Thanksgiving Cat Nips

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I truly enjoy holidays. I love cooking at any time, but holidays are fun. It amazes me how fast a dinner that takes hours to prepare can vanish into the mists of full bellies. I don’t do too much that is fancy. It isn’t really necessary and adds more steps to my already busy few days in the kitchen. Besides, if anyone desires fluff, there is always canned whipped topping to bring a note of festivity to the dessert! (Topping is good on ice cream, crusted pies, cake, puddings, custard pies, and I think Little Bear once put it on his raw carrots……)

I learned early to not put a table cloth out. No matter how careful the boys were, something would spill. The things are also very easy to pull off when getting up from the table! Place mats have always been my covering of choice. I can change them with seasons and wash them with the towels each week. I need new winter ones. Mum gave me some plastic covered snowman mats years back and I use them as long as I use my snowman dishes. From Thanksgiving until March (Snow is not something that vanishes with Christmas, I’ll probably post more on that later!). Unfortunately, many of the corners of those mats have tiny perforations. Because of Moses.

Moses loves turkey. He likes fish, venison he’ll eat raw, is ok with chicken, but he really likes cooked turkey. It is always a bit of a chore to remember at a holiday dinner in which this bird is the feature meat, to watch out for his mitts. He will lurk under the table, reach up, snag the placemat with his big ol paws, and pull! I’ve never ever fed a pet from the table before. Moses is an exception. In order to placate him, we drop bits of turkey on the floor til he’s sated and saunters off for a nap. Putting the pieces in a dish elsewhere does not work. He much prefers it ‘off the table’. It must fulfill the hunter instinct.

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Starting at the beginning….

The longest of days starts at the beginning. It really did. Monday morning. I called GE about the range and thought it was going to be horrible. The automated person told me I had a wait of an hour and 45 minutes!! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but after 5 a wonderful woman answered the phone. I  discovered the aged bake element was replaceable, wouldn’t cost much, had a year guarantee, AND would arrive in 3-4 business days. (I was not entirely falling for that estimate, we are in the wilds of the north and it is a holiday week!)

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I went into town and one of my favorite people told me what I’d need to unscrew the element from the back of the oven. I had no idea there was such thing as a ‘hex head’. (unless it is a cold sent to one by curse..) One of the most awesome things about learning to do something is getting to learn how to do it. The Craftsman takes his calling seriously. He almost NEVER lets me do things (or lets anyone help him much) and Little Bear often asks me when he ‘assists’ in projects if ‘dad knows I’m using tools’. One of my good friends let me make mistakes and twigged me just a bit after making mistakes. (I recall when…but, that was a different day and a story for later!)

I ate lunch at a local Arby’s. It was so nice to eat my sandwich and fries warm.

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I drove to the next town, stopping at the hospital with the ginormous bill mum had gotten. I wanted to understand why it was so high with three insurances to help pay for things. Well, the first lady I spoke to was surprised. She called someone else who was surprised. Eventually, I was told the cost had been adjusted and it was $46 (with cents). I gladly paid it on the spot! I did the rest of my errands, only one was a bust. The place where I was to get oxygen for mum didn’t know what I was after. I left, they’ll call me later!

As I drove back out north, I pulled one of those finger edge bits. Not cool. I decided I’d get a band aid when I stopped to fill up with gas. (something ELSE I have learned to do since moving up here. In Oregon you aren’t allowed to fill your own car and when I was a kid at home, dad had a giant tank in the yard we used for gas) Except, after I got gas, I couldn’t find the band aids. I keep spares in my insulin wallet and I was missing the wallet!!!!

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One of my good friends texted me the number of Arby’s, it was the last place I had it. Yup, it was on the floor. (what a thought, I dropped my life on the floor!!!)

When I finally got home, I learned mum had been downstairs and she was pleased as punch she could do that. I was so mad. She’s not supposed to go down our stairs, the cat likes to trip up people on the stairs, AND I had not tidied up the basement before I’d left. There were many things I’d not put away or picked up!

The night kind of deteriorated from there. The washer wasn’t shutting off again and water was leaking out of the machine and the drain in the laundry room floor is acting up again.  Mum wanted me to get her some things she’d found in the basement (her boots!) and forgot her dog outside (wait, that was today, he was out for almost 30 minutes!).

