Thursday, April 30, 2009

A little more levity every day

Today one of the guys at work was talking about how worried he was about the piggy flu.  He wanted his partner to bring home some masks so he could protect himself.  His partner laughed at him and refused.  So he told us the story and yes, we laughed at him.

Not that we think the piggy flu is a laughing matter.  But we all do think the fear mongering is part of the reason people are so frantic about everything.  A lot of it is the media, a lot is the re-education of the media by the political machine which made a career out of putting the fear of terror in the general populous.

I digress.

So because I was in a makin-mood, and I thought it would be funny, I made my co-worker a mask.  A piece of typing paper folded like a surgerical mask (with a little tuck for his nose even), I punched holes in the 4 corners and added string so he could tie it around his head.  I decorated  it with using markers with something similar to this: 

A pig snout.  When he saw it, he laughed and laughed.  And then he put it on, thanked me and walked back to his office down the hall.

My co-workers are so funny, they let me joke around and have fun and they go right along with it.   Making the thing was fun, waiting for him to show up was fun and then him playing along was fun.  One of the bright spots in my day.  Contrast that with the fight 2 of my co-workers got into (one girl was shaking she was so mad) I needed the levity.

The world needs more levity. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

various nothings

The daughter is sick.  Sore throat.  She came in here to tell me that she thinks her dad thinks she's got the piggy flu.  I'm withholding any opinion - I'm not going to buy into the whole frenzy.  There are no confirmed cases in our county yet.   He hasn't told me he thinks it's piggy flu but he came in here to announce to me that she was getting sick with a sore throat.  

OMG, today at work was so incredibly boring.  I played Scrabble at work.  I kept yawning and yawning because I had nothing at all to do.

I wish I could craft at my desk.  

Right now I'm going to go find something to do and maybe find some soup to eat.  My temp crown makes it really hard to eat and there seems to be nothing at all in the cupboard.  I'd better look harder.  Maybe I'll eat (yet) another bowl of oatmeal.  

Human scenery

This is one of the people who sometimes roam around the shopping area where my office is located.  This is a cell phone photo so you can't really get the full effect.  

The giant blow up beer bottle is taped to a stick that is taped to the underside of his seat.  He used a lot of tape.  The spokes of his bike have a kajillion pieces of paper interwoven in the spokes.  Magazine pages, magazine covers, a Do Not Smoke sign, a plethora of reading material I guess.

On his arms he's wearing a pair of turquoise gloves and on top of the gloves he's got on striped socks.  The toes are cut off so his hands can come thru.  On this day it was 100 degrees out there.  He is also fully dressed in long pants and laced shoes.

All he did was ride circles in the area where he is sitting.  He didn't bother anyone just rode in circles, sometimes in front of cars.

I work in a colorful place.  

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My old boss seems to be on his way out, trying to do the celestial checkout.  He was recently admitted to the hospital and is now in a nursing home.  He's got pneumonia  for the second time in less than a year.  He's also got some dementia as I understand it.  His son says "he's confused" which, from watching my MIL, means dementia.  

I owe a lot to this man.  Oh, I know he's a jerk, (say what you will) but he was one of the first adults who saw my potential and gave me great opportunities.  I had great jobs with him, I had a great lifestyle with that group of people.  I have great memories of those days, even tho sometimes they were hard.  Especially hard when my husband got mad at him and I had to do a balancing act around my job and my boyfriend/husband.  

I talked to him today and he sounded so sick.  He was lucid, but he sounded old and sick.  And this jerk of a man, told me he HAD to see me.  That he loved me.  

I talked to Susan about it.  We both worked for him for many years.  As much as he pissed us off, and was a Svengali type, he is still someone who gave as much as he took from us.  

She offered to buy plane tickets for us to go see him, one last time.  He lives nearly 800 miles from us.  I have to pay her back, but can pay in installments.  So we are going.  May 15th.  From Los Angeles.  

I know it's going to be a heartbreaking trip.  I haven't seen him in close to 10 years.  He's got COPD and he's in his 70's now.  I think he was close to 40ish when I met him.   That he is elderly is amazing to me.  I still think of him as he was when I last saw him and I know that won't be the case.  

I need to say my hellos and goodbyes.  I owe him.  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Last weekend photos: The Huntington Gardens

It's taken me a week to download and upload the photos from last weekend jaunt to Pasadena.  Enjoy. 

This first photo is what you shouldn't wear if you go to the Huntington Library and Gardens.  Actually you shouldn't wear this at all.  It's pretty much a disaster no matter where you are.  Click on that picture...check out the leopard bra straps.  Hmmmm.  She does get kudos for wearing support tho.  Now check out those strappy sandals.  Or are they boots? Sandaboots? Canvas legwarmers?  With gadiator strappy sandals? What the hell are they?  

If you click on it you'll see they have 3 inch heels and long straps that wrap up the leg.  Over canvas legwarmers.  It's all floppy in the front, I'd show you but I didn't have the cajones to step in front of her and snap a photo.   I suppose she gets kudos for wearing cooler clothes than me, I wore tennis shoes with socks and I was hot.  btw, she is not cooler than me and Donita, she's a fashion don't...even tho we were fashion Nots that day.  Function over fashion.

I loved this garden, it's the japanese garden through the trees.  It's quite large actually with ponds, streams and a rock zen garden.  

Poppies, beautiful poppies.  Poppies are the CA state flower.  I've never seen this type in the wild but the color is similar if the petals are slightly different.  Happy, cheery flowers. 

This was a bunch of different kinds of cactus and succulents and I loved the colors along the path. 

A giant yucca type cactus (which is probably not even a cactus).  It towered over us, it was probably 20 ft high.  Beautiful blooms.  

This was an interesting (very pokey) cactus.  I liked the waves of the paddles.  What are cactus pieces called anyway? 

I do have a few more photos of other gardens, but I wanted to post mostly these deserty types.  I was struck dumb by the varied color in the garden.  Very impressive (even tho I was getting heatstroke and felt like I was in a land where dinosaurs might pop out and take a bite out of me).  

Friday, April 24, 2009


This month I was given a book club book to read.  Apparently it's a dog of a book so our hostess told us not to read it.  I am so good with that because I detest biographies.  

