Wisdom of the Aged: Words From Mom

Last week, while having a conversation with my mom, she expressed how much she enjoyed reading my blog posts and I reciprocated by letting her know that I greatly enjoy hearing her "old woman" stories.  I invited her to jot them down, if she were so inclined, and email them over to me and I would happily add them to my blog....guest blogger style.  She has become quite adverse to technology and although I know she would be a successful blogger herself, alas, she just has no patience for learning new things.  So she started sending me her stories and I decided to give her a page of her very own.  **The views and opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily represent those (but probably do) of the blog owner.  Please forward your complaints to....heh heh....well, if you know my mother, I'm sure you know where you can direct your "complaints"**

Ladies and gentleman, uncut, unedited and in her own words....introducing my mother, Gloria Mentecki:

Yes, this is my mother....this was just last week.

ADVENTURES IN KITCHEN LAND

October 12, 2015

Every so often I get an urge to cook.  I used to cook all the time when my children were young and I was married.  Even though I usually loved what I ate my family wasn’t the type to praise my cooking.  I was taken for granted.  Now that the kids are gone and I’m divorced I don’t cook very often but the urge overtook me yesterday.

I love to look at food magazines though and I even tear out recipes.  My fridge is a mess of lots of stuff; some fresh and some questionable (if it is turning green or has fuzzy white stuff it’s no longer questionable; it’s deadly and out it goes).  In looking for something to eat I realized I might have the ingredients to make something new.  So I looked through my recipes and found a casserole called  “Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole with Cauliflower”.  The picture was enticing.  I checked the (long) 17 ingredient list and I had all of them.  Unusual to say the least and the recipe was one written by Rachel Ray.  I really detest so many ingredients but I decided to go ahead anyway.

The recipe said prep time was 20 minutes.  My first clue to my error was MY prep time took 1 ½ hours.  WHAT?  It took more than 20 minutes to assemble the ingredients.  Hell, it took more than 20 minutes just to assemble the myriad containers to hold all the varied stuff.  To me, prep time should include all the time it takes to be prepared to actually make the recipe.  You know, like grating the cheese, slicing the mushrooms (yeah, I know I should have purchased already sliced mushrooms but they cost more) finely chopping the garlic and shallots, measuring everything into proper receptacles; measuring cups, little ingredient bowls, etc.  That’s when I realized I didn’t have enough measuring cups.

I should have taken into consideration the fact that I have Carpal Tunnel syndrome in both hands and they are mostly numb and I’m prone to dropping things.  Just ask the ex who lives below me, he’ll tell you all about it.  Anyway, that does slow me down a bit.  I had hot soapy water in the sink to clean up as I went along.  But wait! You can’t drain noodles in a sink full of water so I waited until I drained the noodles to fill the sink with hot, soapy water; time wasted.

While time was ticking away I began to think about Rachel Ray.  Thinking about her Week in a Day show, she makes 5 recipes in one hour; 60 minutes and she doesn’t do her own clean-up!  She also has quite a few of her ingredients already prepped for her; big time saver.  Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky to have a staff to help me either.

Anyway, I plodded along, finely chopping, grating, measuring, looking for all the ingredients, trying to get the cap off the sherry, rinsing the noodles 2x because they were beginning to dry out, taking time out to bandage my thumb that I grated along with the cheese; you get the picture.  I looked at the clock and to my chagrin 60 minutes had gone by.  WHAT?!  If I had turned on the oven as the recipe said I should I would have wasted lots of gas!  I also had to take time out to sweep the floor thus ridding it of shallot, garlic, Panko bread crumbs, cheese and, lastly, flat leaf parsley.  As a side note, I decided to finish to save my fingers by grating the Parmesan cheese in my mini food processor.  Well, it jammed and I couldn’t un-jam it so I resorted to using processed Parm.

1 ½ hours had already passed and I hadn’t even started cooking anything!  My back was killing me and I wanted to sit down but I forged ahead because this was supposed to be my lunch and it was already 12:30.  I had to keep reading the recipe over and over because my short term memory doesn’t seem to work anymore.

I finally began to cook.  Rachel’s instructions are pretty precise and when she said to sauté the mushrooms 6-8 minutes and the shallots 2-3 minutes I tried to do just that but time kept getting away from me.  I’m sure everything got overcooked by a few minutes but what the hell.  I added the ingredients out of order too.  But finally, everything was ready to put in the casserole dish but what size dish?  Rachel, for all her precise directions, didn’t say what size dish to use. Bitch!  She also didn’t say if the dish should be greased or not!  I decided not to grease it and hoped it wouldn’t stick.  My choice of a dish could have been a little larger but I managed to pour the cooked ingredients from the 12 inch frying pan into the casserole dish.  When I sprinkled the topping on quite a lot of it spilled out on the counter and floor but by that time I no longer cared.  Nothing was said about covering the dish so it finally went into the 400 degree oven, uncovered and I hoped for the best.  Two hours had passed.