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I did get out to watch the northern lights, mum was a catalyst in making me go out again. I had been out and they were not doing much. I had shoveled a path to the lake and gotten quite chilled. But, she told me they were better than she’d seen them in a long time and I really should go out (I was texting people in the basement as I tried to warm up a bit.) When I finally got dressed in warmer clothes, I went down to sit on the dock pallets for about 45 more minutes. It was cold, about 9 degrees F or thereabouts. (May have been colder.) They were lovely, I’m glad I watched them. (I was really cold when I got back to the house, I had been stumbling in the snow!!)

Tuesday was almost as bizarre. Mum’s CAT scan showed her tumor did change. It appears the radiation killed the cancer cells and they are liquefying. Eventually, her body will absorb it. (EWWW, huh?) I think it is called ‘cystic degeneration.’  Then the library and losing the wallet thing happened (see other post). At the post office, I was given a gift by one of the gals who works there. Those ladies really do take care of each person they see. I was entirely humbled. (as I have talked about more than once!) I even got to take a complete shower without any extra water issues.

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OH HAPPY DAYs which were so very odd…

Pointless…not really!

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Sunday it snowed. A lot. Fluffy soft white glittery snow pushed to and fro by wind. It snowed for most of the day, about 12 hours of snow and wind. It wasn’t a strong wind, just enough to make things drift completely. Sunday means a newspaper of a formidable size and mum was wanting it. I had swept off the walk once and less than an hour later, it looked as if I hadn’t done much at all. I went out later, when it was light, and shoveled my way to the end of the drive. I didn’t see a paper in the box or wheel tracks to mark where the driver may have gone. (I learned later, it might have been tossed in the snow and covered.) Wending my way back to the house, I opted to go out after chatting to the person who was coming to plow. (Or the boss of the person plowing!) I assumed the man would arrive in the latter part of the afternoon and so spent mine outside moving snow. Every time I checked my glucose, it read good numbers. Moving snow is good exercise! I made many paths and piled up mounds and had a great time. While I was out, our neighbors passed and offered to ‘punch a hole’ in the drive before the plow got there after he was done with his drive. (I was a bit nervous about mum today. She was coffing and didn’t sound very good when not on the phone. If I needed to get her help, I wanted the ambulance to be able to get to us. She was  ‘fine’.) I felt the punch was a great idea and we continued on our ways. (It didn’t happen at this time, but next snow!)  Strider called and I talked to him for a while, I moved more snow, and finally decided it was close to time for dinner.

Yup, just as I got my plate to take it to the basement (There isn’t room to eat upstairs anymore, mum has quite a bit of fabric and yarn and clothing she plans on getting rid of in various piles), he arrived. I stopped him and helped him see where the road was and where the new drain field and septic were (the yellow tires I painted and stuck on end were a very good idea!). After about an hour, the whole place was plowed clean as a whistle and all my work had been obliterated by the man with the plow.

I laughed to myself. It is so normal for me to do something and have someone else come thru and erase everything in a better way. Yet, it wasn’t entirely pointless. I got lots of exercise and my glucose was very good and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. OK, not the times when I slipped and fell (the last time kind of hurt!) or when the dog kept trying to grab the shovel in his teeth so he could run with it (playing is well and good, but not when it is time to work!). The rest of the time was grand, though. I do love snow!!!!

Fix it, Dear Henry….

(I LOVE this song sung by Muppets on Sesame Street. I am so glad Youtube exists to find these gems!)

All my life I’ve been the smoothing iron. The one who keeps things on an even keel, the responsible one, the one who attempts to make things better. (Not quite Liza and definitely not Henry, but maybe someone in between!) It doesn’t matter where I am, it seems to be my gift. (I wish it was returnable!) Mum said something Sunday which made me shake my head. She said she always took care of her things and made sure they were working properly so they would last. (I do this, myself. I am rather careful when given something, no matter what it might be. OK, I did lose my wedding ring and class ring about 15 years ago. That still annoys me!)

Anyway, she was talking about her 22 year old stove. She decided to clean it and this was the result.
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Intense, huh? I was looking at the element to see how bad it was and well, it came apart when I manipulated it! So, I reckon we’ll embrace the black holiday deals and snag a new appliance. Unless GE says I can replace this part. Which I’m dubious about. (Thankfully, you can cook Cornish hens in a crock pot!)

Yet, I was thinking it over. There have been a few things mum has neglected or put off and not taken care of, which I ended up doing.

