The quieter you become the more you can hear ~ Ram Dass

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #5

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

Chapter 5

     Meanwhile, Julie had been sitting in the car for quite a while in front of the doors. She had to calm herself down before she could go back in.  She could feel the fear inside her of what was eventually going to become of her mother.  She was always the one in the family that kept everything going; the one they all depended on.  She couldn’t believe what was happening to her now.  She was feeling guilty about a lot of things.  She was a doctor for goodness sakes.  Why didn’t she see the signs?  She noticed her mom was getting forgetful but just thought it was old age creeping up on her.  She was 70 sometimes that will happen to people her age.  Ralph did tell her that he thought something might be wrong with her mom but did she listen, no.  She wanted to live in a fantasy world.  After the unexpected death of her father she wanted to believe that nothing was going to happen to her for a long, long time.  Thank goodness, she finally faced reality.  At least she’s on medication now and hopefully it will slow the progression of the disease. 

     Then she was feeling guilty that her mom ended up at a nursing home.  She told her she could live with her.  It would have been hard for her family but they could have made it work.  She then remembered all those years ago her mother telling her that she never wanted to have to live with her children.  She could have had a private nurse too that lived at her home.  There was no problem with the money.  Her father made sure her mother even if something happened to him that she would be set for life.  She didn’t get it.  Like her mom said though it’s her decision, and I’ll honor it even though she didn’t like it.   

      “Auntie Julie, are you all right?” Josh said peeking into her window.  Julie jumped.  “You scared me Josh.”  “Sorry, grandma wanted me to find you.  She thinks you were taking too long.  I brought the cart back for you.”  “I’m fine.  I guess I just got lost in my thoughts.”  “Are you worried about her?”  “ I guess I am.   I never expected her to end up here.”  “Me either.  Grandma’s always been so independent.  It seems nice enough but I guess with what she’s dealing with she thinks this is best for her.  Dad told me what’s wrong with grandma but that was it.   I looked it up on the Internet to see exactly what it was.  It’s kind of scary.”  “Yes, it is but we’ll get through it as a family and don’t you worry about it.  Now let’s get this stuff unloaded before she sends your father for us too.”  “Okay” and they unloaded three boxes full of stuff.  “You take that stuff to the room while I move my car back to the parking lot.  Tell grandma I’ll be right in.”

     She pulled her car into the parking lot and as she was walking to the door, she saw an old friend from high school coming.  “Sally, what are you doing here?” “Julie, is that you?  I haven’t seen you for years. My mom’s here.  She had a stroke last year and is in a wheelchair.  We couldn’t take care of her; our house is way too small.  We barely fit my family in it. What are you doing here?”  “My mom moved in yesterday.  We found out she has Alzheimer’s. For some reason she’s telling everyone it’s early onset which it isn’t.  It’s a little worse than that but perhaps she didn’t understand the doctor or that’s how she’s coping with it.  We wanted her to move in with one of us but if you remember my mom, she always did things her way.”  “She’ll be fine, don’t worry about her. I was so lucky to get my mom in here.  This is a wonderful place and they treat the residents like family.”  “That’s good to know.”  “Well, I hate to run but I’ve got to get back to work.  Every four months they have a family conference and I like to go to it.  Maybe we can get together sometime and if you have any questions I can help.  My number’s in the book.”  “I would appreciate that more than you know.  See you later.”


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Centus #82

It's Saturday Centus again - in a nutshell, Jenny Matlock gives us a prompt from either herself or a guest submitter and then we have to write 100 words or  less related to the prompt (the prompt doesn't count toward the 100 words) Then link it up to her blog. It's open until the following Saturday, so that means you have all week to participate by either reading or writing.  The prompt is in blue.
"Would you like fries with that?"
“Sure, why not.”
I looked around the tiny diner with all its Christmas decorations.
 “I’m surprised you’re opened.”
“Yeah, we’re always open on Christmas. Where you headed?” she asked.
“Nowhere really, I had some vacation time.  I just got in the car and headed west.”
“No family?”
“Let’s just say if you looked in the dictionary under dysfunctional you would see my family.”
“Why do you think I work every Christmas? I’ll get your order and then we can trade stories.”
Maybe this won’t be such a bad Christmas after all they both thought. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Random Thoughts on vacation

1.  I haven't gotten chapped lips in years.  I did when we were in Vegas.  One day it was very windy, it must have been from that.  Also, I had flyaway hair the whole time, ha.

