Tag Archives: My Grandmother

I Am Truly Thankful

19 Nov

I am truly thankful for…

  • Dr. Hornberger and his nurse, Jackie, and their tireless dedication and selflessness in my ongoing battle against Hereditary Angio Edema.
  • My Grandmother, who is my best friend, the most beautiful and important person in my life, and who gave me her unconditional love from the very beginning.
  • My Lady Goddess, my Lord God, and the All-In-One, who gave me the strong spirit which keeps me from giving up, even on the very worst of days.

Credit goes once more to the incredibly talented and seemingly indefatigable Raven Emrys who issued the challenge to think deeply about three things in our lives for which we are truly thankful; post yours and let me know so I can visit.

Thanksgiving This And That

19 Nov

The incredibly talented and indefatigable Raven Emrys created this charming Thanksgiving survey; post yours and let me know so I can visit:

Q: Turkey or Ham?
A: Gobbler always. Oinker sometimes.

Q: White meat, Dark meat or Either?
A: Only white and only a little.

Q: Do you do the wishbone tradition?
A: Not since I was a kid.

Q: Stuffing: Inside or beside the turkey?
A: Beside it. There’s the whole salmonella thing, but mostly because we have a French meat stuffing that takes hours to make on the stove-top and is loading with the most amazing spices. I have no idea how to make it; it’s my step-mom’s secret family recipe.

Q: Cranberries. Jelly or Relish?
A: Relish

Q: Do you always say a prayer before your Thanksgiving meal?
A: Rarely, unless you count “I sure am glad I didn’t have to cook all this food!”

Q: Do you have large or small Thanksgiving dinners (do you invite lots of people over)?
A: Just immediate family.

Q: Do you go to more than one Thanksgiving dinner?
A: One gourmet meal is enough; my step-mom is a fantastic cook.

Q: Do you put up any Thanksgiving/Harvest decorations?
A: Nada; not enough energy.

Q: Do you use Thanksgiving themed salt-n-pepper shakers on your table?
A: Nary a one.

Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish (excluding desert)?
A: My step-mom’s spiced meat stuffing; she calls it “cocton” and its even great spread on toast and made into sandwiches for days afterwards.

Q: Cake or Pie?
A: Pies, plural!

Q: Favorite Thanksgiving dinner desert?
A: Pumpkin or sweet potato pie.

Q: Cool Whip – yes or no?
A: Can’t eat pie without it.

Q: What do you do after the feast is over?
A: Watch a movie on TV, drink some champagne, and talk, talk, talk.

Q: Do you believe in having your Yule/Christmas tree up by Thanksgiving day?
A: Trees go up right AFTER Thanksgiving; I hate rushing the holidays.

Q: Do you go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving?
A: I have too little sanity left to wantonly throw it away!

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving as a remembrance of the Pilgrims 1st Thanksgiving – or do you do it more as a celebration/honoring of things you are grateful and thankful for – or maybe a blend of both?
A: More like a chance to get the family together and enjoy my step-mom’s hospitality and fantastic cooking – and display my incredible dishwasher loading skills!

Q: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day memory from childhood?
A: My Grandmother’s “dilly beans.” She was an incredible gardener and canner; she put up everything from mountain blackberries to homemade chili. But my absolute favorite was her dilled garden green beans; they were so crisp and tangy. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

~Give Me Something Real~

16 Nov

~Give Me Something Real~

  • I want to visit my Grandmother in Utah before it’s too late.
  • I want the FDA to approve Cinryze for the treatment of Hereditary Angio Edema and allow patients to administer it themselves…so I can go see my Grandmother…and visit all the other family and friends who have invited me…
  • I want the FDA to approve Cinryze so I will have the energy to walk with my dogs when the weather is nice…
  • I want to use creative writing to touch, heal and entertain…
  • I want to reignite my creative writing ability…
  • I want to supplement my retirement income using my creative writing ability…
  • I want to have a hot-flash free day…
  • I want to have a night-sweat free night…
  • I want to have a successful, loving long-term relationship filled with intellectual stimulation, sexual intimacy, humorous adventures, and joyous friendship…I want to find my soulmate…
  • I want to know that I have made a difference in this world, that my life has been of value to someone besides myself…
  • I want all my friends and family to be safe, happy and healthy…

Thank you, Raven, for reminding us to take the time to think about the real things we want out of life. What a great exercise!

Grandma Is Finally Home!!!

7 Sep

Just got off the phone after talking to my Grandmother. The movers brought all her stuff (well, almost all of her stuff) home from the assisted living facility yesterday and she is back in her own home once more. She sounded tired, but oh so happy!

