Archive for nursing homes

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

 

 

 

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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 #99 – Still unhappy, but there is a dog named SUE…

Posted in dogs, Family, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Do you hear it? No? It’s the SOUND of silence…:). The Food Channel isn’t squawking over the monitor in my office! No, I’m not ignoring Nana, and she’s still kicking.

The moment described in: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/05/08/post-95-what-i-cant-say-to-nana-maude-while-buying-mega-champagne/   …. has come to fruition. It took a month of research, a voluminous passel of online forms, many phone calls and several HOURS packing up Nana’s 51-pound suitcase, but she is now living in a 5-star nursing home, Greenlawn Retirement Home in Georgia. It’s 5 miles from where she lived for 52 years!

As you can imagine, all the prep work necessitated my absence from these hallowed cyber halls. So, my apologies for that…:). But THANK GOD, the airline didn’t charge $90.00 for Nana’s obese valise.

However, nursing home care requires a SEPARATE Medicaid application, which hasn’t been approved yet. Therefore, please say mega prayers for its acceptance. Otherwise, we’ll owe $5200 for her 30-day tenure at Greenlawn, and she’ll have to endure another grueling journey north. Her income is well below the maximum allowed, but even a minor error committed while navigating the mean streets of Georgia’s RED TAPE, could mean rejection.

Sadly, Nana was stunned by the news of her relocation. Apparently, my constant dialogue about our massive credit card debt/bleak finances caused by her financial baggage was lost on her. She was silent at first, but then, she started weeping. And I think Charlie felt worse than I did.

He kept saying, “We really don’t want to do this, but we’re broke”, which is true, and our debt isn’t going to dissipate until I can work FULL-TIME.

However, later on, she was THRILLED about living in Georgia again, with its balmy climate, and she can see all of her friends.

Our trip southward was no vacation, but I can’t say enough GOOD things about the staff of American Airlines and the Columbus/Jacksonville airports. Someone was always ready to assist with bags/a wheelchair/whatever. They made EVERYTHING pretty painless.

On the other hand, there’s a reason we call Nana – QUEEN MAUDE. And I realize that Nana can’t help being cold all the time. She’s NINETY-SIX. However, she’s often completely ridiculous.

We arrived at the La Quinta Inn (courtesy of Ben and Allicia’s Amex points!!) around 9:15 our first night. Not five minutes later, Nana said, “I won’t be able to sleep with that air condition on. I’m already freezing!” And, yes, she says it just like that: AIR CONDITION – without the ING, a Southern-ism, I guess.

“How about I turn it up to 75?” I offered.

Nana frowned.

“It’s 95 degrees out. I cannot sleep without air.”

Nana sighed.

“I’ll turn it up, and you bundle up with all the blankets on and see if you’re still cold.”

But Nana wouldn’t budge, so the AC went off, and after much discussion, I reserved another room for me. I was bleary-eyed exhausted, and I got nauseous after 64 minutes sans FREON-cooled air.  I hated leaving her alone – even two doors down, but I didn’t know what else to do.

When I returned from booking another room, Nana said, “I need another blanket.”

“Why? The AC is off.”

Nana shook her head while giving the comforter an angry toss. “I can’t sleep with these, this thing-”

OMG…here we go. “What’s wrong with the blankets?” I asked, dreading her bizarro reply.

“Feel of them,” she snipped as if her bedding was manufactured from decomposing body parts…

I felt the sparkling white linen and ordinary cotton bedspread and shrugged.

“They’re perfectly fine. What’s wrong with them?” If they were a DARK color, THAT would be cause for hating the allegedly awful bedding because Nana will only tolerate PASTELS. She once demanded another room during a 3-day hospital stay in 2008 because the curtains were dark brown…

“I just don’t like the feel of them.”

I argued with her relentlessly, but she persisted. So, I called the front desk, knowing she wasn’t going to shut up until I did. After 30 minutes, 2 phone calls and a trip to the office where, of course, they had no blankets, I was ready to strangle Nana.

“I can’t believe they don’t have any blankets. What kind of hotel is this?”

“The best we could afford, Nana – a FREE, 3-star hotel,” I answered. “And it’s JUNE for heaven sake. All of the Eastern seaboard is experiencing unseasonably WARM temperatures,” I stammered.

Nana just grimaced.

At 11:45, another fucking BLANKET still hadn’t arrived. I sat at the desk, my shoulders drooping while contemplating adding a stiff blast of bourbon to Nana’s bedtime tea – when she asked…

“You okay?”

“I’m dying to take a shower. I think my sweat is SWEATING because it’s so damned hot in here.”