Gave me extra time to play Scrabble on FB.  I am so addicted it's not funny.  I have no tv to watch so I usually play a game (or two) if I can.  I do pretty well, my highest score for a single game is 457!  My biggest point word is 104.  I'm nowhere near the top of the scoreboard (I'd say I am an average player of those who play alot).  I wish I had friends who'll play me but I don't think most of them are addicted enough.  My son (who I verbally challenged) told me he would not play with me.  Chicken.

I've also been playing with alcohol inks.  I keep finding I need things to finish off the 2 or 3 things I've made.  I'm actually using them on file folder paper which soaks it up nicely...the ink is made for non-porous material but hahahah, I don't have anything non-porous to dye.  So right now I need a 1/16th hole punch and some embellishments, tracing paper and some glue.  I'm making do with gel medium (which is a glue in it's self but not what I want).  I'm using some magnet stuff that comes in a roll to make a magnetic bookmark for one of the book club girls.  It will be her *card* and will hook onto the bag of whatever gift I go buy her tomorrow.

Nice transition eh?  I have to go shopping for her bday present tomorrow since book club is tomorrow night.  

Are you demure enough?

Just in time for summer.  Look what I found for your comfort and safety at the beach.

Click here. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So I'm home early after going to work late

Ding dang it, my crown is shifting around in there.  Lovely.  Gotta run to the dentist again this morning.  I didn't even eat anything that would push on it last night.  

So the dentist couldn't see me at 8 a.m. even tho the office was open because SHE WASN'T THERE TIL 9 a.m.  Great.  So I am late to work again.  They used a "better" cement this time...but no blue light cement.  Ya know when they use the light to dry it.  But it's a better cement.  

Now it's 4:30 in the afternoon.  I ate (really drank) a cup of tomato soup for lunch and ate (didn't drink) a small serving of apple sauce.  Notice there isn't anything to BITE on in those 2 lunch items.

Around 3 p.m. my tooth shifted again.  DAMNIT.

I wasn't eating, I wasn't even talking, I just felt it shift and it was loose sure enough.  I showed my boss.  Wiggled it.  She told me to call the dentist again.

So I did and they told me to come back in. 

The problem with the tooth is there isn't much tooth for the temp crown to hold onto.  When I get the perm one it will have a metal post that inserts up into the tooth and there is more to grab onto with the post.  The temp doesn't have a post.

This time it was the DENTIST who did the work, not the dental assistant (who, btw, is very nice and sounds just like Whoopie). She reamed out the "better" cement and filled it with perm epoxy, the real kind, the kind you use a blue light on to dry it.  She also pushed that sucker way up into my mouth (it hurt) but anything to keep it in for the next 2 wks.

Everyone who saw me said: "OMG, you're back again!"  Soon I will have a new circle of friends, all dental people.  I guess since I've been there 3 times now in 2 days, I'm almost best friends with some of them.  

Dental adventures, I don't recommend them. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Emergency dental

Well, bummeration.  I had to go to the dentist today.  My crown fell out.  It's been decades since that happened.  

I hate the dentist (apologies to dentists) but one dentist did horrible painful things to me as a child so anyone who gets near my mouth is automatically someone I fear.

Today was no different.  I cried.  The dentist had to do a  crown lengthening and it hurt.  The finance woman told me I might have to pay 500.00 and I welled up at that too.  I'd really like a financial break please.  At the time she didn't know I was double covered so once she found that out she took a different route.  

She's going to bill my dental first and then bill the second dental plan and then we'll see how much it costs.  The code for the crown lengthening wasn't in her codebook as covered (under the husbands insurance) so it might be under mine.  maybe. 

Cross all body parts please.  

But with all that, my crown (a temp) is back in so I don't look like a toothless wonder.  I got back in 2 wks for the perm crown.

And yes, I had to take sick time (even tho I wasn't ill, I was sick of the pain and the cost) to cover my time out of the office.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Should I go to time out?

I am not chained to my cell phone.  Actually, I'm rarely on the phone unless someone calls me.  I rarely call anyone.  

We require the kidlets to answer their phones (although there are plenty of excuses why they didn't answer their phones when we call).  

The husband talks a lot on the phone.  The son more (but he is his fathers son when it comes to the phone).  The daughter is the texter. So is the son but I think the daughter edges the son out in this category.

I lose out on all the categories.  Fine by me.  I win the payment portion of the phones tho.  

Since I'm not chained to my phone I don't always answer because I don't carry it around with me.  Nor do I place it nearby.  Usually it's in my purse and if I'm not required to carry my purse it's likely in the kitchen.  

I mean really, is it necessary to take my cell into the bathroom with me?

Apparently the daughter called me this morning.  I did not answser, because I didn't hear it ring.  When I DID notice I'd missed a call, I called her back.

She answered with: "Never mind, I already got it".  

Got what?  

My choir dress.

Why did you need your choir dress?

I have a competition today and needed it.

Oh. I didn't hear the phone.

No, you never do.

So there you have it, I got in trouble with my 17 yr old daughter because she forgot her choir dress and I didn't hear the phone to run it out to her when they had to turn back and get it.  

Good thing I'm not going to put myself on restriction for that.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Garden party

The other day Donita invited me to go here to the Huntington Library/Museum/Gardens with her.  She knows we've had lots of stuff to deal with here at the homefront and thought me getting out would be a good thing.  She was right. 

Usually my weekends are pretty boring (which is ok by me) but this weekend I was going ALL weekend.  Sat day = getting the daughter ready for prom , Sat evening = going to see Donita, husband, son and BIL play music and I didn't get to bed til 1:30 a.m.  Sunday = the gardens and then we got a call from friends to meet them for dinner.  Got home around 9:45 p.m. last night.  Whew.

Last Wed the weather was about 40 degrees and the wind was icy cold.  Sat and Sun the temps were 99.  Hot.  I actually SHAVED my legs so I could wear capris.  I made the mistake of not shaving my armpits - I should have, but I didn't.

The drive out was nice because I trust Donita's driving (I don't trust a lot of peeps driving) so I just sat back and relaxed.  I hate, hate, hate driving so just sitting there was relaxing.

We get there and just driving thru the neighborhoods in Pasadena is beautiful.  A lot of 1900 to 1950's homes, very lush, very homey.  We get to the gardens entrance and wheeeee, it's already so pretty.

First we hit the museums.  Some cool stuff: A Gutenberg bible in a written word, reading exhibit.  An Abe Lincoln exhibit that was pretty cool too.  One missive had a lock of his hair attached to it.  I found that to be a little odd, because someone took some after he died and sent it to someone.