Stephanie, the woman who was helping to take care of the house previously, has returned and was out at Wal-Mart buying some of the essentials needed to refurbish the stripped down house. She’s a real gem. Grandma was having so much trouble getting help that actually knew how to clean without being told what needed to be done and how to do it, much less not to move everything around to the point that she couldn’t find anything after they left! Stephanie shows up, sees what needs to be done, does it well, leaves things just where my Grandmother puts them, and visits with her to boot; now she’s doing shopping errands, too. This is just one of the excellent resources my Grandmother has to help her and one of the many reasons I supported her decision to return back home.

She’s a little impatient today, waiting for her satellite dish to get hooked back up so she can watch her beloved sports. I’ve never known a woman so crazy about live and televised sports. Last time I talked to her, she was watching trick bowling, and she never misses a Jazz game if it can be helped. She hasn’t had her “fix” today and I kinda feel sorry for the poor guy who shows to hook up the dish, ‘cuz she’s gonna have him working at warp speed! And the Goddess help him if he doesn’t show up until tomorrow!!!

Happy Ending

26 Aug

My grandmother’s release from “prison/jail/hell” (as she has variously called it) has been secured!


It was surprisingly easy, but if I hadn’t had the right skills in the first place, I imagine it would have been a nightmare. Fortunately, I was able to get everyone to cooperate and communicate. Everyone feels like they “won,” their voices were heard, their concerns were addressed, and the final solution was acceptable. Spent a lot of time on the phone and was exhausted afterwards, but it was SO worth it to hear the happiness in my Grandmother’s voice.


I spent hours “negotiating” with Aunt Barbara, Ann (the owner of the nursing facility), Barbara’s lawyer, and Grandma’s doctor to have Barbara drop her petition (having convinced her Grandma isn’t going home for the express purpose of committing suicide(!!)), get the case pulled out of the court and the subpoena revoked, have Grandma evaluated by her doctor, and relaying his opinion that Grandma is perfectly capable of living on her own to Ann. Whew! All by long distance.


So Grandma is really happy and excited to be going home on the 6th of September. She’ll have to completely refurnish, of course, but she is looking forward to that. And I’m just happy she’s going to get to.

The Crisis Continues Unabated – Thank You, Marie

14 Aug

And the mess Marie started just keeps on getting messier!

My grandmother is in an assisted living facility that she wants to leave and return to her home. I think she should be allowed to and her sister, Barbara, has obtained a court order granting her temporary guardianship in order to prevent it.

My grandmother called me today in a panic and I have been on the phone all day trying to straighten this out. My grandmother wants me to be her guardian; not because I agree with her, but because I am the only one she listens to. We are very, very close and always have been.

The order is only temporary and I’ve convinced my grandmother to stay put until the end of the month; I have a doctor coming in tomorrow to evaluate her swallowing capability and put her back on her anti-depressant (Barbara is convinced she’s going to commit suicide at the drop of a hat — roll eyes — I’ve convinced her she’s not going to but Grandma does suffer from depression and that needs to get taken care of).

Once I have his evaluation, I will have to decide whether or not she needs a permanent guardianship and where she will live. The lawyer agrees with me that we shouldn’t do a permanent order it if we can help it as it is causing her greater distress. I’ve tried for years to get her to come live with me (she lives in Utah), but that’s such a big change and she really doesn’t want to do it — like me, she needs her solitude.

If I do get guardianship, it will only be for her physical well-being (not control of her finances) and I told her if she didn’t take extra good care of herself and died of neglect, I would go to jail (I’m not sure if this is true, but I’ve seen stuff like that on the evening news here in FL). My cousin John’s son is in prison for murder and I knew this would give her cause for thought — she sure doesn’t want to do anything that would make her Trinket end up in prison!

It’s times like this that I am grateful that I have 25 years worth of negotiation skills and tricks at my fingertips!

“Well-Meaning” Relatives – Puh-lease!

11 Aug

My family is a real trip, sometimes – right into the twilight zone.

About six weeks ago, my Grandmother’s sister, I call her Aunt Donna (everyone does, for some reason) and her daughter, Marie, who live in California, visited my Grandmother at her home in Cedar City, Utah. The next thing my poor Grandmother knows, Marie decides that Grandma really shouldn’t be living on her own anymore and has arranged for her to move into an assisted living facility 50 miles south in St. George, Utah.

And in less than a week’s time, they accomplish this amazing feat!

They call in my cousin, Denise, from California, and my mother and her husband from Oregon, and advertise a yard sale. A yard sale. As in singular. One yard sale to dispose of all of my Grandmother’s 80+ year’s worth of possessions. Even Denise was shocked; it had taken her nine yard sales to pare down her possessions to the point where she and her husband could move into their current RV.

Then Marie (with Donna’s nominal assistance) moves my Grandmother and a few of her possessions down to St. George, notifies the local charities to come and clean out whatever is left of my Grandmother’s unsold possessions, and leaves Denise with the aftermath. My mother and her husband are of less than nominal assistance (more some other day about them, if I can bear it (and if I think you can bear it)).

