Archive for grandmothers

Post #160 – About The Expiration Date and the End of the Beehive Hairdo

Posted in Family, family battles, family drama, grandmothers, humor, life, memoir, Motherhood, narrative memoir, nonfiction, people, relationships, true stories, uncategoried, work, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2016 by tenaciousbitch

Knowing that each of us has an expiration date does not make it any easier when we’re told that the end is near for a family member or a friend – even if that person is 99 years old. I got that phone call earlier today from a hospice nurse about my Grandmother. She hasn’t been able to eat more than a bite or 2 of food at a time, and she’s been sleeping pretty much since Thanksgiving.

And the nurse said she was too weak to speak to me even if she brought Nana the phone. That’s when I broke down because anyone who knows Nana – knows that the only thing in this universe that would stop her from talking would be if the Grim Reaper himself was hovering about her bed.And the nurse kept using the word “declining”, which I tend to think of as a hospice buzz word synonymous with dying. I remember hearing that term a few days before my mother passed away.

I was absolutely miserable when Nana lived with us for two very long years, i.e. check out Post #1 about what she said to me when my mother was terminally ill @ https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/tenaciousbitch.com https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/tenaciousbitch.com

And/or this post about Nana’s back-handed racisim @ https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/tenaciousbitch.com.  However, I found myself sobbing on the way to the grocery store where I went to fax some paperwork to hospice in order to secure her care for however long she has left.

Ten minutes, I was told for the confirmation that the fax went through to Vitas Hospice’s office. Ten. Long. Minutes trying not to start crying again in front of total strangers. And then, a miracle happened. I decided I’d treat myself to my favorite dessert, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. On my way to the beloved freezer holding my creamy comfort in a 1/2 gallon box, I realized that God knew how sad I would be at this moment, and a miracle occurred that caused me to break into a wide smile despite my melancholy mood…

ALL OF MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM TREATS WERE ON SALE…:) november-29-2016-019   And the Skinny Cow was buy one get one FREE! I don’t think that’s every happened that I can recall. 

So, despite the fact that I started bawling again in my car on the way home, I realized life really is about the little things. The ice cream miracle. The fact that my husband does the dishes without me asking him to do so as well as watching the hilarious antics of my cats, one of whom has learned to lock herself in the bathroom when she wants some downtime from the other 2 cats (funny story for another day).

And last but not least, the incredible euphoria I experience every single time I go to the beach (any beach, Florida, California, New Jersey, doesn’t matter), and I sit staring at the vast expanse of water roaring to and fro in front of me. There’s nothing in this world that I enjoy more (as far as leisure activities, that is) than lying on the beach on a hot and sunny day…except maybe lying on the beach with a good book.

And I wondered if any of those wonderful moments that Nana has experienced over her nearly 100 years were ruminating through her mind as she drifts away from this world. I hope so. And I decided that I was going to remember Nana as the crazy redheaded woman who spoiled me rotten every time we came to visit…who so loved the hairstyle shown in the photo below…which I never really understood but Nana never really understood my love of science fiction and zombie movies either…:)nana-demonstrating-shoes That said, even though she and I are very different in a lot of ways, she taught me a very valuable life lesson – just by the way she lived her life. And I’m sure she doesn’t even realize what I’ve gleaned from her in this respect.

In that, the most important ingredient to happiness is to be true to yourself. And it’s okay if you’re not like other women, or other people in general. Nana was the FIRST woman in her family and among her friends who worked after she got married.

A year or so after my mother was born, Nana took a job at the company store. My mother grew up in the coal fields of West Virginia. And Nana got to know the manager of the company store at church, and he mentioned that he needed a part-time clerk. My grandmother eagerly took the job, not because she needed the money, but because she WANTED to work. And she eventually became the manager of the store.

She wasn’t happy sitting around the house all day cleaning and changing diapers. And this was in 1936! Such just wasn’t done, but Nana did it! She didn’t care what other people thought about it either. My grandfather was shocked and confused, but he knew Nana well enough to know that it didn’t do any good to argue with her or to try to dissuade her from whatever she wanted. She was going to do it anyway. And she worked until she was 78 years old. She retired 3 times before she finally decided it was time to give work a rest.

I hope that I’m able to see Nana again before she’s ushered from this world.  When taking care of Nana got to be too much, and she needed full-time care, she didn’t want to be in a nursing home here in Ohio where I live because she hates the weather here. She requested to move back down South where she’d lived for more than 50 years.