2.  When we were driving I was surprised at how many freeways were 75 mph through mountains and curvy roads.  Yikes!

3.  In May when we went to Vegas, we tried to see the big golden nugget in the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino and we couldn't find it.  This time it was my goal to see it.  We did.  It was pretty big lol.

4. The first Super 8 we stayed at you could have dogs in your hotel room.   From our room we could see people taking them out to do their business on a grassy area.

5.  I am starting to like flying again even though we hit some turbulence on the way back this time.  The girl sitting next to hippie was freaking out a little, ha.

6. When I got back, blogger was all different.  I'm having some trouble when posting.  Is anyone having issues?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone..

I hope you have a lot to be Thankful for this year.  I know I have. 
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #4

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

Chapter 4

     “Mrs. Dunkin, my name’s Jim.  I’m from maintenance.  We got your son all set with a cart and your daughter mentioned that you needed some things taken out of here.  So, that’s what Paul and I are here to do.”  “Well, thank you.  I’m almost done with this dresser and then you can take it.” 

      They were about done when Jerry and Josh arrived at the door.    “Hello, Mom.” “Hi grandma.”  “Hello, you two.  Where’s Julie?”  “She packed the breakables in her car and she’s getting them.”  “I hope I have enough room for everything.”  “You’ll be fine, Mrs. Dunkin.  You have one of the bigger rooms here.  Do you need some help bringing the stuff in?”  “No, Josh and I can handle it.  Thanks for asking though.”  “Okay, we’ll probably see you around Mrs. Dunkin,” and they left. “They seem very nice, don’t you think Jerry?”  “Yeah, I guess mom.  Come on Josh, let’s start getting grandma’s things in.” 

     First came in my beautiful mahogany dresser and nightstand. I remember when Hank and I bought it.  We got money from our parents and it was the first things we bought as a married couple.  Next came in the mahogany hope chest.  My parents bought it for me when I was 10 years old.  Every year at Christmas, my mother would buy me something to put in it.  By the time I got married, I had a lot of stuff.  Then the most important piece of furniture I ever owned the mahogany rocker.  “Are you sure you want this rocker?  It is rather old and it’s not in that great of shape.”  “Yes, I most certainly do.  Your dad bought it for me when I was pregnant with you Jerry.  I rocked you, your sister and all of my grandchildren in that for hours on end.  I could never get rid of that.” “Okay, I was just asking” and he put it in the corner.   The last thing they brought in was the beautiful mirror for the top of the dresser.   I closed my eyes and remembered how many times I would be standing in front of it brushing my hair and Hank would come behind me and encircle me with his embrace.  I missed him so much even more now than when he first died. 

     “Mom, mom, are you okay?”  “I’m fine Jerry, I was just remembering something.”  “Okay, I’ll get this mirror on for you,” and he went about attaching it.  “Do you think you’re going to like it here grandma? I remember coming here that one year when I was in the choir; it gave me the creeps.” “Josh,” Jerry yelled.   I chuckled.  “Jerry, leave the kid alone.  Josh hopefully now that I’m here, it won’t seem so creepy.  I would hate to think you wouldn’t visit me.”  “No, I’ll visit you grandma. I promise. In fact, since I just got my driver’s license you might see me more than ever.You might even get sick of seeing me so much. That’s if dad ever lets me use the car.  .”  “Oh, I don’t think I’d ever get sick of seeing my favorite grandchild.”  “You’re not fooling me.  I hear you say that to all the grand kids, grandma.”  “I guess you got me there” and he gave me a big hug.  “If your dad thinks it’s all right, you can have my car.  I won’t be using it anymore.  It’s not a sports car but for a first car I don’t think it’s too bad.”  “Are you kidding me grandma?  I would love it.  What do you think dad?”  “I’ll have to talk to your mother but I’m sure we could work something out, although there would still have to be rules.”  “I know.  I’ll do whatever you and mom wants me to do.  It would be so great to not have mom drive me to school.  I could even go to the store and do all kinds of errands.”  “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll talk to mom.”  “Okay, cool dad.” 

