous) 100 words. The prompt is in bold italics

To read what the other contributors have written please go here.

This day was long past due.  Her decision would tell the world for certain that she’d finally grown up. Before she left the house for the very important appointment she checked her appearance one last time. Neither a bun nor a ponytail seemed to fit her mood today. Loose and flowing felt better, that way the wind could pick up strands and let them tickle her face and stick to her lipstick one last time. Saying goodbye was harder than she thought. It was time to retire her waist length tresses; she was, after all, soon to be 75.