So, we put her in a nursing home about 5 miles from the house where she had lived from 1976 until she moved in with me and my husband in 2011. And they’ve taken very good care of her though they refer to her as “the Diva”, which is more than appropriate because I’ve never encountered anyone more spoiled than she is, God Bless Her…:) And there are quite a few posts herein that will more than quantify that nickname.

And so with that, I will say adieu so that I can make travel plans to see the crazy redhead one more time before her lights go out in Georgia for the last time.

Over and out from CASA DE CRAZY…

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

Post #158 -The Oddest, Coolest Mother’s Day Gift Ever

Posted in art, blogging, comedy, Family, Freelancing, humor, life, marriage, memoir, people, relationships, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized, work, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2016 by tenaciousbitch

Those of you who know me IRL (in real life), you’re aware that I’m weird. And that such is an adjective I wear proudly. So, it won’t surprise you to know that my husband gave me a very strange gift for Mother’s Day, one that I absolutely love. However, I can’t think of one woman on earth besides me who would’ve shrieked with joy as I did when I opened it.

Obviously, it wasn’t flowers or jewelry or an expensive pair of shoes or a gift card from my favorite retailer and the like. Though, honestly, I would’ve been perfectly happy with any of the above.

So? What is it, you ask? A 6-foot alligator? No. I prefer my gifts aren’t of the man/woman – eating kind.

Was it some sort of unconventional kitchen gadget like a knife sharpener?

No…it was…

Wait for it…..

Wait for it…

Here’s a photo of the box.

BOX - STUN GUN

Does that give you any ideas? 🙂 For all the ladies and gents out there who might’ve been to a gun store, the box might be a dead give away.

Otherwise, for  the many folks who’ve never been to a retail outlet that sells weaponry…you may not even know what it is by viewing the item itself below….

BOX AND STUN GUN

Yes, it is, in fact a STUN GUN!!! 🙂 And don’t you LOVE the fact that it’s pink? 🙂

Though I live in a very low-crime area, I wanted a stun gun because I’ve been selling my artwork (i.e. fine art photography, decoupaged coasters, hand painted vases, etc.) at various flea markets and art shows since last summer. When I had a booth over the winter at a flea market in a somewhat shabby area, I saw a man arguing with a woman in the parking lot, and he struck her so hard in the face, she almost fell down. I called the police who FINALLY showed up about 20 minutes later. And what kills me about that is – that flea market is a mile from Easton Mall/a very EXPENSIVE area to live/work, etc.

Obviously, violent crime can happen anywhere, so you never know when I might actually have an occasion to use this handy gadget in my own home.

Additionally, the outdoor flea market I’ve been going to since March is frequented by more men than women. And sometimes as I’m packing up my artwork and boxes of household items I’ve also been trying to sell (inherited from my mother/other relatives), there might only be a couple other vendors left. There are no security guards or anything, and occasionally, I meet a vendor who just evokes that vibe that he’s probably seen his share of time “inside” a local prison.

Once in awhile a male vendor or a customer will hit on me, and I’m always polite when replying that I’m happily married and not interested in cheating on my spouse. But you never know when one of those guys might take offense and turn an innocent situation into something ugly.

That said, I LOVE MY STUN GUN. And it’s all charged and ready to go, so be warned all lecherous, less-than-honorable men who might consider getting aggressive with me cuz this chick is PACKIN’, and I won’t hesitate to STUN the hair right off your  balz! 🙂

Peace out –

~Tenacious Bitch and her band of truth spouting hippies

P.S. If you’d like to do a girl a solid (and want to help me garner some more cash to GO SEE NANA – and btw, Nana is now 99 years old), feel free to check out my online store with most of my artwork and such at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TenaciousImages

 

Post #140 – No, I don’t drink wine – I drink Merlot, and what’s that in your hand, Nana?

Posted in beer, Family, family drama, Food and beverages, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

While visiting Nana Maude down South last week, I took her to Olive Garden, one of her favorite restaurants. I’m not a huge fan of the Garden, but their spaghetti and meatballs are okay.

However, every single time we go there, Nana scowls at the server whenever he or she asks if we’d like a glass of wine because Nana grew up Pentecostal. If you’re unfamiliar with this fundamentalist religion, Pentecostal folks do not partake of spirits.  Additionally, many members of the Pentecostal church equate alcohol with crack, heroin or crystal meth.