    “What do you think happened to Julie?”  “You know her Mom.   She’ll talk to anyone.  Son, go and find your aunt.”  “Okay, I’ll take the cart with me in case she needs it” and Josh walked out the door.  
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Friday, November 18, 2011


Is anyone out there? LOL.

This week we bought a pre-lit tree.  For years I've been trying to talk hippie into it.

The tree we already have is like over 20 years old.  Amazingly, it's still good as new but it's too full.

After last Christmas, hippie agreed to getting a pre-lit one.  I didn't want to get it last year, although it probably would have been a while lot cheaper, in case it didn't work.

We got it at Michael's.  We're going to set it up this weekend to make sure it works but won't decorate it until Thanksgiving weekend.

We'll still keep the old one but I hope I like the new one because after talking him into it, I don't think I can switch back next yea r to the old one, ha. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trip part 3

The next day it would take us until 4:30 to get to Vegas so we drove straight through.  We were pretty tired of being in the car already.

When we got there we went to our son's apartment.  He was sleeping.  He works nights (he has Monday and Tuesday nights off) and we said a quick hello and then his girlfriend took us to where we were staying.  We stayed one night at The Orleans because it was close to where they lived.  The room was very nice and was pretty reasonably priced.  I ordered a pizza and hippie went downstairs and got it.  On the order sheet it just said a whole pizza when I called she asked if we wanted 6 or 8 pieces, I said 8.  Holy Moley, this pizza was HUGE.  It was like an extra large one.  We ate 4 pieces and that was it.    Hippie went downstairs and gambled and I made a couple phone calls.  I never left the room the whole night.

The next day, we had to go to the DMV to get the title turned over and for them to get new plates for the car.  We checked in at 1:30 and got number 833.  When we looked they were only on 500 something.  We got done a little after 5:00.  It is so busy there that they have restrooms and a snack bar LOL. Since it was Halloween most of the workers were in costume.  A good portion of them were themed costumes from the Wizard of Oz.  There was Dorothy, Glenda the good witch, tinman, scarecrow, the lion, the wicked witch, yellow brick road and a couple of munchkin, including the mayor, ha.  Also, non-themed was the joker and a klingon (from star trek).  They all looked really good. 

When we were done there they took us downtown to Freemont Street where we stayed at the Fitzgeralds.  Since it was downtown, the rooms weren't as fancy but for the price they were fine.  On Halloween night they had a parade.  Freemont street was packed.  It reminded me of when you see Mardi Gras.  A lot of people were in costume.

We didn't go see any shows this time.  We walked up and down Freemont Street mostly and ate.  We did go to the Peppermill again.  I bought quite a few souvenirs for myself this time.   We also gambled a lot more.  We played the video blackjack machines and the poker machines at the bar that way we got free drinks LOL.

On Thursday, we took the shuttle to the airport.   We got home around 11 p.m.  All in all we had a great time.  We're thinking of going again in the spring.

 Side note:  I really didn't take any pictures.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin # 3

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.


     My breakfast came about 8:15, a nice girl brought it in all cheery-like.  She was a tall girl, thin and looked to be in about her 20’s. She said her name was Cheryl. They must have a rule here, all employees must be cheery.  She put the tray on a small table and then left.  I sat down and surveyed the food.  Eggs, bacon, toast, and small glasses of juice, water, milk and coffee and it all tasted pretty good.   

     After I was done eating, I realized Julie and Jerry would be here in about 30 minutes and I thought about where I would put the things they were bringing.  I had everything all ready for them.  All they had to do was load it up in Jerry’s truck.  It should only take them one trip.  I thought about going out and looking around the facility a bit but I wasn’t ready for that. 

     While I’m waiting for them I’ll tell you a little about them.  Jerry is my first born, 40 years old.  He’s been married to his wife, Sue, for 20 years.  He has two children.  Joshua is 17 and Amy is 15.  Like I mentioned he’s a financial planner and is very good at what he does.  Since Hank died, he’s helped me a lot around my house.  We had issues with him when he was growing up but we don’t need to get into that now, there will be time later I’m sure.  He’s the spitting image of his father.  Tall, handsome, a good build, and black wavy hair. 