We went to the art museum next.  Very french (very small Versailles in feeling).  A lot of inlaid and carved furniture, vases, silver, tapestries, and a  huge number of oil paintings of every size imaginable.  

Blue Boy is there, Pinky is there! Both paintings are huge.  Funny how you get in your mind the size and when you see them they are either larger or smaller than you thought they'd be.

We left the inside (and the coolness factor) and walked/hiked the grounds.  The gardens are incredible.  Broken into different types of gardens, my favorties were: The Japanese garden, the Shakespeare garden, the Tropical garden, the Desert garden.  

It's a good time to see the gardens, lots and lots of blooms every where.

I'd thought ahead and wore my knee brace and it was a good thing I did.  This was the first time I'd really walked a lot and my knee was bothered a lot.  My hips too.  I should have taken Advil but didn't think that far in advance.  LOL.  When you get to the outlying gardens there are small hills to climb so wear comfy walking shoes.

Donita suggested I wear a hat because it was hot and very sunny.  Really good suggestion.  I grabbed my wide brimmed hat and it did help although hats tend to trap heat at my head (I think I have an extra hot head) even while they help shade me.

I'm not supposed to spend time in the sun, per my doctor.  Not because of skin cancer but because UV light can trigger an autoimmune response.  Usually I limit my time in the sun because I know a day or two later I'm going to pay for it.  I could tell the heat and sun were not my friend because I started to feel ill towards the end of the day.

It was mostly the heat rather than an AI response.  If my feet get really hot, I start getting really hot (same with cold) and my feet were burning up & I was feeling nauseous.  Socks and tennis shoes is not my usual fare in the heat of the summer, my feet need to breathe!  And since I didn't have the gumption to shave my armpits I couldn't remove my 3/4 shirt and wear just my tank top...which is also a double whammy because the shirt also helps me stay out of the sun more than a tank top.  ye gawds, by this time my knee was also starting to complain and nag at me.

After sitting down for a few mins I saw a bathroom and decided to go stick my feet in cold water.  I have pretty strong thighs so I stood on one foot and stuck the other in the cold water coming out of the sink faucet.  That really helped get my body temp down.  Hahahaha, I had to laugh that people could see the old lady balancing on one foot, the other stuck in the sink.  

I'm a color, fragrance, lush type of flower person.  I really enjoyed all the splashes of color.  I also enjoyed the quiet calmness of the asian gardens.  I was surprised to see how much I loved the colors of the desert garden.  This is one of the largest desert gardens I've ever walked thru.  Usually a desert garden is pretty sparse.  This garden was hugely lush with giant cactus and succulents.  The colors were incredible, lime greens with cool teal-ish succulents, yellows and oranges.  Because there were so many the swatches of color were the first thing I noticed.  I'm not big on the look of cacti/succulents but this was color!

I often get a peculiar feeling while walking thru deserty environments.  It's so prehistoric or something.  And there is this false sense of softness to some of the cactus, and if you've ever petted a soft looking cactus (they do exist) you won't do it a second time.  You'll be picking out sharp hairlike pokey things out of your fingers/hand for days.  

So I was hot, hot, hot again and while I loved being in that garden (next time it will be the first garden I go to) I needed to get out of there.  No shade at all.  I would have loved to go down a few more paths in that garden.  

Ya know even tho the weather was too hot, my knee too dicey I had a great time.  We didnt' chatter the entire time, we hung out and soaked in the nature of growing things.  I loved the streams (soooo wanted to wade in them), the koi in ponds, the color, the textures, the coolness of the bamboo forests, the fragrance!   

After I got home, we got a call from K & J: they wanted to go to dinner.  We went.  When I told K what I'd done that day she said: "No fair!  You should have called me, I want to go there in the worst way!"  This is a great way to spend a day, although probably without children.  Unless they are stroller age.  I think it would be fab if all the girls in my various groups go there and have tea.  They have a tea lunch in the rose garden.  That would be a fun pasttime.

Thank you Donita for a great stress-relieving day.  I've got some pictures to post, but it will be later.  I've got to get my rested up butt to work! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My youngest, doesn't she look grown up?

A couple of photos from yesterday.  I wish I were a better photographer.  The only photo I have of her getting her corsage from the guy (who was not a date-date) is blurry.  I have one or two other photos I'll post but I don't have time this morning.  

Out of our element sorta

Yesterday I took the daughter to get her hair done.  No cut, just a style.  Her girlfriends down the street recommended this place to her:  The World of Beauty.  After some misdirection (it took us 45 mins to find it) we landed squarely in the barrio.  

We live in a middle class neighborhood.  It's a really good mixture of ethnic backgrounds, not to mention it's very gay friendly.  Every day you see people walking their dogs on leashes, riding beach cruiser bikes, etc.  You don't often see bars on the house windows in my neighborhood.  Most of the walkers are older, sometimes you see a family walking but mostly it's couples or 2 or 3 women walking for exercise.

The barrio neighborhood is different.  Most people we saw were walking with lots of children (usually puncuated with a stroller), grown men were riding put-together Sting Ray bikes, and yes, there were bars on most of the storefront windows and the houses out there.  There were panhandlers at the strip mall and guys selling oranges.  All the walkers who passed us by spoke spanish.

We walked into the World of Beauty shop and talked to one of the ladies (yes, she spoke english) about the daughters hair.  We took a seat amongst some families, all the children were very well behaved and sat with their families and didn't run around.  We cruised some hair style books.   All of the images were quinceanera fashion photos.  (Note: that link only shows dresses, the hairstyles are not representative of what we saw in the hair style books).  Very poofy, very ahhhh, southern belle meets Cinderella.  Way over the top for both me and the daughter.  

The daughter chose a couple of updo's, all had a bit of a poof up at the top with either woven braids in the back (think french braid) or intricate curls.  My daughters hais is barely shoulder length.  I thought if the woman could do a nice updo on her, she's a genius.  She told us she'd try.

I decided to go across the parking lot to Flo's Country Kitchen restaurant to see if I could get something to snack on.  Since I had a whopping 5 dollars I didn't think I could get much but I just wanted something to nibble on.