And just for the record, I grew up Catholic, and I have nothing against the Pentecostal religion. I just happened to believe in – live and let live. I never preached to Nana about going to confession or praying on a rosary, but, unfortunately, she’s bitched and whined about various tenets of the Catholic church my entire life while I sat silently gritting my teeth and waiting for her to take a breath, so I could change the subject or excuse myself from the room. My Catholicism has been in remission, LOL, for a couple decades now, but I still have to endure her temperance lectures. So, I couldn’t help but pull a bait a switch of sorts to shake Nana up when things went a little sideways at Olive Garden.

“Hi, I’m Jenny,” the waitress said with a warm smile. “I’ll be your server today. Would you ladies like to start off with a glass of wine?”

“I’ll have you know that I do not drink, nor have I ever, and my Granddaughter doesn’t drink wine either!” Nana grumbled emphatically in a rather rankled tone, nodding toward me.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to squelch my laughter, which did nothing to ease the suffering of the poor server, a lovely, 22-ish blonde, who reacted with the horrified expression of one who had just been beamed with a  2′ x 4′.

“What’s so funny?” Nana asked, her sharp blue eyes targeting me.

I shook my head at the freaked out waitress with a button-lipped smile hoping to convey the idea that my Grandmother was a cranky old coot, but Jenny was still wide-eyed and petrified.

“It’s okay. You’ll have to excuse my Grandmother,” I said smiling, and finally, Jenny the waitress began to breathe again.

“Excuse me from what?” Nana snapped.

I grinned again, relishing what was about to transpire. “Nana, do you remember those pictures I showed you the other day?”

“What pictures?”

I began digging in my purse for an envelope full of pictures that I’d brought to show Nana as the harried waitress started to get really antsy. I started stacking the photos of my husband’s new truck, one of my cats, whom she loves, and such on the table until I came to a photo of the flowers my husband had given me for Valentine’s Day because Nana loves that sort of thing.

“See? Remember this picture?”

valentine's photo

“I remember the flowers, but what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?” Nana asked.

“Take a closer look. See that bottle next to the flowers?”

Nana eyes cut from the photo to giving me the stink eye instantly recognizing the bottle of wine, but I just smiled.

“That’s a bottle of Merlot. That was my other gift from Charlie.”

Nana sighed and said, “I didn’t notice anything but the flowers,” she said in an annoyed tone. “And I remember you asking Charlie to buy you some Merlot when I lived with you, but I just thought it was some kind of juice or something,” she mumbled.

I winked at the waitress who finally smiled nervously and said, “So, today we have a seafood linguine with…”

But Nana dismissed the spiel regarding the specials that day by interjecting with…”I’d like a glass of ice water, please, with lemon,” … in Nana’s foolproof method of trying to act as though nothing unpleasant had occurred by creating a diversion…:) in this case, a request for water.

I ordered a Diet Coke, and the waitress replied, “Coming up,” as she disappeared while most likely heaving a big sigh of relief that Nana’s little tantrum was over.

The rest of our lunch was pleasant and unremarkable. Nana ate most of her chicken and gnocchi soup only complaining a couple of times about the “green stuff” otherwise known as spinach in the soup.

I don’t know if she was incensed by the glass of wine question on this particular day because she’s frequented Olive Garden for more than 20 years and just got fed up, or she was in a bad mood because they lost another pair of her pajamas at the nursing home, or what…but if I wanted to be a real BITCH, I’d send her a copy of this photo below…which has graced the pages of my blog previously…

MIMI JUDY CIRCA 63 - JUDY SMOKING

The lady on the left is my Aunt Shirley (my Mom’s youngest sister), and the redhead is none other than Nana Maude holding a cocktail! And I would imagine the martini glass close to Aunt Shirley’s hand was her drink as well.  I love the fact that Aunt Shirley is smoking because Nana loves to say that when she saw Shirley walking out of community college smoking a cigarette, that she threatened to “Yank her out of college right now if I ever caught her smoking again.”

Funny thing, Aunt Shirley obviously didn’t quit, and she obtained an associates degree in legal studies in 1970. However, I don’t remember ever seeing Aunt Shirley light up a cigarette. So, she must’ve quit before I was born, or shortly thereafter unlike my mother who, sadly, was sucking on cigarettes until she died of lung cancer in 2007.