     My daughter, Julie, 36 years old is married to Ralph for 16 years.  They have two children; fraternal twins.  Wait for this… Their names are Jack and Jill.  They thought it would be cute.  I remember at the time thinking how much they would be teased because of it.  Now that they are 13, I can only imagine.  Julie’s a Pediatrician.  Her husband’s a surgeon.  I wonder how they do everything they do with the kids and their jobs but they somehow manage things.  She favors me.  She has hazel eyes, thin and auburn hair although my hair’s long turned gray.   I don’t mean to brag but I was quite the stunner back in the day. 

     “Hi Mom.”  “Hi Julie.”  “Jerry and Josh have the truck in front.  They are seeing if they can get something to put your stuff on so it’s easier to bring in.  How was your first night?”  “It was wonderful.  Everyone’s so nice here and my breakfast was just so yummy.  It will be so nice not to have to worry about cooking or doing dishes.”  “Really mom? I always thought you loved to cook.”  “Sure I did when you kids lived at home and your father was alive.  It’s not so fun when you have to cook only for yourself.”

     “Oh by the way, Stella called me last night.” “And..?”  “I did just what you told me.  I said you didn’t have a phone yet and when you got one you would call her and tell her when she could visit.”  “Thank you Julie, you know how Stella can be.  I love her like a sister but sometimes we don’t see eye to eye and this happens to be one of those times.”  “She’s just worried about your decision just like we are.”  “Let’s not go there again.”  “Okay, I’m going to see how Jerry and Josh are doing.  Do you want to come with me?” “No, I think I’ll start emptying these drawers and put the stuff on the bed so they can move this small dresser out before they bring in mine. You go dear,” and Julie left the room.  

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trip part 2

When we left Missouri, we traveled through Oklahoma.  It was pretty uneventful.  I did see a sign on the road that said the first shopping cart was invented there.  We stayed at another Super 8 in Oklahoma City.  This one had a room service menu.  You called an 800 number, and then they connected you to a local restaurant and they delivered what you wanted.  I got chicken fettuccine and hippie got a Philly cheese steak sandwich.  We turned the 7th game of the World Series on but I only watched about 2 innings and fell asleep LOL.  Hippie said it wasn't as exciting as the game the night before so I didn't miss much, considering we weren't really rooting for anyone.

The next day we traveled through Texas where we saw what looked like a big wind farm.  I've never seen so many wind turbines.

Then came New Mexico.  We stopped to get gas and the MasterCard wouldn't worked.  The pump said it was expired.  (We had this issue the last time when we couldn't use it the rest of the trip.  This time though we called and said we would be out of town, grrr) We stopped at dusk and stayed in Grants at another Super 8.   When we got to the room, I called and complained about our card not working.  The girl checked and said they didn't decline anything and next time if that happens to go inside and have them hand put it in.  There was another Denny's there so we walked over to it.  When we were walking hippie was a little ahead of me and a woman was walking out of one of the motels.  She and I both said hello to each other.  Then she asked if my friend could give her a dollar.  I reached in my purse and gave her $2.  She said she was from Dallas and didn't know what she was going to do, blah, blah, blah, although she was wearing a uniform from the hotel, ha, ha.  I knew I was being hoodwinked but that was okay.

Side note:  We were pretty happy with the Super 8's.  They weren't fancy but we used our AARP card and got the rooms a little cheaper  Also, every McDonald's we went to gave us the senior discount for coffee without us asking, lol. 

Next time Las Vegas

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #2

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

Chapter 2

     “Annie, Annie?” I thought I must be dreaming when I looked at the clock and it was 6 A.M.  “Annie?” “Yes?”  “Hi my name’s Kate,” walking in the room all chipper.  “I’m the day shift nurse.  Amelia left on your chart that you wanted to be called, Annie.  I brought your pills in for you to take.  Also, if you want to eat in the day-room, breakfast will come at 8 A.M”, she said handing Annie a little container with her pills.  “You start things kind of early here.”  “Yes, we do.  You can let us know what time you want to get up or if you want you can bring an alarm and get yourself up.  I know it’s going to be your first full day here so if you’d like to eat breakfast in your room you can do that too.”  “I think I would feel more comfortable doing that.  It’s going to take me a while to adjust to being here.”  “No problem.”  “It’s nice meeting you, Annie.  If I don’t see you out and about, I’ll bring your afternoon pills to your room.  If there’s anything you need just buzz.  See you later.”  “It was so nice to meet you dear.”