I took a deep breath and looked around the kitchen.  WHAT A MESS!  I hadn’t taken the time to clean up as I went along and every horizontal surface had something dirty on it; two frying pans, 3 sauce pans, measuring cups and spoons, a colander, a jammed mini processor, flour, Panko/ parm topping, and various and sundry other utensils.  I set the timer for 45 minutes, left the mess, went into the living room, collapsed on the couch and promptly fell asleep sitting up.  I awoke with a stiff neck to the timer going off and fast as I could go, I raced to the kitchen.  I didn’t smell anything burnt and jerked open the oven door.  I’d forgotten to press start on the stove top so the casserole wasn’t cooked.  I had to press the “start” button and the timer again.  I shouted every curse word I could think of and stomped on the floor in a tantrum.  45 minutes later the casserole looked good so I turned the oven off and placed the casserole on a hot pad.

Anxious to eat, I got a bowl and filled it.  I dug in and tasted this dish that took so long to make and I gotta tell ya what a shocking disappointment it was.  It didn’t have much taste!  I ate it anyway because I was so hungry then I went into the kitchen, wadded up the recipe and threw it away.  The kitchen didn’t get cleaned up until the next day and the casserole?  I didn’t even say good bye as I spooned it into the garbage.  And Rachel Ray?  If I was on Facebook she would get a piece of my mind!


ANOTHER CHAPTER IN THE SAGA OF ONE OLD LADY
April 23, 2015

            It was bound to happen sooner or later; I drove somewhere and when I got there I didn’t remember why I was there.  I sat in my car thinking, but the thing that happens when I try to think about one thing other thoughts pop in; did I remember to close the garage door, did I put the bills out on the mailbox, oh crap!  I forgot to take the garbage out.  I hate to take out the garbage out because it’s heavy and bulky and, sometimes, it feels like it could pull me down the stairs (little petunia that I am.  That’s what my friends used call me sometimes; I don’t know why).  But I digress.
            I sat and thought for a minute before it bonked me on the head…prescription.  I’d gotten one of those robo calls informing me that I had a prescription waiting for me at CVS.  Breathing a sigh of relief I got out of my car, went inside and decided to check to see if I had any money.  I did.  Two dollars.  What was the prescription?  I hadn’t a clue but I forged ahead to the counter anyway.  Turned out it was a refill of the Zofran my doctor prescribed for me for nausea and it was generic!  Woo hoo!  My two bucks was enough.  The clerk gave me the bag and said “that will be $2.60”.  Shit!  That meant I had to dig in my change thing.  I hate that because the fingers on my right hand are numb and I can’t tell a quarter from a penny.  Use your left hand, you dummy!  Well the left hand is kind of numb too.  So, I resort to dumping the change out and that works but all the credit and store cards that I don’t have room for in a slot, come sliding out as well.  “Woops” says the clerk in a voice that says “dumb old lady”, I find the .60, put my change and slippery cards back in my wallet, and put it in my purse along with the prescription package and turn to leave.  That’s when I see four (maybe 5) patrons waiting, all of them giving me “that look”.  I do understand, I’ve been there.
            The next morning while feeding my fur kids I noticed blood coming out of David’s mouth on the right side.  There was pretty much so I tried to clean it off.  He wouldn’t have any of that and bolted off the kitchen counter and ran to hide.  So I left it alone and waited for the clock to say 8am.  I called the vet I lean on when one of my kits has a problem and asked if there were any openings that day.  Halleluiah!  There were several morning openings.  I chose one and then I looked for David.  He was nowhere to be found.  I swear I looked everywhere!  I even got down on the floor to look under each bed.  It is such an effort to do that because of my artificial knees.  I’m afraid to put weight on them for fear they will break and bones will break and rip through my skin.  Luckily that didn’t happen or I’d be telling a different story.
            So I sat down to watch TV hoping he would come out of hiding.  The appointment I chose was for 9:45 and it was getting close to that.  I went into the kitchen and remembered that they all come when I shake the treat bag.  I shook, they all came, and I scooped David up and put him in the carrier before he had a chance to figure things out.  Of course they all had treats.
            At the vets office Dr. Sandu said David had an abscess on a tooth and all he needed was an antibiotic.  That’ll be fun.  Also he is diabetic and had also lost weight since November so he got a stick test which showed his blood sugar reading and it was high.  That meant he had to go back on insulin.  No big deal, we both use the same insulin and he doesn’t mind the needle poke in the fat skin on his back.
            We left the exam room to pay the bill ($146) which I had to charge to a card that can be used for the treatment of animals.  I don’t have any major credit cards by choice.  While standing at the counter a good looking older guy came in with his Yorkie.  He warned me not to try and pet him so I didn’t although the dog was pleading “pet me, please pet me”.  I didn’t pet him.  As I bent down to pick up the carrier, you’re not going to believe this but I farted.  I was aghast with humiliation!  Thank God my back was to the good looking guy.  I did not apologize. I scurried out the door.
            I almost ran to my car.  Of course you must know that’s almost impossible given my stature.  I was parked next to a curb which was next to a place filled with decorative stones and a very tall light pole.  All I know is that somehow I lost my balance and fell hard on my knees on the decorative stones, landing on the carrier which was upside down.  Poor David.  I thought about my situation, looked around and saw nobody, farted a couple of times while grunting, trying to get up.  The stones were digging into my knees and I realized I would have to put direct pressure on my knees in order to get up.  Using the carrier to push myself upright I finally stood up.  Then the carrier popped back into shape.  And then I farted again, loud this time, just when the good looking guy came out.  Is this my life from now on?