So, there you have it. Yet another day of conflicting realities in the life of Nana Maude…:), and I must go for now because my Merlot is singing MY NAME…:)

And for my wonderful fans who keep emailing me about my memoir, I’m getting close to finite! 🙂

~Over and out from Tenacious B’s Bar and Grill

TenaciousBitch/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

 

 

Post #137 – Revenge is a dish best served without Coca-Cola cake…

Posted in Family, family battles, family drama, Food and beverages, grandmothers, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

Five or six years ago when my father was still living, he and Nana Maude came to visit every fall for my son Rory and my husband Charlie’s birthdays- which are only 3 days apart. I wrote about Nana in my last post and in several earlier posts including one about issues concerning her goose down pillow at – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/05/25/post-61-macys-alleged-faux-paus/.

We all took a deep breath the minute Dad’s car landed in our driveway – wondering what kind of drama Nana will cultivate this time.  I was stirring my chili when Nana hobbled into the kitchen, her short white hair like a disheveled halo around her head as she leaned on her big, red walker. A  homemade cake was nestled on the shelf thingy on her walker.

I gave Nana a hug, put the cake on the counter and said, “That was so nice of you to make a Coca-Cola cake. I can’t wait to have some.”

“Well, I hope it turned out all right,” she croaked with another big smile and a twinkle in her eye. She always says that, and to date, I’ve never eaten one of Nana’s pies, cakes, cookies, biscuits or brownies that weren’t delectable.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Southern delicacy known as Coca-Cola cake, it’s a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, which has 1/4 cup of cola in the cake and about  2/3 cup in the icing, which makes both very light and fluffy, and it adds a certain zing to the chocolate flavor.

The next day, Charlie’s mother and stepfather, his grandparents, his Aunt Nancy, his sister Tally and her girlfriend, Melissa, all came down from Cleveland for a cookout/birthday party around noon. And Rory and Heather, his girlfriend at the time, were supposed to be at our house around noon as well.

Around 11:00, I was scurrying around the house – setting out the silverware and a dozen other last minute details when Nana came toddling into the kitchen. She looked at the Coca-Cola cake on the kitchen table with a stack of dessert plates beside it, and she said, “I need to put this up.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Why?”

“I made that for Rory, not for everyone.”

I was immediately annoyed but too busy to argue with her. However, Nana had other ideas. “Nana, there’s plenty of cake to go around,” I said firmly, glancing at the 9″ x 13″ sheet cake. “We won’t cut it until Rory gets here, and I can set aside some for him to take home.”

She shook her head. “No, I made it for Rory,” she said, picking up the cake and sliding it into the cabinet beside the table, “Not for all those other people,” she said as Charlie walked in the room.

“Nana, when you told me you were making a Coca-Cola cake, I didn’t make anything else. What’re we supposed to serve to Charlie’s family?”

Silence and a vacant stare from Nana, followed by a shrug.

“Rory won’t mind to share. In fact, I’m sure he’d insist on it,” I snapped.

“No, I made that cake for my great-grandson, not …” her voice trailed off when she realized Charlie was standing behind me. A glimmer of guilt wavered in her eyes, but I knew she wouldn’t change her mind.

I glared at her, wanting very much to deck the old, selfish crow who just happened to have given birth to my dearly departed mother.

“Nana, I’m getting that cake out, and we’re going to-”

“No,” Charlie sputtered angrily. “I don’t like chocolate cake anyway.”

The hurt and anger I saw pulsing in his eyes sparked a new level of rage against Nana.

“I’ll just go to Kroger and get another cake,” Charlie barked.

You’d think that would elicit a reaction from her, but it didn’t.

“Excuse me,” Nana muttered, looking down. “I’ve got to go to the restroom.” I watched her slump by us, head down, wondering how anyone could be so incredibly selfish.

The moment she left, I looked at Charlie and said, “I’m so sorry, honey. I had no idea-”

“It’s not your fault.”

I shook my head. “Don’t worry about it. As soon as everyone gets here, I’ll put the cake back on the table, and she won’t have the nerve to say one word about it.”

“No,” Charlie said, grabbing his jacket from the coat tree in the living room. “I’m going out to buy another cake, so I’ll have something for my family. I don’t want her fucking cake.”