Nana’s lip quivered, and I immediately regretted that remark, evoked by the guilt from banishing my Grandmother to a HOME. But she could’ve worn a sweater over her pajamas like I KEPT suggesting or swaddled herself up in the supposedly icky bed clothes, and she would’ve been FINE. Then, I could’ve turn on the AC a tad and slept in the FREE ROOM. BUT NO…welcome to the nightmare known as Nana MAUDE’s universe…

“Go on. I’ll be fine,” she said.

I had stayed fearing she’d have trouble with the dead bolt (with her arthritis) – or she’d forget to lock the door.

At midnight, I relented and went to MY room. She remembered the lock and the DO NOT DISTURB sign, but I didn’t rest easy. And, GUESS WHAT? Another blanket never appeared, and she slept just fine on the less than-Laura Ashley SHEETS, etc.

Unfortunately, her doctor (of 30+ years) didn’t sign Medicaid’s authorization form the next day, so they couldn’t admit her to Greenlawn yet.

In lieu of sleeping in separate rooms again, I booked a suite at the Marriott. I stayed there before (RE: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/24/mrsa-the-onions-and-red-lobste/  )…

Anyway…the Marriott has a bedroom, and…

KITCHEN 3a kitchenette, which was nice because we had breakfast in our room, in lieu of making it to the FREE continental meal before 9 AM. Nana took the bedroom, immediately cranking the HEAT, and I slept on the slab of concrete/sofa bed, with the AIR CONDITIONING chugging away. So, I spent $150 for 2 extra rooms because HER Highness wouldn’t compromise. Is it any WONDER that we racked up so much debt because of her?

FINALLY, two days later, on JUNE 21st, 2013, Nana was admitted to Greenlawn.  She got weepy when I left for the hotel that evening, but thank you, JESUS, thus far, she LIKES the food at GREENLAWN! Check out: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/06/28/post-66-baloney-porn-or-is-it-bologna-porn/ as to WHY that’s so AWESOME…

By the time I departed Georgia, Nana seemed happier than she’s been in months – even though yesterday on the phone, she said, “I’m unhappy, and I’ll always be, but I’m making the best of it…and Boots sat on my lap today.”

BOOTS 2Boots, one of Greenlawn’s pets, and Ms. Pickles, another cat who scurried away before I snapped this photo (so named because she LOVES pickles, and she’ll snatch yours right off your plate if you’re not looking). Nana loves cats, AND the dog named SUE, pictured below…

DOG NAMED SUE 2… a really sweet Shi-Zhu, who belongs to one of the administrators. And don’t you LOVE the ponytail? 🙂

Despite the obvious adjustments, I really think Greenlawn is the best place for her. She’s rarely alone, and they have lots of activities like a middle-aged crooner belting out Nana’s favorite Frank Sinatra tune her first day there during “happy hour” at 3:30, LOL.

AND they have a beauty shop on site! What’s better than that? 🙂

Anywho…thanks for suffering through my laborious account about Nana’s new digs…

Over and out from the now QUIET abode of TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth spouting hippies…~TB

Post #95 – What I can’t say to Nana Maude…while buying mega champagne!

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

As many of you know, I’ve been taking care of my Grandmother, Nana Maude, for two years plus, after my drug addicted brother, Danny, pilfered her life savings (over $50K), a story that begins with this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/16/danny-the-stolen-cash-and-the-stripper/

Then, Nana Maude moved in with me, my husband, Charlie, and our son, Max, who is almost 21. Our lives have been quasi miserable ever since. For those who aren’t familiar with the joy that is living with Nana, check out these posts:

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

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/08/07/post-71-can-we-rewind-and-erase-please/

Aside from her nonstop griping, she frequently bad mouths us to anyone/everyone who will listen despite how much we’ve done for her like telling my mother-in-law that Charlie buys cheap meat, and that Nana wouldn’t buy DIRT at Kroger.

First of all, Kroger’s clerks are friendly and helpful, and contrary to Nana’s skewed version of reality, they carry high quality products while Publix where she “traded” for 50 years is more expensive. She just doesn’t like it because it’s “different”. I hated HER Publix because their organic food section couldn’t fill my sock drawer. But Nana, of course, would live on Ho-Ho’s and bacon if she could.

Secondly, New York strip or Hillshire Farms’ cold cuts are not CHEAP, so the “buying cheap meat” accusation is a load of horse hockey.

And this from a woman who’d be HOMELESS without us! Danny dumped her in a low-rent nursing home, and after the 21 days that Medicare paid for, it would’ve cost $100/day like she could afford that after Danny absconded all her cash.