PAIN! 

April 6, 2015


The following is a personal account of the last 14 days in my life.  Please forgive me if it is boring or maudlin.  All I know is that it is something I had to do and it seems to have relieved my pain somewhat. 
What can I say about pain other than it comes from HELL!  I was diagnosed with Shingles on 4/2/2015.  That’s the day my life changed.  Well, to be honest there have been other times but it’s today I’m talking about.  Now, I have suffered pain at various times in my 73 years.  The pain after 2 knee replacements can’t compete with the intense, searing pain from Shingles.  When the pain reaches its highest point I don’t know what to do with myself.  I pace, cry, and shout out vile words to nobody but somehow it helps.   
Unfortunately, I am unable to take the usual pain meds; Vicodin, Percoset, Fentenol, all make me sick to my stomach with nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.  Hmmm, that really helps.  They do take the pain away but it’s only to give me other vile, evil symptoms.  I can’t say which I would rather have.  What a despicable, loathsome choice.  So, I take Lyrica even though this drug, which is also used to treat seizures and increases the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior like most pain relievers, but it does give me slight relief.  The side effects may include new or worsening depression, anxiety, restlessness, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, anger, irritability, agitation, aggression, dangerous impulses or violence, or in extreme cases it causes increases  in activity or talking. (To be honest, I always talk to myself but never in full sentences like I do now) If I have suicidal thoughts or actions, I do not stop LYRICA without first talking to my doctor.  OMG!  Talk to her?  She’s out of town.  Like I don’t have enough problems!    Oh!  One more side effect of Lyrica; I poop regularly and it’s not the Hershey squirts. But that’s a good thing at my age.  Sorry TMI.  
My personal side effects are dizziness, walking too fast (I don’t mean to but I don’t feel like I’m in charge of that and it’s weird.  Imagine looking at an old movie of the Marx brothers and Chico is walking fast, he has his hands gripped together behind his back and his head gets there before his feet), I lose my balance a lot (The ex would say “back to normal) and getting tired after doing a little housework (Well, that is my normal).  Sometimes I lose my balance when I’m just standing still.  What the hell? I think the soles of my feet must be round.  My wash has filled the bag at the end of the close chute because I know that if I start doing it I’ll start the pain and I’ll do anything to avoid it.  (So what’s new?)  My hands are more shaky than usual too but that may not be because of the meds.  I don’t know about the talking thing underlined above since I’ve no one to talk to.  I did answer the phone today but it was for Mildred and she doesn’t live here anymore. 
I don’t ask my family for help because they don’t like my directing.  You know how it is; when someone else cleans your house it has to be perfect.  Somebody else does your wash and everything is folded wrong or they put everything in the dryer so now all your clothes are too small.  Sometimes I do ask my ex if he will take out my garbage and he does it but doesn’t offer anything else.  He must not notice how filthy my house is.  I can only hope I don’t succumb to the rest of the side effects.    If I do, you will be reading about me in the paper.  One more thing; about that anger, irritation, agitation and trouble sleeping, I can’t blame it on the meds.  It’s kind of my personality. 
Of course, my doctor is out of the office for an indeterminate amount of time so she can’t order a higher dose.  Right now she has ordered 75mg capsules 3x a day only 3 days ago.  I told her how much pain I am in and I’m taking it more than 3x a day, sometimes 5-6x a day.  I’m also combining it with the 50mg capsules I have left over from the first prescription she ordered.  So, let’s think about this for a moment; I’m taking a total of 125mg and it only helps a little and sometimes I’m taking that dosage after 3 hours to get relief.  So, if she’s not around I do as I please. 
So, right now I’m using pain as my gauge for when I need more meds.  Let’s see, I took 125mg at 9:30am so, if I follow her orders to take 75mg 3x a day I can’t take another dose until 5:30.  If that happens it will be the first miracle I’ve ever experienced in my life.  It’s been 3 ½ hours since I took my last dose and I’m feeling the tingling that always precedes the pain.  If the pain starts I’ll be taking another 100mg.  You can bet the bank on that.  I guess doctors are afraid that if they give too much medication they will be sued. 
Maybe this is some kind of test to see how much I can take.  I’ve been tested many times in my 73 years and I can say without reservations that this is the worst by far.  I’ve read over this rant to make sure I haven’t missed any problems brought about by this nasty disease and right now I can’t think of any.  I should be thinking of all the suffering of people around the world.  The pain they suffer puts my pain in short pants and that makes me feel guilty. But right now I don’t give a shit.  After all I’m not Mother Theresa, not by a long shot.
 