I nodded. I thought about apologizing again, but there just aren’t enough words in the universe to erase the kind of hurt that Nana frequently bestows on people.

“I can go. It’s your birthday. Why don’t you go sit in-”

“No, I need to get out of here, away from her,” he said.

I nodded, and he turned and walked out.

A few warm tears dribbled down my face. And I grabbed a tissue from the box on the kitchen counter and sat down in a heap on the living room couch. I blew my nose, feeling so embarrassed by Nana’s rude behavior. And I just couldn’t fathom how my overly generous mother could’ve shared the same genes.

And if all that weren’t bad enough, here’s the kicker. When Rory and Heather arrived a few minutes later, I explained the whole dessert dilemma, and my handsome, 21-year-old son – shook his head and said, “I don’t really like that cake. And I’m not big on sweets in general.”

“I know,” I said. “But, I, unlike Nana, don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even hers, by revealing that info. But even if you loved that cake, you’d never want to hoard it like that.”

“Of course not,” Rory replied.

But at this point, it was too late. Nana had poisoned the Coca-Cola cake, so to speak.

Charlie arrived a few minutes later with a white cake with vanilla icing, which was delicious, btw. And  just to piss Nana off, I didn’t eat one single bite of her damned cake. When she asked why I was eating the store bought cake, I just shrugged. She got the hint, but that wasn’t good enough for me…

Three years later after my dad died, she moved in with us. And she constantly asked me to make a Coca Cola cake since wasn’t able to bake anymore, but I never did except one time when I hosted my Writer’s Club meeting last year. I gave everyone generous portions after dinner and huge blocks of cake to take home. And then, I hid the rest in a cabinet that Nana couldn’t reach.

Later, when I was loading the dishwasher, I heard Nana’s walker bumbling down the hallway, and I smiled.

“Well, hello, there, got any cake left?” Nana asked, smiling.

“No, I’m sorry, it’s all gone.”

“You didn’t save me any?” she grumbled, in wide-eyed shock.

“The people in my group had never had it before, so I gave them all some to take home, and Charlie had a piece. Besides, I didn’t make it for you. I made it for my friends.”

Her watery blue eyes turned cold, and tears of anger crested upon her thin, blonde lashes. She turned and stomped out – as best a 95-year-old woman can stomp anyway :).

I slept very well that night. And the words Coca-Cola cake have never graced her dry old lips again.

Over and out from the bitchy baker and her truth-spouting hippies…

TenaciousBitch

TB/ks

 

 

Post #136 – It’s Not Even American!

Posted in Family, family drama, Food and beverages, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

A couple of days ago, I called my 97-year-old Grandmother, a.k.a. Nana Maude. I talked to her for a few minutes about the new shoes I sent her, which she loved, thank God, and then I handed the phone to my husband, Charlie. Whereupon, she began whining about the food at her nursing home.

“It’s not even American,” she lamented.

For those who are new to my casa de crazy, Nana lived with us here in Ohio for 27 very long months. Then, one year ago today, she moved into Mt. Olive Care Center (the nursing home) in Georgia about 3 miles from where she lived for 49 years until her house got foreclosed on because of my drug addict brother, which you can read about beginning with this post –  http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/16/danny-the-stolen-cash-and-the-stripper/

I stayed with her for a week until she got settled in her new digs. During that time, she was served:

1)  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. She hated the beans because they weren’t “seasoned right”. Meaning, they weren’t simmered for 19 hours in a vat laden with salt, onions and bacon – until they resembled a really fine green paste. Besides fried chicken, they also offered chicken Marsala. Therefore, they did sneak a bit of Italian cuisine in there alongside the not-so-American fried chicken…:)

2) Meatloaf with boiled potatoes and a salad. The alternate choice was sweet and sour chicken, so they did borrow from other cultures…BAD CHEFS…BAD! 🙂

3) And one day at lunch, they brought Nana a steak sandwich and French fries. She said the steak was tough, so she wouldn’t touch it, and they brought her a PB&J. I ate the steak sandwich, which was thinly sliced and relatively tender, I thought, but my choppers aren’t 90+ years old.

4) One morning, they brought her scrambled eggs, bacon and white toast with butter and strawberry jam. Funny, I made that exact same meal on many occasions while she lived with us. Hmmm…

5) The last day I was there, she was given a ham and cheese sandwich, a bowl of Jell-O and a banana for lunch with a cup of vanilla ice cream for dessert.