     I may as well get up now as long as I’m awake.  I got up and got my underthings out of the dresser.  Thank goodness, they will be bringing my dresser.  I can barely fit my stuff in this one.  I got a lavender flowered blouse and black pants out of the closets.  There were towels and washcloths in the bathroom already.  I started taking a shower and made a mental note to tell Julie to buy me some different soap.  When I got done, I put my clothes on and went to the room blew dry my hair and put a clasp in it.  That’s done.

     So, she said breakfast was at 8 A.M. in the day-room.  I wonder what time they’ll bring it to my room.  This isn’t so bad so far, it’s like staying in a hotel and getting room service; except for being woken up at 6 a.m.    I decided I’d open the blinds to see what kind of view I had.  I could see the woods and a few deer in the distance.  This should be nice especially this time of year.  With mating season, they probably have a lot of deer around here. 

     I looked in my purse for a pen and some paper.  I should make a running list of things I need like the soap.  You see, I’ve become an expert at making lists.  If I don’t write it down, I don’t remember it.  I know what you’re thinking; it’s the Alzheimer’s.  Don’t be so sure of that.  My lifelong friend or how I hear people say it now my BFF, Stella says she forgets things all the time and has to write them down.  Although I don’t think she’s ever driven somewhere and forgotten how to get home.  How humiliating it was when I had to call Julie and tell her I was lost.  That’s when all the doctor’s appointments began and finally the diagnosis I feared the most was confirmed.  That’s when they told me I shouldn’t drive anymore.  I should have someone put my medications in containers so I wouldn’t mess them up.  The doctor suggested before I got too bad I should think about getting my affairs in order and either hire a private nurse or move in with one of the children.   All I could think of was that old saying “whoa nelly” as my son and daughter argued about who would take me in.  That really sealed the deal for me on coming here.  I knew even though they loved me neither one could handle it.  Someday I wouldn’t recognize them and I didn’t want to be living in one of their homes when that day came. I didn’t want to see the dismay and frustration on their faces when I couldn’t do the littlest thing or remember something. It was bad enough they would see that when they came here but 24/7?  No, I was sure that this was the best decision for everyone but mostly for me. 

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trip part 1

So, we left about 7:45 on October 27th to drive to Vegas to take our son's car to him.  These last 2 years they've only had the girlfriend's car.  Her's was pretty old and was costing too much money to get it fixed.

We took the GPS and got a trip tik from AAA.  Hippiie wanted to use the trip tik instead of the GPS.  Okay!!

We got lost once in Indianapolis, Indiana but it only took about 15 minutes to get back on track.

When we got over the border in Illinois we stopped at a McDonald's for coffee.  Hippie wondered why we got the coffee so cheap and when I looked on the receipt they gave us the senior coffee price (we never thought to ask about it) we were laughing so hard we went the wrong way on the freeway.  Thus we had to go back over the border into Illinois again.  Naturally it was my fault because I distracted hippie @@. At the McDonald's I never saw this before, they had three f aux leather chairs and a big screen TV for people to watch.  Anyone have a McDonald's like that where they live?

We got lost a little in Missouri but somehow ended up on the right freeway, just in time for rush hour and about a half hour before the 6th game of the World Series was to start.  We went right past Busch Stadium.  We saw the blimp above it.   Right after St. Louis we were going to stop for the night. I wanted to stay in Eureka.    We took a road that there was supposed to be a Best Western and drove up and down hills and a curvy road, past a ski resort, very high speed limit in the dark.  We kept looking for some place to turn around and finally after 5 miles we found a place.  We went to the next exit and found a Super 8 and stayed there.  Turns out it was in Eureka, ha. I made the decision right then and there that would be the last time we would be looking for a motel in the dark, ha.   After we got checked in we went to Denny's to eat, then went back to the room and watched the baseball game.  The next day when we left, in the afternoon I found Rush Limbaugh on the radio.  I never listen to him but I was starved for entertainment so we left him on.  Then when we were driving down the freeway we saw a hand painted sign that said "Obama is destroying our country".  How apropos LOL. 

More next time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm back

We (hippie) drove my son's car to him in Las Vegas.  It took us about 4 days.  We left last Thursday and came back today (Thursday).  We had a good time.  Not many pictures but some stories to tell when I get a chance.  It's good to be back home.