 


COOKING WITH THE AGED
September 22, 2014

 I love to cook.  It’s my favorite hobby next to watching cooking shows and relaxing.  Today I decided to try a new recipe I watched Rachel Ray put together on her show “Five in a Day”.  It sounded delish (to quote Rachel) so I went to the foodnetwork.com, retrieved and printed out the recipe.  Appalled at the number of ingredients (almost 30), I forged ahead anyway.  After reading all the ingredients and making a list of those I didn’t have (mostly different types of peppers) I jumped (alright, I didn’t jump) and drove to the new Asian market up the street.  I did find one of the peppers, jalapeno, but not the others.  I had to order them from the internet.  So much for making that recipe today!

Undaunted, I waited 2 days for my peppers to be delivered from Peapod.  Yes, I had to place a $60 order because that’s the minimum order for delivery.  They were offering free shipping to new members so I signed up my ex as a new account.  The day they arrived I just didn’t feel like cooking.  Yeah, it’s my hobby but come on people; we don’t indulge in our hobbies every day do we?  You do?  Well, I don’t!

So, I waited a few days, reading the recipe over a few times. My memory isn’t quite as sharp as used to be (really)?  That’s when, after the third reading, I realized I overlooked one ingredient.  I decided to skip it. 

Cooking day arrived and I started compiling the ingredients even though there were dirty dishes in the sink from yesterday.  I got everything together and started the task of measuring, chopping, and seeding.  Yikes!  Handling those hot peppers was dangerous without rubber gloves so I looked for them where I thought they would be.  They weren’t there so I expanded my search and found them 15 minutes later.  My memory is bad so every time I added an ingredient I had to look at the recipe again; sometimes more than once.

 At this time I must tell you that the recipe claims the prep time is 30 minutes.   What the hell, Rachel!  My time in was already an hour and that was just for preparing the marinade! 

This recipe called for chicken drumsticks and Pork loin ribs.  Did I purchase drumsticks alone?  Hell no!  Chicken quarters were cheaper so that’s what I had.  The drumsticks had to be broken down from the thighs so that was my next task.  I know how to separate the drumsticks from the thighs so I got that done.  Easy, right?  Except the chicken was really fat and greasy and it kept sliding around and, at one time, it zoomed off the breadboard onto the floor.  I rinsed it off (cat hair you know) and finished the job.  Next, I had to cut the ribs in half because I only needed one pound.  That accomplished, I put all the meat into a large plastic bag and poured the marinade in, “smushing” it all around to distribute it over everything and topped all with lime slices.  Time so far was one hour and fifteen minutes.  After placing the plastic bag in the fridge to marinate (I did remember to put the bag in a dish in case it leaked) I could take care of all those dirty dishes because the meat had to marinate 1-4 hours.  Thank God!   I was exhausted!

I just had to sit down before tackling all those dishes; my back hurt and my feet were killing me.  So I sat down, started to watch Pioneer Woman and fell asleep sitting up.  Forty five minutes later I woke up looking at the ceiling.  It was painful straightening my neck.  My mouth was dry, probably because my mouth had dropped open.  Do you have a visual?