Of course, hardly anything sells during the “yard sale,” and what sells is sold for pittance. Many things that Grandma needs with her end up missing, like her address book and her phone. But Marie ends up with a few things (more about that later).

About a week after all of this happens, Denise calls me to let me know Grandma’s new phone number and, of course, has to tell me what happened. She doesn’t want to spill all the beans, but I don’t stand for that. “I shouldn’t really say” is like waiving a red flag in front of me; I’ll rip it out of you if you make me! So I eventually find out that Grandma confided to Denise that she felt that Marie had railroaded her into this move and was feeling resentful. Denise was also worried that Grandma was mad at her.

Now, my Grandmother and I have a very unique relationship. We’re like best girl friends and my Grandmother will tell me things that she would never tell anyone else. We talk to each other very frankly and openly. About everything. Dying. Sex. Finances. Religion. You name, we’ve discussed it. So I call Grandma to get the scoop. And she’s resigned herself to the situation; it’s over and done with. But I know she can’t really afford to live there, because this is something we’ve already discussed, unknown to the rest of the family. And I’m right; it’s costing her $600 more than her pension each month and although she has a decent amount of savings, she’ll probably outlive it. I let her know (again) that she is welcome to come live with me and I write down the names of all the people whose phones and addresses I’ll need to reconstruct for her.

Okay, now we’re up to date with all the “well-intentioned” interference that Marie has been wrecking on my Grandmother’s life.

This past Wednesday, my mother calls me and asks me, would I talk to her mother? Because Grandma has decided to move back home and everyone thinks this is a bad idea. Since I am the only one she will listen to, will I call her?

Well! I am delighted that my Grandmother’s spine has regrown, but I don’t tell my mother this. I simply agree to give her a call and find out what is going on. I talked to my Grandmother for a whole hour. She is perfectly capable of living on her own. Okay, she gets depressed; don’t we all? But she’s finally acquiesced to taking an anti-depressant and agrees that she is all the better for it. She and I have had discussions about suicide after her stroke and we’ve made a pact not to skip out on each other and she gave my Grandfather’s pistol to her friend, Bill. So I have no worries there; of course, the rest of the family is not privy to this info, but they can just go hang; it’s none of their business.

Her left arm is completely paralyzed and it makes it difficult to do some things and others are impossible, but she makes do. She needs a little help with bathing and such, but she has a whole lot more resources than the rest of the family knows about. There are families in her neighborhood and their children are very attentive and helpful; she has wonderful friends who visit and run her errands; and people are always coming in from out of town for a visit. In fact, she feels she has too many people around sometimes (like Grand Central station) and just wants to be alone – a trait we have in common, our need for space and time to ourselves.

And where was my Grandmother’s spine when Marie was acting like Grandma had all the money in the world and Marie was her guardian angel? I had a good idea about that and I asked Grandma, was she feeling like, hell, she was going to die anyway, what did it matter where she was when she did? And she said, Wow, that was it exactly! But she wasn’t going to let them know that. She couldn’t talk to them about her real feelings. So she said nothing and let them walk all over her. But she wasn’t going to let them keep doing it. When Marie called her because she wanted to “get that realtor hopping on getting your home sold,” Grandma told her to stop talking to her realtor and keep out of her business (!) and if she didn’t like it, well, tuff noogies! Way to go, Grandma! Those anti-depressants were really kicking in. But I think the change in environment really had helped put things in perspective and she realizes now that she’s not doing as badly as she thought she was (and she agrees). See, we talk about everything. We’ve got brains and mouths and we’re not afraid to use ’em!

So I’m confident that she will be okay, but I’m feeling pretty damn mad, right about now. Because my Grandmother will be moving back to a home that has literally been stripped to the bone. She has her daybed, her arm chair and love seat, a TV, minimal kitchenware (dishes and such), a few linens and her clothes, her personal items (and not all of those), and that’s it. She’ll need a new microwave oven, draperies, garbage cans, vacuum cleaner, I mean, shit, she’s got to start a whole household over again because Marie gave it all away!

It just broke my heart when my Grandmother said to me “It was like I was dead and didn’t know it. They were just dividing up my things and taking them for themselves like I wasn’t even there. They didn’t even offer to buy them or anything, so it was like I was dead.” Damn! And that’s when I found out that Marie had made off with Grandma’s cedar chest that Grandpa had given her as a wedding present. Marie claims that she had been promised Great Grandma Love’s cedar chest when she died, but that my Uncle Randy’s wife, Sherrie, had somehow ended up with it; so Marie felt that this entitled her to take Grandma’s chest. That bitch better hope that she never finds herself in the same room as me, because I will snatch her head bald!

Ain’t family wonderful?

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