Archive for old people

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 @

And/or this post about Nana’s back-handed racisim @  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 #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:

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:

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:

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

Blog #48 – I don’t get it…

Posted in friends, grandmothers, relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

There are many things I don’t understand, i.e. why the media has been rabidly dissecting the overpriced finery that graced the red carpet at the Golden Globes and the frenemy fire between Madonna and Elton John…for 10 days+?  Why does anyone care? The next day, I couldn’t have told you what Madge was wearing anymore than I could explain dark matter…

Anywho, the topic with the most votes in the I don’t get it category is the unfathomable rudeness of people sometimes…

Last week, I was rather riddled with anxiety one day because Nana was dressed, ready to go by 11.52 for a doctor’s appointment at 1:20. And she kept mumbling, “Isn’t it time to go yet?” – every 4-5 minutes for an HOUR…Then, in the last HALF HOUR, she followed up with “Kennedy, have you started the car yet? It’s nine degrees out there…” All of which I had the pleasure of listening to over the baby monitor in her room the entire time.  While the monitor is a great safety device, between her caustic/annoying mumbling and the Food Channel crunching in my ear 24-7, I swear, it will cause the death of me YET…

Meanwhile I was attempting to finish a report on a screenplay I’d just read (i.e. coverage for the few film industry folks in attendance) for one of my clients so that I could get paid before 2014…

That said, we get to Dr. Renco’s office, and an older nurse took one look at my shoes and said, “Honey, are you on the crack or something?” Yes, she’s also older than DIRT and from the SOUTH (Alabama, I believe) just like Nana, and…so, yeah, I guess, it’s now called THE CRACK…

“What?” I asked, feeling rather confused…

“Your shoes, one’s black and one’s dark blue.  See, Navy…” she announced pointing to the right shoe, “And black,” she said, with a sarcastic swagger to her tone while nodding to the LEFT shoe as if I were completely brain deprived…

Okay,  sure enough, in my haste to leave, I had slipped into a navy blue canvas loafer and a pair of black flats that were very similar in style.

“Yes, I see that now,” I said, wanting to smack the fat lips off her puss. I’m a runway faux paus/nightmare. Can we move on to the doctor-patient portion of the program? “So, Nana had-”

The rude nurse squelched my reply with, “Seriously, don’t they even FEEL different?

As a matter of fact, they do…hadn’t noticed until you activated your fashion 5-0 comments.

“Or is your feet totally numb from all the cookin’ sherry in your biscuits, right, Maude?” Nurse Ratchet surmised with a laugh and a wink at my Grandmother.

“What’re talking about? There’s no sherry in my biscuits. They’re frozen,” Nana retorted.


That elicited a hefty guffaw from Nurse Ratchet BITCH…”Okay, okay, but seriously how’d you leave the house without noticing?” Again, with a wily SMILE goading me to fess up that I had, in fact, been guzzling gin and the CRACK since dawn…

“The light’s out in my closet {which is true}. Plus, I’m color blind, so-”

“Color blind? That’s a GOOD ONE!”

At which point, I wondered if she were REALLY a nurse. Online BOGUS diplomas, anyone? Because I was having trouble swallowing any medical professional being this OBTUSE!

“Trina, did you hear that? C’mere,” Nurse Ratchet said, beckoning a 20-something blonde nurse who was mulling over a chart at a nearby desk. But Trina didn’t seem interested in my malady.

But Ratchet Bitch was insistent, “C’mere, you gotta see this.”

“What is it?” Trina asked, walking toward me, chart in hand.

“Look at her shoes!”

“Oh,” Trina answered, staring at my ill-styled feet with a nod and a grin, “Bet you feel like a real Klondike?”

WTF? Which prompted Nurse Ratchet Bitch to wax on and on about kids wearing pajamas to school, and people buying their clothes at thrift stores (which I do – FUCK YOU VERY MUCH! SO what?).

My face plumed red with RAGE at this self-BLOATED, thoughtless hag…and I really WANTED to shout – Who the fuck cares? Can you do your job now? Nana just had surgery three days ago. Can we talk about THAT, you horse-mouthed ASSHOLE?

But I was raised in a household where TACT and politeness were cemented into my gray matter thoroughly by the age of FIVE…

“And girls, they don’t even wash their hair sometimes,” Nurse Ratchet Bitch when Nana finally SAVED us both…

“Well, am I gonna see the doctor today, or are we gonna stand around yammering about Kennedy’s shoes and fashion advice all day long. It’s snowin’ out there. And I don’t cotton to wading around in THAT since it’s supposed to snow harder as the day goes on…, so is Dr. Renwinkle here, or what?”

LOL…his name is Renco…not to be confused with RONCO…or is it RONKO (as in the infamous Ginsu KNIVES!)??

FINALLY, Nurse Ratchet Bitch ushered my Grandmother into a holding cell (or an examination room, whatever)…

But I ask, why couldn’t NURSE RATCHET BITCH have been like the SWEET savior that I met in NYC who alerted me to the fashion disaster going on with my skirt w/out insulting me?*

I have NO explanation or reply to that preponderance. I only hope and pray that I never go to Dr. Renco’s office EVER again with a hair out of place much less with unmatched shoes/clothes/snot and saliva, etc.

And with that and a colossal sigh of VEHEMENCE and dismay, I bid you adieu…

Happy Friday and MUCH Merlot to you and yours…and may you never meet a fashion judge/jury and executioner as wretched as Nurse Ratchet BITCH if you happen to be wearing something that doesn’t quite “go” together :)…

KS/Tenacious BITCH…(no relation to Ratchet BITCH, of course)…

*See Blog #45  The Meet Cute Gone Completely Awry…