I had more chopping to do in order to make the chili sauce that the recipe called for.  After all was said and done it had taken me 15 minutes, another dirty pot and sundry dirty utensils.  This time, however, I washed as I went along.  Sometimes the old grey matter doesn’t fail me.

Finally, at 11:15 I placed the ribs in a baking dish, topped them with lime slices, covered all tightly with foil and placed the dish in my pre-heated 350° oven and began the process of making the sweet-sour cucumbers.  After another 15 minutes they were finished and stored in the fridge.  I washed about 100 dishes and utensils.  The kitchen was clean; I was tired so once again I retired to the living room.  By this time Farmhouse Rules was on and as I watched I remembered that the ribs were supposed to bake with the marinade on top.  Oops.  I pulled them out of the oven and took the foil off.  Steam poured out burning my hand (shit!) and I had to take a moment to put an ice cube on it.  I stood over the sink for a minute silently swearing because I know better than to let that happen.  I turned to go back to the stove and there was David, one of my cats, standing on the foil that had been covering the baking dish.  Of course it had slid off the stove landed upside down so the side that had been covering the ribs, the sticky side, was what interested him.  I don’t k now if he took a taste but, after yelling for him to get off I crushed the foil and threw it away.  I wasn’t taking chances that some of his hair had fallen on to the sticky stuff.  I poured the marinade over, and slapped the new foil on hoping I didn’t ruin the dish.

 Let’s recap.  I began my preparations at 8:00 AM and now it was 11:30.  It’s true that not all this time was prep work but it was far from 30 minutes.  You probably are wondering why I go through all this trouble.  Well, I love to eat but I get tired of sandwiches, pasta and frozen pizza.  After all…I’m worth it, right?

The rest of the baking went off without a hitch; adding the drumsticks, covering it again and baking for another hour.  When an hour was up I had to uncover it, turn the oven up to 425°, and let it bake for another 25-30 minutes.

There were a few more dishes to wash so I did them and went into the living room to relax for the last half hour of the process.  But then I remembered I wanted to have rice as a go-with.  I got the rice onto the stove and sat at the kitchen table to wait for it to come to a boil so I could cover it and turn it to simmer.

I decided not to sit and relax because you know what happens when I do that!  My timer went off and I went into the kitchen to dish up my meal.  All that work was worth it because it was delicious!  I took my time eating; I actually savored each morsel.  Then I fell asleep again; this time for just a few minutes.  My work wasn’t quite done.  I got up off the couch and went into the kitchen to mop the floor around my work area.  The chicken wasn’t the only thing that was dropped on the floor; chopped cilantro pieces, a dribble of this and that along with some grated carrot pieces had to be cleaned up before they became permanently glued to the floor.   As for the ingredient I skipped (lemongrass) I didn’t miss it.

Tomorrow I’ll have the leftovers then it’s back to sandwiches, pasta and frozen pizza at least for a little while.  Maybe I’ll spice things up a little with some fried eggs.  As for right now I need a nap!