Yet, one minute she’s thanking us profusely for everything, the next she’s whining about nothing and/or telling everyone/anyone she hates living here and – how she hates sitting in her room all day, which is my allegedly fault because I’m “upstairs working all day”. She knew that would be the case before she moved to Ohio. I can’t watch the Food Channel all day with her, ya know?

However, she cancels half her hair appointments and our proposed shopping trips, and I spend 4/5 hours/day cooking/cleaning/paying her bills, etc. I barely get to work 3 hours/day unless I work until 2:00 AM. I’m constantly suggesting she sit out back with me in the 80-degree weather, but she declines. So, she’s often in her room of her own volition.

ADDITIONALLY, when her clothing rack from Walmart collapsed, Charlie spent 3 hours the next day building her a closet!

If it weren’t for us, she’d be in a nursing home for the destitute. You know, the facilities that make headlines when people are found lying in their own filth for days on end.

Plus, we so love when she does decide to join us for dinner, so we can listen to her SIGH the whole time while we’re watching TV. But I’m sorry, old lady, that’s OUR TV, and after listening to you BITCH 24-7, we’re just not gonna watch Wheel of Fortune ANYMORE. So, if you don’t like THE WALKING DEAD or DEFIANCE, feel free to watch whatever you want in your room because we’re DONE trying to make you happy.

Therefore, when Nana’s house, sadly, was foreclosed on last month as the result of Danny’s many crimes, I immediately applied for Medicaid on Nana’s behalf. And, HALLELUJAH, it was APPROVED! Owning a $90,000 house though it was mortgaged for $110K (thanks to Danny) barred her from being eligible previously. We don’t know how much Medicaid will pay toward nursing home costs, but it’s likely they’ll pay 90% to 100%. We’ll know after completing yet another ream of paperwork.

I’m really DREADING that conversation with her considering what she said the FIRST time I mentioned a nursing home in this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/28/the-theft-the-thug-and-more-mayhem-this-way-comes/

Additionally, we’re broke from the added expense of her living here. And if Charlie lost his job, we could be teetering on the threat of foreclosure ourselves in six/eight months because we’ve depleted our savings, mostly because of her.

I’ve also had to turn down a lot of work the last 2 years because I couldn’t make the client’s deadline, which just KILLS ME. One project, in particular, paid $5,000! But I don’t let on to Nana because she already feels a mountain of guilt for the burden she’s caused. Why make her feel worse? I just put on a happy face and rarely say a word.

It’s extremely frustrating as well to constantly write down really great ideas that could generate more freelance cashflow, knowing those ideas will gather dust in a notebook while I wait for our circumstances to change.

However, what I CAN’T say is that I have no life with her here. I can’t go see Charlie’s band play or go to the doctor without finding a “sitter”. I went shopping in West Virginia when Charlie’s band played there, and that was the first time I’d been to a mall in over a year.

She’s also depriving me and Charlie of what should be the best time of our lives. I thought when Max graduated, we’d have more time for ourselves. And I’d finally be able to focus ALL my time on my writing.

However, when her application for Medicaid was approved, I was literally giddy. And when that moment finally arrives when we know that we can, in fact, relocate Nana to a nursing home, I will be popping some champagne that hopefully won’t turn to vinegar from the remorse I’ll feel from kicking my mother’s mother to the curb, which is how she’s going to see it. At the same time, I don’t feel like living with us is the best place for her.

She 96 years old, and she won’t tell me when she’s hurt herself because she doesn’t want to bother me like when she scraped her shin on her recliner. She was bleeding all over the floor but didn’t say a word. But she wouldn’t hesitate to call a nurse if she were in a “home”.

She’s also fallen before when she was too far away from the monitor in her room, and I didn’t know it. She recently sat on her floor of her bathroom for almost two hours before Charlie got up and heard her calling for me. My family/friends have all been saying a rest home would be better for her, and soon – we’ll be chatting with Nana about that…

That said, arrivederci, everyone, and I shall keep you POSTED…:) no pun intended!

~TenaciousBITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

© Tenacious Bitch 2013

Post #70 – More BALONEY from Ms. Cranky Pants…

Posted in Family, grandmothers, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

I sat on my couch numb-struck for a moment because my brain was SIZZLING and crackling with ANGER.

“I’m sorry, she said, what?” I asked my mother-in-law, Sarah, who was sitting next to me.

Wearing a grim expression, she replied, “When Nana* and I went grocery shopping, she said she wouldn’t buy DIRT at Kroger and that Charlie buys cheap meat.”

“That’s bullshit.”