Each summer I’ve come home there has been something. Change light bulbs, take mum’s car to the mechanic, I put together a small green house for her, septic stuff, push her to get her will done, defrosted and emptied the freezer in the garage, septic stuff, and then after I was finally made her Power of Attorney, I did a bit more. Things like take her car in to the mechanic, septic stuff, take her pets to the vet, take her taxes in, pay bills she had due, septic stuff, get her subscribed to NHL for the season (she always whines about not getting hockey games, but forgets she needs to subscribe for them!), get the electricity to the garage fixed, get things tidied up in the yard and have trees removed, get bills on auto pay instead of having to worry she may not pay them (I pay them all, but the autopay is just in case!), there were probably other things, too. I’m not touching her laptop!!! (she hasn’t gone online since 1-17 and she keeps telling people she will!) I know there is a great deal I’ve only dabbled in and will need to firmly address in the next weeks. (The waters of health insurance and Medicare are murky and frightening!) I keep thinking if the responsible smoothing iron daughter dropped everything….but, I won’t! It would make it worse later. (Shudder!)

I don’t mean to make this sound like a litany of things I’ve done. I was trying to point out how often mum neglects something which isn’t quite on her ‘important’ list. And still she gets annoyed with me for how I am spending ‘her’ money and wants to know how much she has in her bank account because she’s going to need it.

Especially when things break since I’ve been home.

Laces

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I was thinking about friends while driving the other day. There are so many facets to a relationship between people. There was one woman I’d made friends with and lost track of too quickly. She was upset because I was not responding the way she felt I should and used the word reciprocity to help define friendship.

At first, I liked the word as to how it might relate to a relationship. If one person gives, it is good to have the other person give back. Yet, that isn’t how they work most of the time. Friendships ebb and flow and change. Some people have relationships where close bonds develop, last forever, and ties are strong. Many friendships are lights which shine and help others on their path. I’m acquainted with many ‘lights’, but the majority of mine resemble shoelaces.

I’m not an easy person to befriend or be friends with. I’m demanding and needy. I realise I don’t give enough to others in positive good ways and perhaps that is why most of my laces are loose or untied. I have many people who are important in my life. People who I have made ties with who are secure, loose, look good untied, are tight on occasion, can be grungy or clean, and life goes on. It doesn’t work to try to investigate the lace and wonder why. Round or flat or leather, it is just a lace.

I know there are people I can ask for help and if it works into their time, they can give it. (makes perfect sense, and why I detest bothering someone!) I find it interesting people I’ve not seen in a year say they miss me (Oregon laces), yet when I was in their locale, I never spoke to them or saw them. Unless it was on FB! Here in AK, most of the laces in my world relate to mum. I’d probably be forgotten quickly (or fairly quickly!) if I left. It is that ebb and flow thing.

Rarely does one find laces that tie in obscure ways. Those are precious. The kinds of laces you end up saving in a drawer someday! When the eldest was in Iraq, I belonged to a mom network. We discussed mailing packages (something I am VERY good at!). At that time, loose lips were things you worked on securing. There wasn’t a FB page for bootcamp, soldiers were not encouraged to post photos of their duty stations, and communication was not easy (as a Cav Scout, my son was often out in the middle of nowhere). I made a veiled comment one day and got a message in replay. It turned out the comment I made was a flag for a gal who had a boyfriend in Iraq. In the same unit as my son! Well, that gal and I laced ourselves together for a few years. Eventually, she vanished. Stopped returning letters and emails and left FB and social media. The fun part? Through her, I met a couple who does communicate with me often via snail mail. Our friendship has loosened with my being north. Laces do that.

I do believe in Anne’s (Anne of Avonlea) theory of kindred spirits. Being laces we all do the same sorts of things, we are found in shoes. Different kinds of shoes, but we all exist for pretty much the same thing. Pretty cool when those shoes are the same brand or used in the same sorts of experiences. You may even be a kindred spirit with your spouse. I can’t imagine it, but I’m sure it happens.

I love the laces in my wordpress world. You make nice sturdy bows! I’m glad you are around. (Especially, lately.) I’ve noticed something odd, the last month or two with my real world relationships. At least 3 of those stronger laces have loosened thoroughly or untied entirely.  I’m looking at the frayed ends a bit sadly, because they are so hard to let go of. I crave communication of any kind, the loss of it makes me want to grab any sort of lace out there. (It is sort of scary in a silly way.)