ONE OF THOSE DAYS
July 30, 2014

You know what I’m talking about.  The kind of day you know without a doubt that you should have stayed in bed.  The kind of day that nothing goes right and everything goes wrong. 
I live on the second floor of a duplex so my age and infirmities don’t make negotiating the stairs one of my favorite things to do.  So my day started out bad first thing when, leaving to go grocery shopping, I got all the way downstairs and out to the garage when I realized my keys were still on the hook upstairs.  I actually thought about calling the ex (he lives downstairs) and asking him if he would run up and get my keys but my cell phone was also upstairs.  I negotiated the stairs again to get my keys. 
I took the keys off the hook and got half way down the stairs when all of a sudden I realized I had to go to the john (lately it seems like it’s always “all of a sudden”).  Back up to the bathroom and it seemed to take forever.  All four cats seized the opportunity to visit me.  So, there we all were, crowded into the east end of the bathroom waiting for me to be done.  One of the herd, David, likes to jump up on the counter to observe me washing my hands.  He also likes to have a fresh drink out of my water glass and yes, we do share the glass.  It was only half full so I dumped out the old water and filled it to the brim with fresh water.  He always gets in the way during this procedure because he’s anxious to have his water.  As I was setting the glass down he head-butted my hand and I dropped the glass causing the counter to look like a pond and, of course, he stepped in it.  I got paper towels and dried the water, rung out a towel that had been laying there as well as wiping the mirror.  Let’s see, whole procedure took about 20 minutes so I got off to a late start.  Had I known what the rest of my day would bring I would have gone back to bed. 
Back down the stairs and out to the garage and finally in the car I took a breath actually thinking the rest of the day would be better; almost laughable.  First on my list was to pick up an internet order at K-Mart.  Sounds like a quick pit stop doesn’t it?  Not to be.  I stopped at the Service Desk as instructed on the return receipt and patiently waited my turn behind only one other woman.  Her transaction done she left and the clerk turned to me saying “May I help you?”, and the woman who had come in after me stepped around me and the clerk took her FIRST!  You know I’m not shy so I said “Excuse me; I was next”.  Still helping this woman, she held up her index finger and said “I’ll be with you next”. 
I was fit to be tied!  I mumbled loud enough for her to hear “This is bullshit”!  Of course that didn’t help; she just continued helping the other woman.  When they were done, she turned to me and said “Yes?”  I handed her my internet receipt and said I was there to pick up my order.  She looked at it, went to the other side of the area and picked up a large, black binder and looked at page after page then came back and told me I had to go to lane 2.  Twenty minutes had passed since I first entered the store!  Now, obviously irritated, I walked down to lane 2 noting she was hustling down to lane 2 also carrying the binder.  There were two shoppers in front of me at lane 2 so I had to wait again (10 minutes).  When it was my turn I gave the checker my receipt and said I was there to pick up an internet order whereupon he said that was handled at the service desk. 
I lost it!  My voice raised I said “I’ve already been there and she told me to come here!!!”  The service desk girl, upon hearing me hurried back to lane 2, picked up the black binder, took it down a few lanes and began paging through it again.  Then she walked a few feet to a bank of locked cabinets and unlocked #3 and not finding my order, she looked in the other 4 cabinets without success.  Then she came back to me and said she was going to call in the back to see if it was in the (unintelligible) room. She made the call and told me someone would bring it up shortly.  I had now been in the store one hour! 
I stood, leaning against the front window wall again waiting for “someone” to finally deliver my order to me.  “Someone” did come up to me with a box, verified my name and then had the audacity to ask to see an I.D. I had showed it at the Service Desk!  As I fumbled in my purse trying to get my driver’s license out I showered him with a lot of blue words ending with “I’m going to email K-Mart online and let them know what a bunch of inept assholes work there.  I grabbed my package and left hearing the “someone” guy telling me to have a nice day.  I was in that store for 1 ½ hours!  By the way it was the K-Mart on Hwy 100 and Burleigh. 
There were more fun experiences to go through ending with an over diligent produce worker who grabbed my green onions out of my cart and put them back in the section with the other green onions.  I’m sure my face was purple with rage when I asked her what the fuck she was doing as well as asking if she was on crack.  She apologized and put the onions back in my cart.  WHAT???
I finished my shopping trying to dodge the other rude shoppers who took up the entire aisle while perusing the cereal options, ran into the back of my foot with their cart, and scurried quickly ahead of me in line to check out first.  The last straw was a squatty, elderly woman who put her items on the belt slowly while engaging the check-out clerk in nonsensical conversation.  She turned to me and said “They hate to see me come in because I’m such a pain in the ass.”  My reply was “I agree” and I wasn’t smiling.  Boy!  Did she give me a look and mumbled “Rude!”  I wanted to shove her down and beat her with her cane but I kept my composure (what was left of it), checked out, and drove home only to find I had purchased spicy brown mustard when I wanted honey mustard.



PET PEEVES
June 23, 2014

            Believe me when I tell you that as you age your list of pet peeves grows longer.  Just what is a “pet peeve”?  According to Google the word pet peeve refers to “something that is really irritating and it is very particular.  Every time you hear or see it, you feel very offended and angry. These kinds of behaviors are bothersome and hard to live with”.  I’ll say!  Some of my behaviors have been pet peeves of my friends and children; like always having to be right.  It seems to bother some people more than others but I won’t apologize for being right.  If I tell my daughter some odd or off the wall fact she always checks with Google and finds out she shouldn’t have questioned my fact.  That’s one of the perks of getting older; you learn a lot of unimportant stuff.  Don’t ask me why I remember this stuff and don’t know what I ate for lunch. 

            Being a mostly sedentary person (in part due to my age but more so because I don’t exercise or watch my weight).  Commercials!!  I’m sick of all those smiling happy people trying to make us dumb TV watchers believe the s--- they’re trying to sell.   Case in point…all of us idiots hiding our collective smiles because our teeth aren’t perfectly straight.  But give us Invisaline and all of a sudden we’re happy and smiling…all the time. It would make me feel like smacking that smile right off your face.  Or like the commercial (again everyone is smiling) where an old lady is smiling, her daughter is smiling, the attendants are smiling…everyone is happy and smiling that the old lady has been dumped into an assisted living place or worse yet a nursing home.  Oh boy, now Nana will have supervision and we won’t have to worry about her.  We can scratch her off our list.  Look how happy everyone is. 