Ye haw, they had a kid burger for 3.95 with fries.  I ordered it.  No, I can't order it because it's a KIDS meal.  This is a sticking point with me. A pet peeve.  There is no law that says an adult can't purchase a kids meal.  The law is with the restaurant owner who (of course) wants to make as much money as they can.  So adults get big meals (with big prices) and kids get kid meals with smaller prices.  Well, I NEVER eat a whole meal served to me at a restaurant.  Ever.  It's just wasteful.  

Now, I didn't lie when I told the guy it was for my kid who was at the World of Beauty getting her hair done (cuz I was going to share anyway).  He reluctantly let me order it.

I did share it with the daughter, the burger was a full sized burger and the fries were a full restaurant order.  I ate 4 bites of the burger, and a few fries.  I was done.  The daughter ate most of the other portion.  And you know what?  There are still fries in the box left over and at least one bite of the burger.  

See?  My pet peeve.  Both of us ate that meal and didn't finish it.  We are a wasteful society.

Back to her hair.  After I snacked in the car, I went back into World of Beauty.   The daughters hair looked fabulous.  

The hairdresser is a genius.  

I sat for a while as she did finishing touches.  I watched all the families inside the shop and outside.  It was very evident most of them didn't have a lot of money to spend on clothing.  The fabrics were cheap, the styles too tight (mostly) and most looked like they came from KMart or Walmart (both of which thrive in this neighborhood).  

But the packaging didn't represent the people.  Everyone was polite and friendly.  The kids were ALL unbelievably well-behaved.  Every single one that I saw.  

People are people no matter where you go.  I grew up in an area adjacent to this neighborhood, we were poor growing up and this neighborhood is probably a little poorer in terms of money and places to work and shop.  I was actually comfortable there, it probably helps tho that even tho I'm not hispanic I can mostly melt into a crowd there.  My daughter can't normally, she looks too fair (although now her hair is dyed very dark brown so she looks less fair).  Her normal sandy brown hair would make her stick out.  

It did make me thankful that even tho I think we struggle financially (I mean, I can't just go out and buy whatever I want, when I want anymore) I don't have to shop at Kmart/Walmart and I don't have to walk everywhere with a bunch of kids in tow.

It made me happy to see families out together.  And it made me happy to see all the little girls in the place oooh and ahhh over the daughters hairdo.  

We left there (the daughter finally getting to munch on the food) and drove back home to our more white bread, more affluent neighborhood.  The lack of families walking the neighborhood made it seem just a little less full of life.  

It's good to visit and compare to open up your eyes.  

Later a post on the pre-prom outing and the husband and son's gig. 

Sat getting ready for prom and the gig

Wow, lookit, I just got home from a night out.  Actually I was out all day and all night.  Since I am beat, I'm gonna write tomorrow.  

Reminder: The barrio, kid meals, corsages and I'm sure there are other small things that I will remember tomorrow.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

A busy weekend

Tomorrow night is the daughters prom.  It's also a night where the husband and his brother and a friend are playing a gig at a local coffee house.  They are rehearsing right this very minute.

Good thing because both boys have had all kinds of things to do in the last couple of weeks with their mom.  So not alot of attention has been paid to the gig thing.  

I hope they come up with a good set list...the other night (was it last night?) the husband said they got thru very few songs.  Bwhahahah, they just can't seem to focus.  My SIL can attest to that.  

Tonight I played with some alcohol ink and tar gel.  Tar gel takes a long freaking time to dry.  I've looked all over for my silicone sheets and grrrrr, can't find them.  I texted the daughter because I'm willing to bet she took it to the girls house.  She's not answering her texts.

Sunday I'm thinking about going to the Huntington Museum with Doni.  Have to talk to the husband about the Sunday schedule.  Sun is about the only day I can go see the MIL (although she has no real idea I'm even there).  I also NEED to start reading the stinking book club book (I hear it's a dog) because next Sat is book club.  But a day away would be fun.  We'll see what Saturday brings. 

It's now 1:37 a.m. I should go to bed. 

Who's there?

The MIL was moved to hospice yesterday.  The husband said she was aware of being moved although I thought his description was more like knowing it's day or night but not the quality of the weather.  One way I know she has no idea that she's been moved is that she isn't stressing over who is taking care of her, where her stuff is, all that.

She also thinks the BIL got married last Thurs.  And she asked to see the ring and she told the caretaker that he got married.  I know that is a fervent wish so if it makes her happy then good.  She also kept calling the daughter Christina.  

The husband told me she's talking to a lot of people we don't really know.  

So I'm thinking conservatorship.  Bummer.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

stress monsters

Do you ever get this: 

I get stressed, really stressed, "I think I'm going to have a nervous breakdown" stressed.

I do.  And there are moments when I wish a cookie would ease that giant stress.   I know a kajillion people who use food as a way to cope, I don't tho.  

Other than feeling sick (my poor digestive system), my coping mechinism just isn't where I want it to be.   

When I was a kid I wanted to be Samantha Stephens from Bewitched.  Tells you how I want the things that stress me out to be dealt with.  

Well, I've got to make my way to work so off I go.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

That's just how my face is!

The last 2 days at work were busy, busy for me.  We had construction in the office and I had to manage the construction. Because I managed it I was not at my desk most of the day.  It was freeing and so nice to be free from the usual chains.  My boss freaks out if a call goes to voicemail so I am practically chained to my desk.

One of the benefits of the construction is the loudest and friendliest person has moved so she is no longer close to me.  So all of her talking is done in another area.  LOL, that means I'll no longer get in trouble because she has to walk over to me whenever she wants to say something.   Now she'll talk to the people around her instead.  Let them get in trouble because of the extranous chatter.  

She's a nice woman but she has this habit that bugs me to no end.  If I'm working or am distracted by something she comes over and asks if anything is wrong.  Usually there is nothing wrong, or if there is, it doesn't involve her so get away from me.  I don't usually go to others if there is something wrong, I just don't.  I get the feeling she wants people to lean on her for support but really, no thanks.  Expecially when there is nothing wrong at all, I just have something I'm concentrating on or am trying to do something without distraction.  

So today there is nobody up in the front of the office but me.  Is it surprising that there is no talking up here?  I don't think so.  I am alone ya know.

She walks up to me with a serious look on her face.  She's says: "Ummmm, are you ok?"  I look up and say Yeah, why?  She says: "Because you've been quiet all morning!"

I motioned for her to look around., I say: Well, I"m quiet because as you can see there is nobody up here to talk I'm just working away.  I don't usually talk to people when there is no one around ya know.   (this is somewhat funny to me because I just watched my MIL do just that but I am not going to share that with her).