And I remember all of this because I helped her fill out her menu requests – relieved that they always served something I thought she’d eat…but she didn’t because it wasn’t American. Oh, wait…that’s her excuse now. At the time, her meals were too spicy, too sweet, too salty, too peppery, and the list goes on – though I found none of the entrees espousing these traits except the fried chicken was a little peppery. Other than that, I thought the food was pretty frickin’ good for a rest home as Nana calls it with disdain.

Just out of curiosity to see if the menu had changed drastically, I looked on the nursing home’s website today where they post menus for the residents’ families in case they’d like to drop by and share a meal with their loved one.  For dinner today, they listed:

Beef stew and biscuits or fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas, and tomorrow night they advertised chili (oh, god, you’re right, Nana, that’s TEX-MEX) and barbecued wings or honey glazed ham with fried potatoes or baked potatoes and cole slaw. Additionally, you can get cole slaw with your wings and/or chili as well.

That said, I’m not sure why she insists the dining room is providing non-American cuisine. Perhaps, she’s just run out of negative adjectives and decided to utilize more heinous-sounding verbiage instead of the truth:

She doesn’t want anything except entrees from one of her favorite restaurants – or food that she, herself, has prepared, which she, obviously can’t do anymore…though she loves my potato soup, and she loved my husband’s liver and onions.

She also loved what she called – “my spaghetti”, but the slop she referred to was merely hamburger slathered in Prego, which is about 30% high fructose corn syrup, and I think it’s nasty. But I let her think it was “my sauce”, so she’d eat it.

In reality, I make my meaty Italian sauce almost from scratch, but the few times she consumed that which my boys and my husband gobble up in the blink of an eye was too tomato-y according to Nana. But it looks just a RED and tomato-infested as mine, so go figure. So, I allegedly tried a “new recipe”, the heretofore mentioned – Prego and ground beef for her and my homemade spaghetti for everyone else – i.e. making a separate meal for her, which we we had to do about half the time.

But, holy hell, Nana, spaghetti is ITALIAN, why in heaven’s name were you eating that? 🙂

ANYWHO…toward the end of her rant, I saw Charlie cup his hand over his mouth, and I knew she’d just delivered a zinger of verbal insanity, and I was right.

“But you know me, Charlie, I’m not picky…”

To-wit, Charlie and I let go of some serious belly laughs. And this from the woman who grumbled about her breakfast the morning of our departure for Georgia as such:

“Why are my eggs so big?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, rather puzzled after I set her scrambled eggs, sausage gravy and a biscuit down in front of her.

“Do you put milk in them?”

“Yes, Nana,” I said, rolling my eyes because she’d posed that query at least 492 times.

She frowned and said, “When I made them, they were much smaller.”

Oh, for the love of chicken embryos…forgive me, Nana, I wanted to say. I let the eggs cook a little too long before I “scrambled” them up and plopped them on your plate, but even at her age…she can still cut up her own damned eggs, which she began doing the moment I headed for the door.

For other depictions of why Nana “isn’t” picky – check out:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/07/31/post-70-more-baloney-from-ms-cranky-pants/

or

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/06/28/post-66-baloney-porn-or-is-it-bologna-porn/

It’s difficult to imagine ever being that unaware of one’s own personality, but it’s not her age, Nana has always been that way…even when I was a kid, but that’s another yarn to unravel another day…:)

Over and out from Crazytown…

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

TB/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

Post 124 – Never say DISABLED…and the acquisition of the Silver Bullet! :)

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

Three years ago today, I wrecked my beloved Escalade, which is the subject of this post – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/12/not-arriving-at-my-destination/.

For those who are new to my Crazytown, my younger brother, Danny is a drug addict who stole between $40K and $50K from our Grandmother (Nana Maude) during 2010 when he lived with Nana in Georgia. She was 92/93 at the time, and the day I almost totaled the Escalade, I was on my way to get a Restraining Order against Danny.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Danny was at Nana’s house the day of the crash. Nana was in a rehab hospital, and Danny was at her house using my computer to do some sort of paperwork to apply for Foodstamps. I found the fax cover sheet dated for that very day (Jan. 16, 2011) on his desk the next day.