However, it is just an observation, thankfully one can vanish into books where it is safe. Books are laces of metallic sort. They never untie, loosen, sit patiently as they wait to be read again, and are peopled with a million characters in different worlds. There isn’t a lot of communication with those characters, but I do learn things from them. As for real conversation, I do get to trade comments and virtual hugs with people in here and chat when I’m out shopping.

So, {{HUG}}!!

A Bit of Today

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I did a few errands today. Thankfully, the snow was powder and was easy to brush off mum’s car. We still don’t have the garage tidy enough for the rig. No matter, I just remember to keep one snow brush inside and use that til I can get to the longer one in the vehicle! (although, it might make more sense to keep the longer one inside. It does little good being stored in the car if you need it to clean off the car… Hmmmmm.)

I went to the post office and dropped off some blankets mum had finished and a bag of ‘gifts’ for a granddaughter. While I was digging in my own bag for a letter I was going to mail, I found a pair of panties. I am so glad I found them before I emptied my bag in front of anyone! (they were folded, just residing for some reason in my bag!) Mailed my letter, sent The Craftsman a text (he is sick, which is why I he has only sent a couple of lines in the last few days), and drove off to town.

I got mum’s meds (I hate how expensive insulin is, even with her insurance, the copay was almost $150. Mine is a less expensive, but it is a sort of a ‘test’ insulin.). That was kind of funny. The pharmacist (I love those people!!) told me it would take about 10 minutes. So, I bought things. (I wonder if that is some sort of ploy by stores to have their pharmacies tell customers to wait?)

Went to the library and was seriously confused. They had called me and left a message (which I deleted!) to tell me a book was in. So, I was looking forward to getting one of two I had reserved. Except, neither one was there!!!! I wish I had not deleted the call! It didn’t come from the library number I have stored, so I had no idea when or who made the call. So, I got two different books instead. I found a series I’m in love with. It was a total accident I found this author and I am so glad I did!! Her name is Marie Brennan and she writes the fictional (of course!) memoirs of Lady Trent, who is a naturalist studying dragons. Her writing style makes me laugh out loud. The book I’m reading now, in the preface, has these lines, “I have no compunctions about washing my dirty linen in public—not when the linen in question is so very old and wrinkled. Some of the errors I was accused of were entirely baseless; others, I confess, were entirely fair, at least insofar as my own opinion may be trusted.”  They books are great fun and I’m glad I ran across them. (Link for books under author’s name!)

After that stop, I went off to play house elf. The owner was home and on their way out, so after being in the way for a while, the house emptied except for cats and elf and away the elf went! (I really wanted to bask on the internet for a while, but got sidetracked by chores! I have a moderately fair hand at house elfing!) It was so much fun! (I also stashed the clean uns there, in case I need to shower. This house elf prefers a clean tea towel…or more!)  It was also good for my glucose, even with the Kit Kat I’d consumed prior to my visit. Cleaning in my own house isn’t quite as fun. (It is rarely noticed and The Craftsman almost always re-cleans what I have in a spate of helping me. He is MUCH better at keeping things tidy than I am!) I do a bit in the basement, where I am living now, as best I can. It can be difficult working around clutter.

On my drive home I was thinking about friendship. Which, I believe will be a great post for next week!

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

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It appears I’m  not thinking properly. I’m the one who is delusional. After I posted my post yesterday and read several others who seemed to be responding to what I wrote in their own posts, I felt much better. I talked to a friend and could sleep. Today the fan was hit. With a lot of sh**.

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I should have seen it coming when mum walked out in the fresh snow to get the paper. I almost slipped yesterday, but she would be quite all right and she’d wear her ‘crap’ shoes (which are actually still fairly nice spendy things that I can’t pronounce).

This afternoon, Mum wanted the fleece. I had hoped to get some of the yarn totes back in the basement first, but she wanted the fleece now. So, I hauled up several boxes and containers of the fabric. After three plus, she did say it would be enough for now. (I also found she’s making them for something else. I would have laid cash down that she said it was for Sunday school, but it appears it is for a giving sort of thing at one of the other churches.)