Ohhhhh, well, I just thought since you looked so serious.  

Really how does one look when they are alone working on something.  How nutso would they look if they had the "Oh, look at me while I am typing all alone, even tho I am all alone I am still grinning and smiling."

As an aside, once I stopped watch tv for 6 years when I find myself smiling inanely at some idiotic tv sitcom.  Surely I didn't think those characters were talking directly to me did I?  Apparently smiling inanely and catching yourself at it, does make you realize that you are connecting somehow with fake personas.

So iif you see me without a cheery face, don't automatically assume there is something wrong.  It's just my face! 


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I know this is hard for my family, I think my MIL is awaiting celestial check out.  She's not improving and the doc is recommending hospice and frankly she looks just like my dad before he passed on.

The husband thinks she's most coherent after she first wakes up in the morning.  I haven't seen her in the morning so I can't comment on how lucid she is.  I've talked to her on the phone and she seems to hear fine when you talk to her on phone but she doesn't quite connect with everything you are saying.  Almost but not quite.  

In person, she is talking to people who are not there (or not in my world anyway) so she might answer a question correctly but then she asks or tells the invisible person something that might relate to what you asked/said to her.

Like she told me we needed to get ready to go to dinner with all of her friends that were there.  I asked where we were going to dinner.  She said that she didn't really know but everyone was getting hungry so we needed to get ready fast.  So mostly she understands input but her output is not right.

Her breathing is labored, not like she's got chest/lung problems but her mouth is open so her chin is on her chest and she's gasping sort of.  Not good.  

Research on the web points towards end of life stages.  The kids are scrambling to coordinate all the things they need to coordinate.  

It's going to be a tough time I think.  

I'm thinking she needs music and just for us to answer her whatever she expects to hear.  Not getting her riled up at all. 

Runaway dog

The puppy has discovered he can climb over the wrought iron fence.  Which is kind of scary because the tips of each fence slat is pointed and could skewer him if he slips.  Not to mention that he could be hit by a car once he's out.  I cannot bear the thought of him getting skewered or being hit by a car.  He needs to be kept in safely. 

Our choices:

Buy a 150.00 invisible fence that gets buried in the ground. 

Chain him up every time he goes out (not very humane).

Buy enough pvc tubing to go over every cross bar between each fence slat so he can't get any purchase on the thing to pull himself up.  (uh huh, like we can do that)

Find him a new home (not very easy).

Teach him to use a cat box and keep him inside for the rest of his life (Bwhahahah, now that ain't gonna happen is it?)

He's a good dog, he's very headstrong tho.  He loves people, but he wants to do what he wants.  Food isn't even a good motivator for him, he wants it but can easily wait you out.  

If I could find him a good home I would.  But nobody seems to want a 2 year old, 50 lb dog no matter now sweet he is.  And he is so good with out demon dog (the one who has killed a couple of small animals who get on our property).  Our demon dog has not had an epileptic fit since the puppy came to live with him inside the house.  Might be coincidence but might also be enough contact with something else when we're at work.  

The husband alarm

Grrrrr, I overslept.   Good thing the husband woke me up.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's kraut!

After visiting the MIL (who was totally in LaLa Land) we went to dinner.  First the MIL update then the funny dinner story.

The MIL was talking to people who were not there.  She was very clear talking to those people.  Kenneth (who was her boyfriend 55+ years ago, before she married Bud) was there, she wanted us to get ready to go to dinner, she also asked him about his knees and then told me hers were shot.  She also asked me (out of the blue) What ARE they doing to that chicken?  I was afraid to ask.  In any case, she didn't really have any idea why we were there.  She knew who we were but not that we suddenly appeared (no reaction like, Oh hi!).

Ok, so we left to eat dinner.  We decided upon El Torito.  The daughter ordered Chicken Sopas.  The waiter repeated, "Chicken sour cream?"  The daughter corrected him.  Ok, he got it.

I ordered Vegetable Enchiladas.  Roasted fresh asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, yams, potatos, red bell pepper and onions, jack cheese, and fire roasted tomatillo sauce.  Ok, sounds fab to me.

I get my meal.  I start to eat one of the enchiladas. It's weird.  There is something really tough in there.  I eat about 1/2 of it and begin to tear it apart because I cannot figure out what the heck is in there.  There is a huge bunch of dark green leafy stuff that is unrecognizable to me.  It's got light beige veins in it.  It's not kale, it's not spinach.  It's packed in there.  Layered and layered and sort of raw but not.  It's extremely chewy and I don't like it.  The texture is leathery.  There are very small pieces of zucchini in there.  It's mostly green stuff.  I make the husband and BIL eat some of the green stuff.  They suggest it's kale but it's not kale.  I've had kale and that ain't it. 

I walk over to the hostess station to get a menu.  I see the ingredients on the menu does not jive with the stuff on my plate.  I open the second enchilada and out springs a bunch of green stuff.  And there are baby carrots in there too.  Carrots are not on the menu.  So my veg enchilada is leafy green raw stuff, some zuke pieces and some carrots (like a total of one baby carrot, one half was minced finely, the other half was a single chunk of carrot about an inch long with a rounded end.)

The waiter sees me inspecting the food.  He asks if everything is ok.  No, this is not what I ordered.  What is this green stuff?  And why is there carrots in here?  There is nothing in here but a small amount of zuke, it's nothing like what is on the menu.  

He says it's kraut.  I said, what?  He' says, "It's kraut!"

Now, I didn't just fall off the turnip (or cabbage) truck this morning.  There is no such vegetable as kraut.  I know saurkraut. And I know what saurkraut is made of.  This is not cabbage  of any kind, fermented or not.   I look at him and say, "No."

He backpedals a little  and said he'd go talk to the "chef".

He comes back and says the chef has to improvise because he didn't have any spinach.  Well, spinach isn't listed as an ingredient on the menu so what's up with that.  


Then he tells me the *carrots* are not carrots but yams.  No, I know yams, I know carrots and those were not yam pieces - they were carrots.

Then he tells me the chef is making me another dinner.  No, I do not want another dinner...what the hell is he gonna put in there if I get another dinner.  Ohhhh, ok, you don't want another dinner?  No.  Ok, I'll take it off your bill.  