If I hadn’t spent an hour waiting on a policeman to take the statements of everyone involved in the crash (where, luckily, no one was injured), I would’ve been at Nana’s and had to deal with Danny’s temper. He was furious at me because I’d kicked him out of Nana’s house, and I was trying to sell my Dad’s BMW (that Danny had been driving) to pay 3 or 4 months’ worth of Nana’s bills that Danny hadn’t paid while he was living with her because he’d liquidated and spent all of her equity on liquor, strippers and drugs. So, I have to wonder if there was some sort of divine intervention there, maybe, as far as my accident? 🙂

Unfortunately, Nana lost her house to foreclosure because of Danny’s thievery, and she lived with me, my husband, and my son, Max, for almost 3 years afterward, which was one of the dreariest and most stressful times in my life.

As to WHY I was none too thrilled to be Nana’s maid/cook/personal assistant/laundress/nurse, etc., check out this post:

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/

Thankfully, she is now in a nursing home, which is the subject of this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/

Unfortunately, after the accident in 2011, the Escalade was never the same. The last six months we had around $1,200 in repairs. At one point, the electrical systems went haywire. All the warning lights were blazing as if everything needed to be replaced: the battery/change the oil/replace the air bags/the brakes/the blinkers, etc., and we’d just bought a new battery.

That repair cost over $300. But a month or so after that, it quit on me, about half a mile from my part-time job at Ann Taylor Corporate. Everything died. The engine. The lights, the brakes, the power steering, etc., right in the middle of a busy intersection between a Kroger and a McDonald’s during rush hour prime time around 4:45 PM…

I managed to get it started, but it died again about 30 feet or so later. I coasted into a parking space in front of the office and had it towed home after work that night. The next day, Charlie walked in from work and said, “Well, you better start looking for a new car.”

I’d been researching various cars online for a year, and I’d tried to get him to trade in the Escalade and his truck last fall, but he wasn’t interested. We’d planned on trading in the Escalade in the spring, but turned out, it most likely needed a new transmission, which would’ve cost, $1500, at least, I would think.

And we didn’t get nearly as much for it as we should have because the State Trooper who completed the accident report in Georgia, stated the Escalade was “disabled”, which devalued my SUV to about 1/3 of what it was worth according to KBB.com. It wasn’t actually disabled. It was driveable, but my insurance agency told me to have it towed, which I was more than happy to do because I was a little shaken up after plowing into a Chevy Tahoe.  They were towing the car away just as the State Trooper arrived, so he probably assumed it was disabled.

LESSON LEARNED: if you’re ever in a car crash, don’t let the cops label your car as DISABLED, unless, it is totally incapacitated and/or not driveable because that pretty much puts your car in the junkyard category.

However, there is a SILVER lining/a.k.a. THE SILVER BULLET.

When most people go through a mid-life crisis, they buy a Porsche. And I actually found a used Porsche or two I could’ve managed to squeeze into our budget, but that would’ve meant no new clothes for 2/3 years, and Ramen noodles and PB&J would’ve been on a frequent dinner rotation, which didn’t interest me.

That said, I’m such a nerd, I bought a 2014 FORD FIESTA…

RICART PHOTO 3

in garage 3

PIC ONE IN GARAGE

Isn’t it pretty? I love it!!! It’s a five speed/manual transmission. It has a twin-cam engine, so it’s not like the scooter on a Ford frame like the old Fiesta, and it has heated seats. And despite the lower trade-in value of the Escalade, the new car payment is $30 less/month, and the difference in the gas mileage is staggering. I did a comparison on a commuter’s website, which summed it up like this:

Cost of gas for the Escalade – driving to work: 

  Daily Monthly Yearly
Drive Alone *

$15.17

$242.65

$2,911.74

Carpool with 1 other person

$7.58

$121.32

$1,455.87

Cost of driving the Fiesta:

  Daily Monthly Yearly
Drive Alone *

$5.77

$92.37

$1,108.42

Carpool with 1 other person

$2.89

$46.18

$554.21

So, the new vehicle costs about $150 less a month in petrol than the SUV…:), and the Fiesta is REALLY fun to drive.  Additionally, it’s the newest vehicle I’ve ever bought. It had 8 MILES on it when I drove it home a month ago.

That said, though I do miss the spacious interior of the Escalade somewhat, the Fiesta is a bit like the Tardis. It’s a lot bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside.