            Another fake scenario is the woman so happy to be going to the dentist for her checkup.  She smiles while sitting in the chair.  She’s smiling while the hygienist is also smiling but, do I detect something evil behind that smile?  OMG!  She’s enjoying causing pain!  Does the patient continue smiling after being told she needs Scaling and Root Planing?  I think not.  Let’s get real people, there just isn’t that much to smile about in this world today least of all going to the dentist.
            Lastly (not, but my list is too long to tell all here) I have a particular pet peeve about the written/spoken word.  Some words in particular like your and you’re.  Most people don’t recognize or even notice the apostrophe in the word “you’re”.  Do they really not know it’s a contraction meaning “you are”?  The really big one for me is when someone mispronounces the word “supposedly” like it’s spelled with a “b”…”supposably”.  They haven’t a clue how dumb that makes them sound.  I love words and it makes me mad when I hear them butchered in speech.  I used to correct people but they didn’t like that very much (because it pointed out to others that they were stupid) so now I just let them sound stupid.




GOT GAS?
June 26, 2014 

            I had to go to the clinic today to have some blood drawn for tests my doctor ordered.  We will discuss the results on Monday.  I tried to talk myself out of going but that “adult” part of my ego won so I went.  These tests were “fasting” so I was mighty hungry.  There’s also that little annoyance called Blood Sugar. Actually, I try to control that by not eating but what the hell I still wanted to eat. 

            So I checked to make sure I had all the right keys and set off for Brown Deer.  I had only traveled a couple of blocks when I noticed my gas gauge was on fumes.  Why do I do that!?  When I came home from Penzey’s a couple of days ago I knew how little gas I had and chose to ignore it, being too tired to stop at the gas station.  I do stuff like that all the time.  I guess that’s when the “kid” part of my brain was running the show. 

            As I drove I looked ahead for a gas station sign and lo and behold there was a Citgo station just a few blocks ahead.  Breathing a sigh of relief I pulled in.  This particular station was in somewhat of disrepair as well as having bars on the doors but what the hell this was an emergency, I couldn’t be picky.   I pulled up to a pump, slung my purse over my shoulder and pulled the little lever that opens the door to expose the gas cap.  My purse slipped off my shoulder and fell on the filthy, oil stained concrete.  My wallet fell out (I don’t know how that could happen because it’s so big I have trouble getting it IN my purse).  But never mind that I scrambled to pick it up while watching coins rain out and down to the filthy concrete.  My fingers are numb so I had trouble picking them up and there may still be a few there that rolled under the car. 

            Getting that business done, I transferred my attention to getting gas.  The pump made a beeping sound every time I made a selection but no gas came out of the nozzle.  No matter how many times I tried nothing happened.  I asked the woman at the next pump if she would help me but she must have been deaf because she didn’t even acknowledge that I had spoken.  I decided to swallow my pride and go into the station and ask the attendant how the stupid pump works. 

            The area was packed with, among others, a woman with four kids and she was buying them candy by holding each piece up for their approval while the attendant rang each one up before she dropped it in their bags.  What the hell!  This isn’t Halloween is it?  Besides the woman who ignored me there was a very tall, large young man and again swallowing my pride, I asked him if he could help me pump my gas.  He said, “Did you pay first?  The pump doesn’t work until you pay”.  I thanked him and waited for everyone to finish their business and I paid for $20 worth of gas.  There wasn’t a sign anywhere that said you had to pay first. 

            Having crossed that hurdle I went back to my car and started the process of putting the damn gas in it.  The pumps were unfamiliar to me because I’d never been to this station before but at least I heard the gas flowing.  I glanced at the read out and it looked like I’d passed my $20 mark so I stopped the filling only to see by the read out I was looking at wasn’t the price but something else.  I had only put in a little under $10.           

            I slunk back to the attendant inside and confessed what I had done.  He had that look on his face that could only mean “stupid old white woman.”  He had to give me a credit and let me know without speaking that had been so much work!  He handed me a receipt and I scurried back to my car, happy to be leaving. 