It turns out the dark green leafy veggie is swiss chard.  Swiss chard is not german saurkraut and it's certainly not spinach, nor it is anywhere near asparagus.  They didn't boil or steam the chard because it was raw.  I've never eaten swiss chard but I know it's gotta be cooked into submission.  Not like kale or spinach where you can steam it and it wilts into tender greens.

So if you go to El Torito, don't let the waiter try to give you a "kraut" enchilada.

Easter Bunny I'm not

My poor children do not have Easter baskets.  Nor does my husband.  Bad Easter bunny mother.  Basically they got a little candy and an outfit, although I didn't get an outfit for the husband.  I was going to get him a book or a cd but my head hurt too much to maybe tomorrow I'll pick something up for him.  

This is about as Easter as I got today except instead of eggs, I shoulda had ice on my head for that danged headache.

The husband called me earlier (when he was seeing his mom).  Called me laughing hysterically.  It was because one of our friends sent the MIL a bday card.  I've inserted his laughter. 

*Bwhahahahahahaha* On the front was a sorta Gary Larson-esque cartoon of this family of three sitting in this diner booth *Bwhahahahahahaha* and this waitress is standing there with order pad *Bwhahahahahahaha* in one hand and a *Bwhahahahahahaha* cylindrical object in the other and she says "What's this tampon doing behind my ear... and where did I put my pencil?" *Bwhahahahahahaha*

He said the MIL laughed and enjoyed that card.  

This cartoon made me laugh outloud:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

MIL and the migraine that put me out

Speaking of engaging your brain, I've slept all day.  Got up once this morning, stayed up an hour and went back to bed for two.  Went shopping, got headache while shopping, got home stayed up for an hour and then slept for 3.5 hours.  Just woke up.

The family isn't home.  I wonder where they are?  

Called the husband and he and the daughter are with the MIL.  It's her birthday and they must not have wanted to wake me up or something.

I did talk to the MIL.  She's very clear, very lucid, she answered all my questions.  Oddly she could hear me pretty well.  Only once did she not understand a word I said.  I told her I had a migraine and she thought I said Rite Aid.  

I asked her what she was eating (my daughter was feeding her dinner).  She said: "I can't tell you right now."  I asked why and she replied: "Because I don't know."

I thought it was an attempt at a joke, the husband didn't think so.  After he told me he didn't think so I realized she was dead serious...but then again she can sometimes have a very dry wit.  So not sure.

The phone got handed to the husband and he told me she asked him who was just on the phone.  He told her it was VO and she said (with surprise in her voice) My VO?  Hmmmm, I thought I just saw her walking down the hallway.

So, not sure how lucid she really is.  She seems to be sorta here but can go off into a sideline life while she is the lucid life.  

On another note, my SIL gathered up all of her knitting needles and some yarn (all acrylic) and now it's all over here.  I was hoping that the wine colored yarn we bought her about 8 years ago would be in there.  I'd bought her enough yarn to make a king size comforter with this really pretty pattern.  It was my attempt to get her to do something besides sit and watch tv.  I know she worked a couple of panels, there is at least one in the knitting bag.  But the rest isn't there.

If it were there I'd try and finish it.  But it's not so I won't.  It would have taken me years to do something as large as a king sized comforter so it's just as well.

There is some kind of wall hanging thing in there.  With blocks of color.  All the blocks are of houses.  Simple boxes with an A line roof.  All in primary colors.  I have to keep that, don't know what I'll do with it but it's knitting she's done and she's an expert knitter.  (even tho this doesn't show off what she was capable of).  I really wish years ago when we were doing tole painting together that I'd had to show me how knit better.  We did lots and lots of crafting together.  I miss those days.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Engage your brain and body

The last 3 visits the MIL was mostly lucid.  I am so hoping this better environment (and medical care) will get her back to a more healthy state.  She's turning 85 tomorrow and I'm feeling pretty happy she seems to be on her way back.  

She's not returning to the place where she was living.  I'm thinking because she wasn't in tip top shape mentally when she got there she was ignored as a person with personality, but seen as someone who was senile.  

Mostly I think the elderly who need to be coaxed into doing things (the MIL is like that now, she didn't used to be tho) don't get coaxed to join in the group activities.  If you're mobile or don't have any infimities it's easier to go out and make friends.  But the MIL is always afraid someone isn't going to understand her Parkinsons so she retreats.  Which is absolutely the worse thing she can do.  She needs social interaction so when she retreats, she doesn't get it.  And when she doesn't get it it's almost as if she becomes one of those kids you hear about that turn handicapped from lack of human touch/interaction. No stimulus seems to urge the brain to turn off.

She's lost a lot of the things that used to stimulate her.  No more crafts, she rarely reads, she doesn't listen to opera or any music, she basically watches tv.  Which does not really engage your brain.  The more lethargic she becomes the more (I think) she loses the will to go on.

I know that sounds dramatic.  But you can see how much more alive she is when she is entertained by other people.  

That said, it really points out to me that we must, at all stages of our lives engage ourselves.  I don't watch a lot of tv instead I read or bead, or make something.  I'm always trying to find a solution to something I'm creating.  I can only hope those things help my brain to function better, keep my memory sharp.  I hear Sudoku does that but I hate Sudoku. LOL.  I'm better at applying logic and deductive reasoning to how to do something craftwise.  

Honestly the more I think about tv, the more I think it's a killer of brain cells and personality.  I mean, I do like a good movie that fosters conversation but overall, it doesn't create a solution, it only creates a few moments of introspection and analysis and then you leave the memory of that behind for good.  Unless you are one of those people who remember every movie, every cast, every line of said movie and then continually compare and contrast to other situations, real and created.

I mean really, think about what happens to your body as you sit, night after night watching tv.  You get complacent and lazy for hours each night.  How much tv do you watch a night?  How many hours?  Since most of it doesn't really make you think, your brain is on autopilot.  How many calories are you ingesting and then letting sit there turning into bad fat which makes it doubly hard to get up and go.

I've got to get better at moving, not just my brain cells but my body.  I read a lot to engage my brain but my body isn't engaged as much as it should be.  

Lots for me to think about...hopefully while moving about eh? 

The MIL and the reality of legal ramifications, in brief

The positive: the MIL was lucid last night.  The SIL said she knew the year, the president, knew she was behind in birthdays (LOL) and she ate 40% of her last meal.

Good news.  

Bad news: The reality: the longer she stays in living situtions that allow her insurance to cover her the easier it is to deal with her home.  If she goes into medicare, her home is used for payment and everything she and the FIL worked for goes to medicare.