“I know it is. I reminded her that Charlie frequently makes Porterhouse steaks for everyone on Memorial Day, and last time I visited too, and he bought her filet Mignon,” Sarah explained in a bitter tone.

“And the only cheap meat I’ve ever seen in your fridge in the 15 years since you got married,” Sarah continued, “is that Kroger brand deli meat that Charlie buys for himself because he doesn’t care what brand he buys. And there’s nothing wrong with Kroger meat anyway, but I know he didn’t buy that for her HIGHNESS. She also said that you never bake anything and that her room hadn’t been cleaned in months.”

“What the hell is she talking about? I clean her room every Saturday! And I just cleaned it the day before we left for Vegas. Was it dusty or something because of her opening the window?”

“No. I told her that her room was spotless when I got here until the dog took a nap in there and got blond fur all over the place, which I vacuumed up while she was in the shower.”

“And I stopped baking anything for her because she’d eat maybe two pieces of cake or a couple cookies or something, and I’d end up throwing the rest out unless it was something that Max likes because she wants a different damned desert every day except when I made donuts. And she ate TWO donuts every day.”

“I know. She told me,” Sarah said.

“She just doesn’t understand. I’m already spending 3-5 hours every day cooking, washing dishes and trying to keep the house clean, which as you know, doesn’t leave near enough time for me to work. So, I’m sorry that I haven’t had time to bake Ms. Cranky Pants a fresh dessert every day. And she’s the ONLY person who eats all that anyway. Charlie and I are both trying to lose weight. And Max is here so little now with his work schedule and everything that he only eats dinner here at 10 or 11 o’clock at night when he may or may not be in the mood to eat angel food cake or whatever.”

Sarah nodded. “I know. I don’t understand her attitude. And what’s wrong with Kroger? And I told her that all the stores carry about the same thing. So, why go over to Giant Eagle or whatever when everything is going to cost 50 cents or a dollar more.”

And for the record, since Nana moved in with us 18 months ago, I’ve made: Coca Cola Cake THREE TIMES, and all of the following at least twice: blueberry muffins (from scratch), chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, Snickerdoodles, blond and chocolate brownies, chocolate chip muffins, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, pound cake, lemon cake, cheesecake, honey bran muffins, and homemade bread more than 20 times because I prefer it to store bought bread.

I’m thinking this lack of RECALL is a pretty good indicator of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, is it not?

Sarah nodded. “I know. I don’t understand her attitude and how she can be so ungrateful.”

“And how tactless to badmouth my husband to his MOTHER of all people.”

Sarah nodded.

I was so furious that I avoided Nana for the next three days, and then I couldn’t help it. My inner most BITCH broke free and lambasted the old bird.

I walked into her room, sat down on the bed and said, “You and I have to have a serious chat.”

“Oh, is something wrong?” Nana asked innocently.

“Yes, you can disparage me ALL you want, but if you EVER make another derogatory comment about Charlie or my boys, you’ll be living in the street!”

“What’re you talking about?”

“Sarah told me what you said about Charlie buying cheap meat and that you wouldn’t buy dirt at Kroger.”

Nana blinked, her eyebrows furrowed. “I didn’t say that.”  But I could tell by the way her eyes were shifting nervously that she was lying.

“Really and you didn’t hoard any money to give Cathy, either, did you**?”

Nana grimaced and began taking deep and rather loud breaths like she might hyperventilate, which is ALL an act because she stopped doing it like 30 seconds later.

“Yeah, Sarah made up awful things about her own SON? So, I suggest you keep your obnoxious and insensitive comments to yourself from now on or start packing!” I hollered, slamming the door behind me.

For those of you who might not GET why Nana’s comments infuriated me so badly, take a gander at:

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

Nay, what she said on my mother’s death bed was worse. However, this latest defaming of my husband’s character was a major turning point in my life. A few days after I got back from Vegas, I started researching nursing homes…and that’s ALL I’m gonna say about that for now.

THANKS for tuning in, boys and girls. I must go now, the Geriatric Beast is yowling for more tea…

Over and out from the FLAMES of Paradise LOST…

TenaciousBITCH and her band of bullshit QUASHERS!

~TB

*For a humorous story about Nana, check out #18 The Oatmeal Incident at: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/06/02/the-oatmeal-incident/    …or Post #62 – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/05/25/post-61-macys-alleged-faux-paus/

** For info on that, check out: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/07/11/the-attempted-con-of-ms-cranky-pants/   …. and Post #69 – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/07/19/post-69-the-brooding-nana-vs-the-world-of-its-all-fine/

© Tenacious Bitch/Kennedy Smith 2012

ALL posts:    © Tenacious Bitch/Kennedy Smith 2012

Post #27 In the wake of DANNY…

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

That Sunday after the eviction was granted, I got a text from Jack that said:

Danny put the keys to G’ma’s house in the mailbox.