            I got the blood work done and decided to stop at Aldi to buy a watermelon and some onions.  It wasn’t quite 9 AM so I sat in my car until I saw them unlock the doors.  While I waited, several people showed up and we’re standing around waiting also.  One was a large, unkempt man who struck up a conversation with each person and would slap each one on the back like they were all long lost friends.  I was still irritated by the gas incident and wanted to rush out of the car and slap him on the back of the head and tell him to knock it off! 
            I made my purchases, went out to my car and drove off glad this part of my day was done.  I grabbed my bags (maybe “grabbed” isn’t the right word here because that watermelon felt like it weighed about 50 pounds) and slowly went up the stairs.  I hadn’t eaten yet and looked forward to having some of that wonderful melon.   I got a shallow bowl out of the cupboard and put the melon knife against that beautiful, green, striped skin and started to cut.  It was so ripe it began to split on its own, making a cracking sound, showing off its beautiful flesh and I began to salivate.  Then I saw them…SEEDS!  I HATE SEEDED WATERMELON!  It was then I knew this cursed day wasn’t done with me yet because the sticker on the watermelon read (in bright red letters) SEEDED watermelon.   Looks like my sense of observation had taken a hike,  Old age?






LOCKED OUT
June 26, 2014


            Probably most people would consider this too much information but seeing as this particular issue has never come up in over 72 years I decided it must be a condition related to aging…in particular my aging. 


            Recently I’ve had problems with my memory like just today.  As of right now I can’t find my glasses.  I was reading earlier and got sleepy so I decided to take a nap on the couch (when did it become the couch anyway?  When I was growing up everyone had a davenport).  I do remember taking my glasses off and I thought I laid them on the coffee table before I lay down but, they’re not there.  This happens a lot and it’s really getting annoying.  Last time I looked I live here alone so who the hell is moving my stuff!?  (As an aside, I just went to look again in all the normal places when I remembered that I had put a dirty dish in the sink before lying down.  There was still dish water in it from morning and lo and behold there were my glasses looking up at me from the slightly greasy old dish water).  I must be losing it.  Yesterday I found my favorite fork and spoon in the garbage along with the dirty paper plate I used at lunch. 


            Anyway, I decided to do a little shopping at the new Pacific Produce store a couple of blocks away.  I noted that my ex wasn’t home and he always locks the deadbolt when there is nobody home so I turned the inside door lock and stepped outside.  I tried to put what I thought was my house key in the deadbolt and it didn’t fit.  I had changed key rings the day before taking all superfluous keys off.  Problem was I put the wrong house key on the ring.  S---!  I also didn’t have my cell phone in my purse.  Double S---!  There was nothing I could do so I decided to forge ahead to Pacific Produce. 


            They specialize in all kinds of produce and I needed a couple of red jalapeño peppers.  Their produce department is huge but even though I can buy a durian and other exotic produce there was no red jalapeño peppers.  The store is immense, housing every Asian product imaginable in small quantities as well as crates but no red jalapeño peppers.  I wandered up and down the aisles, just browsing when all of a sudden nature called. 


            In my old age her calls come without a hint; just all of a sudden she’s there.  So I cut my browsing short and headed for the checkout.  Thankfully I didn’t have to wait.  I scurried out to the car (pinching my butt cheeks together as hard as I could) and got in quickly.  I’ll just go home, I thought.  The store is close so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was home.  That was when I remembered I didn’t have my key and the ex wasn’t home.  What to do? 


            I’ve always been a problem solver so I decided to drive to Target to use their rest room; what else could I do?  Good old Target.  I did the deed hoping that nobody else would come in, but someone did come in.  So I stayed in the stall until she left.  I remember one time when I had to go at another Target and some teenage girls came in while I was on the pot.  They loudly exclaimed “What stinks!!  Eww, that’s so gross!”  Ever since I try like hell never to use the public facilities if I can help it. 


            Then I went browsing around (you can’t go to Target and not browse, can you?).  As it turned out that call of nature cost $48.  I’ll have to do some finagling because that money came out of next week’s budget.  Not to worry, I do it all the time.  I’ll call the ex to see if he’s home yet (I left my cell phone at home, remember?) But Target has no pay phones.  Now what?  I know, I’ll call Sandy to tell her I’m coming over for awhile.  But what if she’s not home?  Dolt! I have no cell phone! 

            So I took my purchase to the car and sat there awhile to figure out what to do next.  I know!  I need some pepper so I’ll go to Penzey’s just a couple blocks away.  Maybe they have a phone I can use.  They did let me use their phone and wonder of wonders the ex was home and he will be the rest of the day.  Looks like my streak of “dumb old woman” has given me a respite.  Now, where did I put my keys?

 

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