A huge legal nightmare.  Even worse than my doom and gloom views on lenghty probate.  In the future planning isn't our strong suit.

It's been good to have the SIL here.  She leaves today, not really enough time to visit with her but I'll take it. 

Ya know our family's inability to plan for the future worries me.  What happens to my kids if something happens to me or the husband?  What if one of us becomes incapitated due to illness?  What if one of us loses our jobs?  I  sleep fitfully at night because of that unknown.   I don't have the faith that I have the ability to pay for everything that needs to be paid should should something happen to the husband.   

I need a better handbook for life.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Burgers and the MIL update

Last night me, the husband, the BIL and the visiting SIL went out to dinner at a local bistro.  They had 5.00 hamburgers.  With french fries.  Full size portions even!  Baddddddd for me, badddddd for all of us but we all ate them anyway.

Sucks to be old enough that you're been tested for cholesteral and you fail the test.  All 4 of us were good students while in school, we're all somewhat smart, kinda sorta anyway.  So failing tests isn't really the reality for any of us.

'Cept now we are old and we're failing health tests.  For living large or living on the edge or something.  

But how can you pass up a $5.00 burger with fries when a normal entree costs 20-25 dollars at this bistro?  You can't I tell you.

You can't even get a burger like this at a fast food place for that kind of money!

But you can get the same amount of cholesteral at a fast food place for that kind of money.

There is something wrong that I'm celebrating clogging my arteries, no matter how expensive or inexpensive the grease.  Hmmmmmm.

I think we are going back tonight. It was a nice place to sit around catching up, joking with one another and discussing the future of the MIL.

Speaking of which...the prognosis for her coming back out of the dementia is not good.  Even tho she has moments of lucidity, the dementia is her primary state at this point.  The docs (?) are recommending hospice, there is no way she is going back to assisted living.

The talk around the dinner table is she'll be moved to skilled nursing either at the Towers or at the rehab center.  I don't know if any of the kids have asked point blank if she is dying. Or what is her life expectancy at this point.  Or what are her chances of suviving this long term (which is a relative term).  The word hospice gives clues that skilled nursing doesn't quite conjure up. 

There is going to be some kind of assessment tonight and I suppose we'll know something better tomorrow.  I wish I knew what the assessment consisted of (in detail), but the family didn't have that info.  

We're supposed to see her on Thurs night to celebrate her 85th birthday while the SIL is here.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ethical tightrope

So what do you do when you are told by the boss of the dept to not put ever something in writing again because if "we're*" caught doing something illegal (which we are) we cannot feign ignorance.

I can talk about it in our dept but I am not to put it in writing in any way.  

We know what we are doing is illegal (it's a minor illegal thing) but we're doing it anyway.  I've raised the issue in the past but have been told to "Just do it".  I cannot afford to lose my job.  

Here is part of the problem.  Almost all the management gets this illegal piece of info but they don't really see that what we are doing is illegal so it's accepted.  But it IS illegal.  

That I was told to just do it (multiple times) and was told not to ever put it in writing means at the very least my big boss knows it's not kosher.  I'm being an assessory to a crime.  But if I tell, I'm gonna get in trouble.  I work for a big organization and it's likely the big boss could get in very, very big trouble.  

I talked to the aumbuds man (yes, I know it's misspelled and I did that on purpose).  I do not want my organization to ever find this post.  I won't even post the small illegal issue for fear that someone might do a search and my post comes up on page 52 of a search.  

The aumbuds man said this little illegal thing is concerning and while it is, the aumbuds man won't do anything yet because I asked that nothing be done yet...because they'd know it was me who told and I cannot afford reprisal.  

I really, really need to find another job.  My ethics are not permitting me to sleep at night.  

*meaning our dept

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sister love

This post of Susan Hinckleys made me laugh.  She talks about her own abilities compared to her sisters.

My sister is younger and a few years ago she told me a funny story.  At least I thought it was funny.

Now you have to understand my sister is talented.  She can put funky things together in a way that I cannot.  She loves slightly off-beat funky combos of clothes.  I wear mostly streamlined tailored clothes.  She owns a little boutique in a funky town in No. Cal that caters to teens/young adults.  Once she sent me a pair of soft cotton cammy pants trimmed in beige crocheted lace.  She wears them on the street, I wear them as pajama pants.  

So a few years ago she asked me if I remember the snowman sculpture I made when I was in Mrs. Armstrongs 2nd grade class.  *As a point of interest that has nothing to do with this story Mrs. Armstrong had a full-length wooden leg*  I did remember the snowman, I loved that snowman.  

It was made of clay, glazed with a white glaze and it had black glaze for eyes, nose and mouth.  It stood with it's wife and baby snowman on a round disk of clay with the edges turned up.  It was beautiful to my 2nd grade eyes.

Apparently it was beautiful to my little sister as well.  When she got into 2nd grade she finally got to play with clay.  She decided to make a little snowman just like mine.

She worked hard on it, she just knew it was going to surpass my perfect snowman.

It came out of the kiln and it was horrible, it was ugly, fugly ugly.  The black glaze had dripped out of the eye sockets, the nose melted into an unrecognizable lump and the mouth got turned down with black glaze dripping down onto the snowmans body.  All the way down it's body.  And it's poor body was all misshappen, lumpy and melty.

She cried.  Her snowman was a monster.  It didn't matter that it stood next to my snowman all those years.  She hated her snowman.

I never knew she hated her snowman, I didn't even know she loved my snowman.  I loved her snowman, he was like the Charlie Brown christmas tree, all forlorn and droopy.  I liked that about him.  

So all these years she was all jealous of my perfect (so he's not perfect but evidently to a 2nd grader he is) snowman.  And here I was thinking hers was much cuter than mine in essence.

Even now 43 years later, I wish I had that abandon that she has and I don't in my creating.  Funny how that works eh?  She still loves my exactitude.

We're a good pair together.  

The cleanup

The son's friend took photos of him after the paint incident.  To read the rest of the story, the reason he was standing on the bucket go to this post and see the comments.

This is the poor child cleaning up the mess, as best he could and yes, he felt badly.  But as you can see they are fixing up the place, the paint was spilled on a plywood floor.  

I suppose it will be one of his lifetime stories.  You know the ones your friends tell about you when you're 50.  