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some of the boxes in my old bedroom..where I probably won’t sleep tonight cuz there are too many boxes all over and many are on my bed. There is not much room to move them again. (the duffle on the far side is mine)

She then decided she needed a pattern for a fleece prayer shawl jacket. Which was, as she remembers, in a tote of fleece fabric. I have looked everywhere.

I found dozens of patterns for scarves, hats, slippers, vests, pet clothes, dresses, aprons, costumes, and more. (the ones in these pattern drawers are just some of her patterns, I’ve also looked in boxes) Happily, I found a pattern she hadn’t made for me in my youth. (I put my name on it!!) She made a lot of dresses for me and I’m not grateful enough. I need to forgive myself for my anger towards her and realise she was very good to me while I was growing up. It isn’t every mom who makes Gunne Sax dresses for their daughters. (she did a lot of sewing when I was in my teen years. Much of it was a part of a business.) I did not find the pattern she was looking for, I need to keep looking. I do know she has often told me the names of things wrong, which inhibits my searches. This one she says is from Nancy’s Notions. I can’t find it anywhere online under what she said it was or even what it is supposed to be. I’ve searched Nancy’s Notions, too. Of course, mum said it has been discontinued. (I was hoping to find it online so I knew what I was looking for in the house!)

I got mad. I got really angry and should have just bitten my tongue and moved on. I always bite my tongue and it isn’t that hard to do. I told her she needed someone to live with her and she forgot things. She told me she was over 75 and it was her right to forget things. She said I forgot more things than she did and she wasn’t going to tell me, she didn’t need to get into that. Minutes later, she checked her blood and it was 549 (it has run higher since she’s been ‘on her own’). She said it was cuz she got pissed. And because the weather changed. She then told me she was afraid she was going to get into the same trouble my grandmother did.

OMG! My grandma had a daughter who stole from her, who drugged grandma til grandma didn’t know people and was  comatose, and who told grandma’s lawyers my mum was dead in Alaska and not to bother with looking for her. (that was a huge mess!) I was furious to hear her pair me with that awful aunt. I’m letting her take care of herself and today she’s done everything except haul totes up from the basement. I’m going to let her do whatever she damn well pleases and to hell with me taking care of her. If I am going to be dissed for negligence, I might as well make it worth something.

Tonight she made dinner. She fried pork chops and made macaroni and cheese and the upstairs is cluttered with fabric and boxes and you can hardly move.

(her dog came in all snowy and she had a fit!) Her hands hurt as well as a tooth (she has been bitching about this all afternoon), the chops were charred (which I don’t mind that much), and I bet tomorrow will be bad.  Hoping it is ok enough for me to go to town and do errands. She’ll bitch about me driving on the snowy roads, it needs done. (by the by, the container of cookies in the first photo? I bought those on Monday. She normally buys them and wanted me to get some for her….she says they are ok to eat at one carb per cookie)

The oven may or may not be messed up, but that isn’t going to be able to be addressed for a while. She says it is fine and will be better when she’s done cleaning it. She said she is doing things cuz I told her she needs to. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care if I get arrested for negligent care giving. I don’t care if she hurts herself (ok, that isn’t true. But, I won’t be surprised!). She wants her basement back and her life back.

Every day I check my emails and see ads from two different airlines for tickets. Granted, I can’t remember my passwords (the ones I have written down don’t work!), but gods…I want to leave! Am not even sure I can afford to leave. The Craftsman says I should use mum’s cash to do it since I’m not getting paid. After her comment, I’m not sure I want to touch her money for anything beyond what she needs! (and diet Pepsi and Jr Mints.…)

Cancer is horrible, the fallout is worse. I know this last cancer, the pancreatic one, she has been with us for almost 6 years after diagnosis. This is amazing, but it is also mum. I get frustrated with people who tell me my mum can’t have this particular disease as she’s still alive. I’m tired of care giving and wish she would be ok to leave alone. But, I’ve whined about that before and probably will again!

Lists

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Dewey said to write lists. I do this anyway! I’ve got to do lists started for next Monday and one for Friday. I have lists of people I’ve written letters to and what card I’ve mailed them (if any). Each time I visit a doctor with mum, I write notes on the visit. I have little notebooks full of things to do, books I want to read, and assorted information pertaining to life with mum. I often write lists of good things about a situation or person and the bad ones. I wonder if this post will suffice as a sort of a list?

It has been a long week. It is difficult to realise it is only Wednesday. There were good spots in Monday and Tuesday, which can’t be ignored. It is just the bad spots are so very subtle, they wear.