I replied to Jack’s text:

KS: So, did he REALLY go to NC?

JACK: He’s on the bus now.

I couldn’t stand it. I had to know the DETAILS…so, I called Jack. He answered on the third ring.

“What exactly prompted him to move out of state?”

“He said that he hadn’t really been able to find a good job down in Georgia, said the job market was better close to Myrtle Beach or Wilmington.”

“Uh, huh,” I replied.

“He said he was going to stay with Nate Taylor, remember him?”

“Yeah,” I said, nodding, “I do. But I thought he was in the Marines?”

“He was. He decided not to re-enlist after his last tour in Iraq, got out like six, eight months ago.”

“He’s such a nice guy. He has NO idea what he’s getting into with Danny.”

“I know. I feel like I should call him and tell him to lock up anything worth more than $20.”

“Yeah, so WHEN exactly, did Danny have this change of heart that motivated him to move out of state?”

“Um, it would’ve been Wednesday or Thursday of last week when he called me.”

“Ah, ha, according to the Post Office tracking, on Wednesday, he received his copy of my novelette of official mud slinging that I had forwarded to the court.”

“Yeah, that’s what I figured. He realized the jig was up after that,” Jack said with a chuckle.

I couldn’t help but smile. After that, he talked about his family for a minute. HIS Grandmother, Nina, who is in her late 80s, fell last week, and he’s really worried about her. He thinks she has Alzheimers. She wandered out into the yard around midnight recently and fell into a rose bush before anyone realized she was out of the house. She’s okay, but she scared the Bjesus out of everyone. He lives next door to Nina, and he helps his Mom take care of his Grandmother, so he and I have a lot in common.

However, of course, my ELATION about Danny leaving Georgia was brief. Two or three days later, I walked out of mine and Charlie’s bathroom, and I heard Nana shouting over the monitor in my office. “Kennedy! Kennedy, where are you?” And then a breathless, “I need…to…I need…” she said before lapsing into a coughing fit, which was followed by SILENCE.

I ran downstairs to the family room expecting to find a bloody, severed limb or a pack of angry rats encircling Nana’s chair. But, no, just a red-faced Nana, sitting in her recliner, the Food Channel accosting my ears.

Her eyes were hardened marbles – deepened to a shade akin to navy blue. And her tiny fists were balled up so tight that her fingernails were turning a dark purplish blue.

“That piece of shit brother of yours! I wish I could string him up by his feet and beat him senseless with a crow bar!”

I sighed, relieved that Nana wasn’t in DIRE circumstances as I sat down across from her on the couch. “Nana, take a deep breath. What happened?”

“Well, Margaret and Sally, my cleaning lady, went to my house to clean, and, apparently, Danny had a dog. And it pooped on the carpet, and that ASSHOLE just left it there! Can you imagine how horrible that smelled since the house has been closed up for several days? AND the air conditioning isn’t working. So, Sally called Keith, the guy who takes care of the furnace and the air conditioning, and he’s coming over tomorrow to look at it. So, more money I’m going to have to shell out. And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, Lucinda, you remember her, the mail lady?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “I remember, tall, thin, blonde woman.”

“Yeah, she told Margaret that she saw Danny on his bike on Monday – on MY street. I thought he left on Sunday?”

“That’s what Jack said, but maybe, he got the dates confused.”

“Or maybe, he didn’t really leave, and he’s still in Georgia, maybe, living with Matt, down the street. And maybe, he’ll break into my house again! This is awful! Just awful!” Nana said, her already flushed face turning a dangerous shade of crimson.

“Calm down, Nana. I’ll find out where he really is. I’ll call Jack. He’ll know. And…” I said “Maybe…” I replied, thinking about how I might verify WHERE exactly Danny was living. “And I’ll email Bridget.”

“Who?” Nana asked.

“Bridget, Danny’s stepdaughter, you know the one who’s been going to school in Chapel Hill?” Nana nodded, and I disappeared into Nana’s room to get her blood pressure monitor.

“What’re you doing?” Nana called from the next room.

“Nana, you need to relax. Okay?” I said returning with the blood pressure monitor. “I’ll get to the bottom of this.” I took her blood pressure, which was was up to 179/85.

“You need to rest. Your blood pressure-”

“I can’t rest. I’m too upset.”

“I know. I know. I’ll get you some tea. That’ll help.”