Ta for now…wishing you all shiny new chariots in the new year! 🙂

TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

#100!!! And, yes, it is all about the LITTLE things…:)

Posted in dogs, Family, grandmothers, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Two momentous events occurred today:

FIRST –  Yes! You guessed it! THIS IS MY 100TH POST on WordPress! Woohoo… now if they were better organized chronologically, etc., I’d have a new book to polish/send to publishers. Although, the first 30 posts are included in the memoir I’m working on, Stop and Smell the Crazy, which encompasses how a certain drug addict stole around $50K from Nana (go here: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/16/danny-the-stolen-cash-and-the-stripper/ …for that wild-assed tale).

SECONDLY, I did something today that millions of people do every day and probably take for granted. I took a 35-minute walk OUTSIDE in the beautiful sunshine while listening to my favorite radio station!!! Oh, the joy of being bathed in the sounds of Seether, Metallica, an old Nirvana song and a new tune from All that Remains while strolling through my suburb was just heavenly!

And I received CAT CALLS, LOL, from a couple of construction workers at the site of a new office building going up around the bend. Okay, don’t judge my GLEE about that, people…40 has been in my rearview for more than a minute, so that “Hey, baby,” from a rather hot 25-year-old wielding a shovel and a honk/wink from some 30ish guy in a dump truck is something I do NOT experience every day. Yes, such things annoyed me during my 20s, but those days are LONG gone…:)

I also met a very sweet basset hound, whose name is Buca, and when I asked my 80-year-old neighbor, Mr. Radebaugh, why his dog garnered a name akin to that of an Italian restaurant…he just shrugged and said, “You’ll have to consult a psychic on that one.”

Noting my confusion, Mr. Radebaugh proffered a whimsical smile and said, “The Mrs. named him. I didn’t really care what we called him, but the wife had some story about when she went to Italy back in the 60s, and I can’t remember what it was now. She’s been gone ’bout 3 years now.”

His face, then softened in utter sadness, and I felt horribly guilty because I didn’t realize his wife had passed, and I could spit on their house from ours. I’m such a bad neighbor.

However, I conveyed my condolences, gave Buca a solid ear-scratching and continued on my jaunt to Kroger where I dropped a letter in the mailbox out front and bought some bath soap. BONUS – I was also multitasking!

And, then, at the very end of my journey, I saw this beautiful little fellow in one of the few fields actually still existing in our Midwestern village:

BUNNY - LIKE CAM 2It’s really unusual to see a white rabbit out in the wild in Ohio especially during the daytime. They’re almost ALWAYS gray, so I wondered if he might be Cameron, Max’s bunny who ran away about 2 years ago. If not, he’s Cameron’s twin or, more likely, his offspring. Either way, I was shocked that he/she didn’t BOLT away before I snapped this photo. But at the sound of the obnoxious CLICK from my Android’s camera, he scurried into some brush a good 20 feet away before I could take a breath.

Anywho…why is my walkabout such a big deal? Well, while taking care of Nana for the last 30 months, I rarely ever walked OUTDOORS because I was always afraid that she’d fall or some other malady would occur, and Nana wouldn’t be able to call me or 911. And by the time Charlie gets home around 5-5:30, I’m usually in happy hour MODE, ready to crash on the chaise lounge out back or in the hot tub in the winter, and not in the “let’s rival Susan Powter/the Biggest Loser/Denise Austen” frame of mind…

Therefore, though I’ve heard it 1,000 times, today’s life lesson: Definitely don’t take the little things for granted cuz you never know when they might be gone/not possible…and I vowed to try to walk/jog about my block every day from now on (or at least 4/5 times/week – weather permitting) so that, maybe, by next fall, I can look like this again…

LL IN BLUE JEAN SKIRTYeah, that’s really me when I was still modeling – when I was 42ish, I think…sigh…too little time to exercise and much of Nana’s need for SWEETS translated into my wolfing down just a couple BITES of cake (that often turned into large pieces of cake) and sometimes overindulging in my beloved Merlot added 22 pounds to my behind. I wore a size 6 in that photo. Now, I wear a 12 (ugh), and I know that’s not OBESE, but my blood pressure and my cholesterol are higher than they should be as well. So…I’m doing Jorge Cruise’s 100 diet and the whole MORE CARDIO pledge…:)

That said, OVER AND OUT from f-cked up central…:)

TenaciousBITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

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© Tenacious Bitch 2013