Mum has managed to misaddress two pieces of mail this week, so far. She absolutely cannot remember a thing about the annuity I discovered. She insists the winter boots she can’t find were taken by her granddaughter and given to someone who doesn’t exist except in mum’s head. The bread she tried to make didn’t rise (there must be something she’s not doing right and it wasn’t yeast, unless it was too much). She did some cleaning in the oven and put the shelving in backwards (I haven’t cleaned it because I don’t want to muck up her breathing) and something caught on fire inside when I was getting our dinner out. (I’ll have to keep an eye on that!) She’s decided to sew every kid in the Sunday school a fleece blanket, which is noble, but may prove to be more work than she expects.  (I’ve still not gotten her all the fleece she needs. I think there are more than 12 kids and the blankets are huge!) Her glucose readings have run high. She has done most of her shots okay. I’ve changed her fitting twice today, there is a greasy residue seeping through the mesh. She is in pain and has not taken meds, she says she’s fine (whimpers and grimaces aside!) and won’t ask for help very often.

As for me, I’m a mess. (Not a hot one, just a mess.) I don’t understand the why of most everything. Why am I angry mum is still alive? This is a horrible thing for a daughter to think. I’m not shelving God, He’s an important part of my life. Yet, I know He’s a ton busy and dropping any of His time my way is not anywhere close to expected or hoped for. I just wish I knew. Am I not supposed to go to the states and see my family again? I’m so torn. I existed in Oregon and am doing the same thing here. I live for others and selfishly want to be taken care of or cherished or whatever the word might be. It has happened on occasion and I’ve adored it every time. However, The Craftsman isn’t a pampering type and nor am I, really. (I’m too cynical, have a lack of confidence, and am whiny. Men don’t like those kinds of women!) Besides, he gives me as much time as he can. (and I should do more for him. It isn’t fair to ask for something when I’m not giving it!)

I hate going on fb. There are so many couples doing things together. People who have friends they hang out with. I love this time of year. (I love most times of year!) I want to decorate and cook and mail packages. Last November and December we were thinking the end was near. Mum was incredibly sick and I willing gave up my winter seasons to her. I’m not wanting to now. I want to see if I have a life I can live.

I act brave sometimes and step out. It is scary. I’m not brave or good. I look at these paragraphs and realise I still don’t know what to do. Mum says I should leave, yet, who can take my place? How can I be the strong daughter and force her into a nursing facility where she says she’ll die. A place without the wide open windows overlooking beauty and where she can’t have her pets would be horrible. Or would it? She already feels I’m going to abandon her, liquidizing her assets for a stay of a few months would suck. And then, she’d be on the government. (I’d take her to Oregon for a few weeks and come back, but she won’t go. She says she will, but I would lay money she would not when it came time to leave. She rarely does what she says she wants to do.)

One of my good friends was hospitalized for quite a while and then ended up in a care facility up here. He had a LOT of assets saved up in various areas. Now? He’s well, but can’t work in his chosen field, and is pretty much broke. Mum probably won’t get well, but I don’t want her destitute. This may all be a moot point after her cat scan next week and the oral surgery in December. Right now, though, it is so damn hard to let it go and walk on.

Financial Cat Nips

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“A cat knows how to be comfortable, how to get the people around it to serve it. In a tranquil domestic situation, the cat is a veritable manipulative genius.” Roger Caras

This is the season of bazaars and craft shows and catalogs full of discounts. The time of giving is fast approaching and finances often turn to disarray. I used to plan and take a few dollars a month out of any money I was given, so I’d have an envelope full for Christmas. Always, The Craftsman would knock my conservative gift ideas out of the ball park and insist on something out of budget. Used to drive me nuts til I realised, it was his hard earned cash and if he wanted to spend it, he would anyway! (I rarely worked outside the home. Yeah, I was one of those odd mostly stay at home moms)

I absolutely hate spending money. Or, to be more fair, I am so careful it is ridiculous. Strider sent me a great deal of cash my second summer in AK and it lasted about a year and a half. (I did spend part of it on just me. He’d probably have kittens to know what I did with it, but I was still very careful about what I purchased!) I like having cash of my own and am pretty damn good about keeping it secure. Oddly, I’ve never been a very good banker or score keeper for games, because I lose track rapidly. I think my daddy would be surprised and proud to see how I’ve handled mum’s money. I don’t like how SHE is handling it (she really did NOT need to buy more yarn stuff at the fabric store the other day!), but it is hers and she’ll do as she will. I’ll just pay the bills, get things fixed, and make sure there is something in her account!