Nana nodded. “And maybe one of those chocolate cookies, too?”

“You mean the Little Debbie’s? The Swiss rolls?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said, one of them cupcakes.” I disappeared into the kitchen and put a small shot of bourbon into Nana’s tea and a little more sugar than usual to hide the liquor. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t do that, but her doctor said it was okay…yeah, I pretended that I’d dropped my car keys at her last visit to her primary physician’s office in Georgia. And I snuck back and talked to Dr. McCan about it.

“Oh, sure, since she won’t take sleeping pills or any anti-anxiety medication, she can have a shot of bourbon or a glass of wine, but no more than that, and red wine is better than white if she can’t sleep or gets really upset.”

I just didn’t mention that I might not ASK my Pentecostal Grandmother if she WANTED a shot of bourbon in her tea. Sometimes, you just have to treat her like a kid who won’t take some much-needed “medicine” unless you hide it in her favorite drink/her tea! 🙂

I sat with Nana for a few minutes listening to Nana RAGE on about how she hates Danny and the horrible state of her house post Danny while she drank her tea and ate her cupcake. A few minutes later, her eyelids began to droop, and then in a slurry voice, she said – “I don’t understand how…” and off she went to la la land. Yes, she fell asleep in mid-sentence and started snoring before I could make it to the doorway.

As soon as I got to my office, my cell phone rang. It was Margaret.

“I didn’t want to tell your Grandmother this because I didn’t want to upset her, but one of the refrigerators is missing, and so is your Grandmother’s bed,” Margaret said in an agonized tone.

“What? Oh, my God, what an asshole!”

“I know. It’s terrible.”

“Which fridge?” I asked.

“The spare one that was in the laundry room. And I think his roommate took it.”

“What roommate?”

“You know the black guy, Reggie, who lived next door?”

“Yeah, I met him once or twice when I took out the trash or when I was walking out to my car.”

“Well, Reggie has been at the house several times when I stopped by to check on the mail, and Danny WASN’T there at the time.”

“Really? Instant roommate. How awesome.”

“I was at Publix yesterday, and I ran into Jerry, the guy who originally rented that house, and he said that Reggie moved in with Danny in late March when Jerry moved out. I guess he’s renting a house with his girlfriend in Clearview. Jerry, I mean.”

“I see. Well, why don’t we ask Nana if she wants you to have that bed moved over to your house since we’re not certain that Danny is really gone? Maybe, tell her that Lucinda and her husband could help you move it.”

“That’s a good idea. I didn’t want to tell Maude any of this. I figured I’d leave that up to you. She’s already so upset about all this, and there’s nothing she can do. Oh, and her favorite mirror in the hallway is missing, and the living room curtains are gone.”

“The curtains? Good Lord. Why do you think it was the guy next door who took the fridge and everything?”

“I went next door to ask them if they knew anything about the missing furniture, and another guy I’ve never met, Todd somebody, said that Reggie wasn’t home. And when I asked if I could come in and look around, in case maybe, Reggie had taken the bed or whatever by mistake-”

“By mistake?” I asked laughing.

“You know, I said that maybe Danny didn’t realize that your Grandmother had promised me that bed in her Will, and maybe, Danny had sold it to Reggie.”

“Oh, okay. That makes sense even though Danny KNEW you were getting Nana’s bed.”

“But they wouldn’t let me in.”

“Of course, they didn’t because all of it is probably next door.”

“Probably.”

“And then, Reggie came home, and he said that maybe Danny had taken the fridge and the bed with him.”

“On a bus?” I said laughing.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“Oh, and the keys weren’t in the mailbox.”

“They weren’t? How’d you get in?”

“The back door, the one with the gaping hole.”

“Oh, yeah, forgot about that. You’re a brave woman, Margaret. I don’t think I would’ve had the nerve to go over there and interrogate the neighbors.”

“It wasn’t exactly an interrogation,” Margaret said with a hefty belt of laughter.

“Well, knowing that Reggie had been living with Danny and probably does drugs too, I wouldn’t have felt all that comfortable asking those guys about any missing furniture.”

“I’m not afraid of those clowns,” Margaret replied.

After a few minutes of small talk, we said our goodbyes. And then, I left a message for Jack, but by 9:00 that night, he hadn’t gotten back to me. So, I went on Facebook, and I emailed Bridget, who apparently, had moved back to Wilmington permanently, according to her FB info.

If Danny’s in Wilmington, I’m sure he’s called Bridget or her sister, Carrie, who is 19. Bridget is 23, close to my son Tim’s age, and she and Danny NEVER got along when Danny was married to her mother, Belinda.  I didn’t want to email Carrie because she and Danny have always been close…didn’t want to tip Danny’s hand since Carrie’s TRUE loyalties lie in enemy territory.