The SIL is here

The SIL flew in yesterday from PA (premptive strike: Yes, her arms were tired).  She got here late and was beat.  

I'm glad she's here, she can get things done and forge a path to help the boys with the MIL.  Because she's far away normally, she's got a different perspective.  No time like the present because of her limited time here.  

I'm staying out of it, lest I decide to get a divorce.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yesterdays Birthday celebration - not

Yesterday we took my car over to Terry's, to double check that it was the alternator.  It isn't.  It has something to do with the idle.  It could be:  idle speed control motor, or and idle air control motor, or a circuit problem or the pcm or the flex capacitor or a vacuum leak. Maybe the pcv system even.  All my mechanical friends on FB gave me those possibilities.  I think the definition of all of them is: green moola.  

I drove it back home (accelerate, slide into neutral at a stoplight/stop sign, keep the rpms up).  I'm better now at pressing my left (pedal pressure challenged) foot on the brake while accelerating without coming to a complete stop practically tossing myself thru the windshield.  You'd think all the years of driving a manual I'd find it easier.   It WOULD be easier if I just had to press the brake all the way to the floor like a clutch but that really does result in forward motion with good brakes.

Sooooo, it was the husbands birthday yesterday.  I got him zip.  No car, no shopping and besides what am I gonna get him?  I can't get him music (have no idea what to get him cuz he has about everything), no electronics (too expensive and besides he either has it or it's too complex).  I used to get him food related things like juicers, blenders, etc...because he liked to cook.  Now he never cooks so forget that.  

I've gotten him tools, but he's not really mechanical.  So it's not like those are fun gifts.

My worst birthday gift giving excursion was today.  Poor guy got clothes and some gardening things.  But maybe he'll get out in the yard this week and get it in shape.  It's terrible, I can't blame the neighbors if they're talking about it.

Last night we went out with friends.  We hitched a ride with some friends and then met other friends at a hotel bar that the hub hasn't seen in years.  I had one drink.  Wheeee, Baileys Irish Creme.  Yum.  Then another old couple friend came by as well.  We moved to the restaurant and ate dinner.  

After we ate (and a few friends left) we went to another place and listened to some jazz.  I hate that kind of jazz and it was too loud for chatting with friends.  Having to yell over jazz in a restaurant isn't my favorite thing.  I'd rather talk to the people I'm with.  

We got home at 1:00 a.m.  Late enough that the son and girlfriend beat us home.  The daughter texted me asking me: "What are you guys doing?"  Heh, heh, heh.  

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Belly aching

I'm up because the son was knocking, knocking, knocking at the front door.  Why didn't he call?

Because his phone was washed in a washer. 

Why was his phone washed in a washer?

Because he was standing on a bucket of paint, his foot went thru the lid and paint went everywhere, all over his clothes, etc.

So his friend took his clothes and threw them in the washer.

And the phone is dead.  I assume the pants are dead as well.  I don't know why he thinks paint will come out of his jeans but that's what they did.

He arrives home at 4 a.m. in boxers, a tee shirt and a sheen of green latex paint.  

And now, just when I have to use all my money for the month of April on car repairs he asks me to replace his phone.

I have a stomach ache.  


There is a story to why I am up at 4:00 in the morning. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

MIL update again

Yesterday the doc office called the hub to tell him the MIL was being moved to a rehabilitation place.  They also said they weren't all that optimistic that she was going to recover from the dementia.  That there might be a slight improvement but maybe not.

I feel terrible about it.  She'd be horrified to know she's not all there in the way we knew her.  And her dementia is very much about anxiety.  Things that threaten her, that make her scared.  She's felt enough fear that she thinks she has to escape, is falling, that people are "watching" her.  

Why can't her dementia be one where she thinks she is eating yummy ice cream or watching her grandkids put on shows or her kids singing in a musical?

One good thing is she often "hears" music - La Boheme comes up a lot when she "hears" music.  

Her birthday is the 11th of this month.  Maybe she'll improve enough that she'll know she made it to 85 and she can talk a few more times to the grandkids and her kids.  I know my daughter is upset about Grammy.  She needs more time with her Grammy.  

Well, this morning I am driving the hub and daughter to work/school so I have a way to work.  My car is none operational. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I guess the car needs some work

Did you know you can order a pizza by phone and have it delivered faster than if you call for roadside service?  True.  I found out this truth today.

My car is dead.  Ok, it's only wounded, no juice.  I got into it after work, expecting to drive the 20 mins home but noooo, instead I turned the key and got ________.  Yes, that's right _________.

Called the hub.  He came and jumped the car with MY jumper cables that are in the Corolla, not in my car.  For some inexplicable reason he put them back in the Corolla instead of in my car where they belong.  Well, I know he thinks it's because if my battery goes dead I have to call him to jump my car.  Hmmmm, if I have jumper cables I can jump my own car.  I had to call him because I didn't HAVE my jumper cables.

Back to the current situation.

The car drove fine for 3 blocks and then I could feel the RPM's dying.  I gunned it (trying not to surge and hit the car in front of me.)  I let off the accelerator and it died.  At a light, where I was turning right.  The hub and daughter behind me.  And 7 cars behind them.

I motioned the hub to push me to the side.  After a moment of resistance they did.  Got me out of the turning lane and over on the side of the road.

I had to call roadside assistance because he'd have to turn his car the wrong way to jump me.  I don't know the legalities of facing the wrong way if you are being a good Sam and trying to jump a car.  

I call and I have no address to tell the assistance people because this corner is in the middle of orange groves.  Literally.  But it IS a big intersection with a kajillion cars passing by every day.  So they don't have any reason to not finding me.  

But when they call they tell me it will be 30 mins on top of the 15 I've already spent calling them and waiting for a call back from the tow people.

Good thing I have a book and the company of the hub and daughter.

The guy comes and he has one of these: Jump Start Battery Pack. 

Kinda cool item.  The hub can have my jumper cables if I can get one of these.

Got jumped, drove home.  How you ask? I kept my foot on the accelerator and popped the thing into neutral (it's an automatic) and kept the RPM's going at all cost. 

Now my car sits in the driveway with no juice.  Hmmmm, how am I gonna afford an alternator? 

Oh and btw, the hub and daughter went to see the MIL.  She was asleep the entire time but the good thing is that she was not flailing about.  She's been very jerky because she hasn't had her levadopa meds.  That is, I hope a good sign that she's getting quality rest which might help her heal faster.