Moses, (He happens to be the cat I have the most photos of!) always has a paw in every bit of real estate, he would do quite well as a land baron or banking guru.

 

Odd things and Snake bites

Odd things seem to happen to me. Sometimes those things are so obvious I’m surprised. Things that if they had been snakes, they’d have bit me. (note: I like snakes!!!)

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View from the driver’s seat!!!!!

Monday was a rather nice day, absolutely freezing (Literally, it was 5 degrees F), but nice. One of the special bits was meeting a former classmate. I had thought he looked familiar, but was clueless. I felt like an idiot when I realized who he was. Granted, we’ve changed a bit, but we spent a good deal of time together in HS, especially during our senior year and he knew me! When he hugged me goodbye, we were back in the fall of 1982. I was too startled to delicately address the fact that he really shouldn’t pick me up to hug me as I was not that tiny 98 pound girl in running shorts anymore!

Other special bits were spending time with a friend, being around two very helpful financial persons (it appears mum has an annuity she didn’t know about), and getting some new books to read. (I have serious book envy when I see someone at the library with a stack in their arms…) I got home late and mum asked me if I wanted to ‘get something for dinner’. (which meant she didn’t want sketti or stew or anything from a previous meal!!)  I went off to get her a BLT. When I returned, she checked her blood and discovered something I’d forgotten to do. I hadn’t picked up any test strips for her (She told me she should be getting her own meds…. I’d let her, except she’d need to drive and THAT terrifies me! If she is going to drive, I’d rather not have it around double lanes of traffic.). Annoyed at myself, I decided to finish my dragon book.

It was seriously disappointing. The first trilogy was so good! I’ve read it over and over and over and over. The characters were quirky and lovable and thrived on the page. It is always a joy to read. This trilogy? It was like reading rough gray granite with faint sparkles in it that made you THINK something good might develop, but it didn’t. Pfft..  I’ll stick to reading the first ones

Tuesday morning it had warmed up to almost 30 degrees before 9 am! I decided to wear a skirt, commando. It was lovely. Til I got to town. Several of the electronic LED thermometer signs were flashing 22 degrees! YIKES! Thankfully, I was inside most of the time.

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One of the first odd things I ran into were the test strips. Mum uses Contour Next and since her regular pharmacy didn’t have any, I needed to buy them over the counter. If you look at the above very blurry photo, you will discover the odd thing. I could get a Value Pack of 35 strips for $17.78 or I could get 50 strips for $73.92. I ended up with two smaller boxes.

Then, I went to the home where I play house elf. One of the things I have always wondered was how to work the main light in the dining room area. I have seen it on, but I’ve never turned it on. Well, my friend was home and I remembered to ask. On the wall near the door, there are two normal switches. I know what they are for. Next to them is a flat button sort of thing (I’m not sure if it has depressions or little raised bits). Needless to say, it is this that manipulates the lighting in the main fixture. I have cleaned those switches and the door frame and the door. I never really noticed the button. (Snake!) I also learned how to turn on something else that was entirely too easy. (another snake!)

When I got back to the house, I was going to staple a tarp to the sort of wood structure Strider and Bear made for their Nana a few years back. The opening had plastic over it and the plastic was no longer whole.

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As I covered the doorway, the stapler stopped working. I was so annoyed! I took the thing apart, put it back together, and could not figure it out! (I recall using one of The Craftsman’s power tools ages past and Bear asking me, ‘Are you sure it ok for you to use that?’ I’m not very good with most things of a mechanical nature, it is well known!) I went to the post office, the women there solve most of my problems. It appears the thing was worn out. After more wandering around and the help of different people, I ended up buying a new stapler without driving quite all the way to town. Since it was a lovely day, I was going to sneak some water time take some pictures of the mountains from the beach. They looked like cameos! Unfortunately, I brought my camera case and extra batteries, but managed to forget my camera. I just drove back to the house.

Once there, I finished my project, started a new book (much better and I’m only on the 11th page!), and did some research on something else. I keep thinking how it is only Tuesday and hoping that nothing else happens to make it longer!