I poured a glass of Merlot, laid down on my bed and listened to Recovery, an Eminem CD, on my I-Phone just trying to relax before Charlie got home. Dreading the hours, days, possibly weeks before Bridget might reply to my email. After all, she’s a college kid, and even though they LIVE on Facebook, she’s working two jobs this summer, and from the photos on her FB page, it looks like she’s as busy partying as much as she is working.

I heard the rumble of thunder, so I decided to take my Merlot outside…to my SECOND favorite place next to lying on the beach…our hot tub where I drank another glass of Merlot while watching a brilliant thunderstorm from our screened in porch out back…

So, STAY TUNED, GUYS AND GALS, b/c the fat lady STILL hasn’t sung yet…though she’s ITCHING to hit that high note…

PEACE OUT FROM SNOOPY DANCE CENTRAL/the Geriatric SWAMP…

~Tenacious bitch/KS

 

 

# 15 – The MONEY drop…

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

You’d think that giving Danny his 1200 I allegedly owed him would be child’s play, yes?  (For those who are new to my Crazytown, feel free to see the recap*). However, I had this overwhelming feeling I had to STIFF the bastard for Nana’s sake to make sure ALL her bills were paid… and considering the interest added to my already OBESE credit card after feeding it more than $1900 to pay all Nana’s bills and/or buying groceries instead of living off ketchup packets and all the crackers I could steal at 7-11 (without getting caught).

Anyway, I made a decision. I was going to do what was BEST for everyone concerned. After dinner on Monday night, I sat down at my laptop and typed a 3-page note to Danny. What did it say? Well, I’ll get to that later… 🙂

That said, I stalled Danny as best I could that night, and though he called my cell 17 times… at least he had the decency to ONLY call Nana’s house phone three times. The last time was at midnight, and he sounded as EXHAUSTED as I was.

“What the fuck, Kennedy? I’ve called you a dozen times tonight. Don’t even THINK about welching on me!”

“I’m not. Nana got sick,” I lied.

“What? Is she okay?” Wow… he actually sounded like he cared.

“She had a migraine, but she’s better now. My phone died, and I didn’t realize it because I was busy helping her take a shower after she threw up all over her new pink robe.”

“Oh, yeah, she always has to yak before… well, so, tomorrow night meet at CVS at 6:00, okay? Cash in HAND, got it?”

So much for his concern for Nana.

At exactly 6 p.m., I pulled into the parking lot of CVS. But there was no sign of Danny. I waited and waited and waited. Finally, at 6:34, I started my car and was about to take off with a BIG smile on my face and a MUCH heavier wallet when, of course, Danny called.

“I can’t get to CVS,” he said hurriedly. Translation, I’m a bum who doesn’t have a car, so…. “Can you come to the Shell Station?” (i.e., the Shell Station where Danny works)…

“Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

And OFF I went. When I arrived, Danny walked over wearing YET another GOD awful-looking jersey, a hockey jersey, I think. It was aqua blue/green and ORANGE. It was hideous.

He came to the driver’s side window, and I handed him an envelope full of cash and the carefully-worded note I’d written the night before. He snatched the envelope, and I put the car in drive when suddenly he walked in front of my car, and..

“What’re you doing? I almost hit you,” I snapped out my open window when he suddenly opened the passenger-side door. “What’re you doing?”

“I need my Sharpie,” he said.

WTF?

He reached down under the seat where he did, indeed, find a rather large Sharpie pen.

“What do you need that for?” I asked.

No answer. He was now squatting down beside the car, counting the money in the envelope.

JESUS… H…

“Get out of the car, Danny. I’ve gotta go get Nana some soup from Denny’s.”

“Wait a minute,” he said, continuing to count the cash.

I looked at my watch. “C’mon, it’s almost 7:00. She’s already called me five times. She’s starv-”

“Hold on. I’m not leaving until I count it.”

“GET OUT, Danny!” I barked.

“She can wait a few minutes. Is it all here?”

“No, it’s not. The terms have been changed,” I said in the COLDEST BITCH tone I could cough up.

He glared at me. “Uh, no they haven’t!” he shouted.

“Get the FUCK out of my car!” I yelled putting the car in park again. I hopped out of the driver’s seat and RAN around to the passenger side where he was now sitting, still counting the money.

“I have to go. Get OUT of my car,” I said, “Or, I’ll call the cops.”

“No, you won’t,” he scoffed with a chuckle.

