Mise en Place


Lately, my Mom has been calling, asking about Dad - have I called the hospital, do I know where he is, why did no one tell her that he died, was there a funeral Mass, did they sing the Panis Angelicus.  It happens mostly toward the end of the day, once in a 3 am phone call.  I can usually walk her back, but sometimes she gets angry with me, and hangs up on me.

After the 3 am call, I made an appointment with her doctor and sent him an email describing the events, knowing that he would tell me it is a progression of the dementia.  We kept the doctor’s appointment (without drama), and she got annoyed with me that the doctor was talking with me, so I stood up and said, “You’re right, you should talk to him without me in the room answering for you.”  I went back to the waiting room while she had her check-up.  The doctor came out and said that she is sundowning, getting facts and events muddled late in the day when she is overly tired.  I saw this happen with my mother-in-law early in her dementia and understand how frustrating it can be for both parties.

Yesterday, I took Mom to visit a cousin of mine who had had surgery, the only daughter of her favorite sister.  We had a very nice visit, not overly long, then went to lunch.  Last night, Mom called me, looking for Dad.  I have mastered the calm, gentle recitation of the facts, answering each of her questions honestly and quietly, pulling memories from her until she is calm and less frantic.  At the end of last night’s conversation, she said, “Thank you for being so patient with me.”

She knows, and it breaks my heart.

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.

Louis Pasteur (via darkryemag)


Happy birthday to my baby girl!

Happy birthday to my baby girl!


A champagne-colored sedan is always driven by an old person.

We took a brief respite from this brutal Chicago winter by visiting friends in San Diego for a long (but not long enough) weekend.  It was so nice to hang out in warm weather, dine outdoors, and see green things.  Bonus was a visit with my 92-year-old uncle, who is doing great (and still driving the “old people” to church).

We did eat ourselves silly, though, so we are going to try to eat a little healthier, like this glazed salmon with zucchini, tomatoes and couscous.  The smaller plates make it look like a ton of food! 

Tuesday Musings

  • We are escaping the cold!  Our friends have a place in San Diego, and have invited us for a long weekend.  We’re going.
  • I can’t watch the SOTU speech tonight.  I tried, but I kept fixating on how “tan” John Boehner is.  It’s creepy.
  • Worked from bed the last two days, nestled under a down comforter. I got quite a bit done, but finally decided this afternoon that I needed to dress in something other than flannel pants.
  • Speaking of work, it has become much more than the part-time gig I had anticipated.  So much so, that this afternoon, I withdrew from the tutoring program.  I feel bad because I love the kids, and think the program is really worthwhile, but I am not able to control the travel and meeting requirements of this consulting project enough to allow me to continue tutoring with any regularity.  I suck, but I would rather do one thing well than two things half-assed.  The kids deserve better.
This arrived today. It’s from the woman I will be working for/with on the latest project I’m consulting on. It was an unexpected, lovely gesture.  She is an awesome person, we think alike, and she sends me wine. Presto, new best friend!

This arrived today. It’s from the woman I will be working for/with on the latest project I’m consulting on. It was an unexpected, lovely gesture. She is an awesome person, we think alike, and she sends me wine. Presto, new best friend!

Yes, Mike Huckabee Actually Said This About Women Today | The Nation

When are stupid men going to get it through their thick, unibrowed,  Neanderthal skulls that they do not understand ONE FUCKING THING about women and they should just SHUT THE FUCK UP because it just makes them sound dumber?  How would they react if women started telling men how it feels to get nailed in the balls by a sledgehammer?  We don’t know, we will never know, so we don’t feel qualified to comment.  Learn from us.

(Source: thenationmagazine)

Tuesday Musings

  • I am sick of Facebook.  It has become a refuge of everyone with an ax to grind about something.  I used to love to see pictures of people’s kids, catch up with cousins, take vicarious vacations, but lately it’s been all homeless dogs, I love my daughter/son/cousin/grandchild, right wing screeching, left wing screeching, more reposts than posts.  I’m even thinking about blocking my husband.  Although I will probably keep my crazy cousin Alice because she has no filter and is at least posting original, if somewhat bizarre, thoughts.
  • I didn’t realize that I booked our return flight from the long weekend in San Diego on Super Bowl Sunday.  Oops.  But, it’s the red-eye and I upgraded us to first class, so he shouldn’t be too mad, right?
  • My nephew B is the architect for our kitchen remodel.  I asked him today what I should budget for his services, and he said, “2 bottles of wine.”  We’re going to send him a case of wines that we enjoy.  He’s a professional; he should get paid like one.  My brother said I shouldn’t send him a case, that it will make B uncomfortable. Thoughts?  

My “part-time” job…

…is apparently reading emails.  At least I deleted 35 of them without even bothering.  I suppose that makes it part-time.