I punched in 911 on my phone.”Watch me,” I said. I held up my cell, so he could see the screen. “Get the fuck away from me, and DON’T ever contact me or Nana EVER again. Got it?”

“What do you think you’re doing, Kennedy?” he asked in a rather chilly yet calm tone, very Charles’ Manson-ish.

“Read the note,” I said. “It’ll explain everything.”

“Really?” he said, standing up, towering over me so close I could smell the stale stench of last night’s Old Milwaukee on his breath.

“You need to go to a meeting,” I said smiling.

“Fuck you, Kennedy. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Shall I hit send?” I asked, nodding to my phone.

He slammed the passenger side door SO HARD the rearview mirror crackled into a hundred tiny slivers of glass. Great. Great. More money for the insurance deductible. “You owe me 50 bucks.” He didn’t even blink.

No, I don’t.” We stood with glassy-eyed glares for a long ten seconds, and I was beginning to think he was never going to go away…

“Checkmate, asshole. You got your money. Now, go.”

“I don’t think so,” he said, grabbing my arm as I rushed toward the driver’s side.

“Let go of me, you PIECE OF SHIT!” I could feel the blood curdling, the vessels breaking into purple globs of bruises. “Let go!”

And DAMN he was smart. He grabbed my right arm… holding it so tightly he was paralyzing my right hand, which TINGLED with a million thorns and needles, and I couldn’t hit SEND (on my phone). I reached for my cell with my left hand when…

A Short Man in a well-tailored suit stepped out of his Audi at Pump #3, walked over and stood between me and Danny. “Is there a problem here? The lady said to let her go, there King Kong,” said Short Man.

Danny gave SHORT MAN a death glare, but he didn’t flinch… gotta love a man in a suit worth TWO GRAND who actually has a set of steel balls supporting the luxurious fabric.

“This isn’t over,” Danny said, and he finally let go of my arm and STOMPED away.

I smiled, “Yeah, okay, whatever.”

Danny stopped walking for a second, gave me what should’ve been an icy and intimidating glare, but I KNEW there was nothing he could do. He couldn’t report a car officially STOLEN that he’d never owned.

So, he could do what he wants to me. Nana’s house is no longer in danger of being put up for auction (which could’ve happened if I hadn’t paid her property taxes that morning), and that’s all that mattered to me.

“Are you all right?” Short Man asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

Short Man looked over at Danny, who disappeared into the Shell store. “Please tell me he’s NOT your husband?”

I laughed, “No, he and I have the same parents, but I don’t actually think of him as my brother.”

Short Man nodded, “I have one of those. Only mine wears dresses.”

“Your sister is just as bad, huh?”

“No my brother is a real PRICK, and he’d never back down like that. And the DRESSES are damned ugly,” he said smiling. “He wears them on holidays just to piss off our dad.”

I smiled nodding. “Pretty extreme.”

With that, we said goodbye, and I collapsed into a quivering mess in my rental car. I drove back toward Nana’s. But I had to make a pit stop at the Liquor Store. Though, Nana, of course, is Pentecostal and would horse whip me if she knew I entered her house with half a liter of rather pricey Merlot hidden in my purse, I didn’t really care. What she doesn’t know in this instance, DEFINITELY wouldn’t kill her.

So, how much money was in the envelope? $500 dollars’ worth of payola. And what did the note say? Well, let’s just say I threatened to contact the FBI about his fraudulent credit card purchases in Dad’s name if he DIDN’T leave me and Nana alone. And I even listed the name of a couple of FBI agents I’d spoken to…

I slept well that night for the first time in awhile even though Danny could’ve climbed through my window and strangled me at any moment. But somehow… I just knew he wouldn’t.

Peace out from the Geriatric Swamp…

And just in case you’re curious… this is NOT the end of this LONG and convoluted tale…but things were definitely better now with the lights on and hot water, et. al.

~KENNEDY

* THE RECAP:  Danny is my 39-year-old crackhead brother who STOLE our Nana Maude’s life savings (our 96-year-old grandmother), which totaled around $50K.  After our Dad died in 2009, Danny started driving his BMW, but he didn’t register it in his name nor did he insure it. And IF he had an accident/ killed someone, Dad’s estate would be liable. When I arrived in Georgia AFTER he stole all Nana’s money, I discovered I had about 48 hours to sell this car before the men in orange trucks would arrive to SHUT off the lights/heat/water at Nana’s house… in the MIDDLE of January.  However, Danny SWIPED the beamer via his friend Connie (see blog 6 – What about those bank statements?), and I was finally able to get it back by promising him I’d give him $1200 from the profits of selling Dad’s car….