Guess what I heard last week? Somebody told me "My taxes pay your salary!" I should have been ready with a snappy comeback, but all my tired little mind could think was, "Huh. Fourteen years and this is the first time anyone's actually said that to me." The lady was way upset because (a.) Mindy put out a warrant for her husband's arrest and (b.) she didn't do it six months ago. Don't ask me why, I never did figure it out. But I'm pleased to know she's got my back on the salary thing.
My parents survived me for fourish days. My dad made some smart-alecky remark regarding the "hand of providence" when people started bringing in casseroles two hours after I arrived. Ha ha!
Last night was open house/PTA meeting hell at Katie's school. Oops, we went to buy groceries and were late. Awww. Accidentally missed the PTA portion. Darn, darn, darn.
I am really ready for fall. We turned off the A/C and opened the windows a week ago. It hasn't been entirely pleasant, but we refuse to give in and close the windows. I gotta admit there are many hot, hot, hot afternoons that make me love my refrigerated air. But if Jackson and Katie weren't such wusses, I would take an axe to the central heat. There are few things on this planet I hate as much as that. Give me an old-fashioned floor furnace or even just a cord of wood and I would be happy. Unfortunately Jackson and Katie don't want to have to take precautions against frostbite inside their own home. So inconsiderate!
Evil Steve has just informed me that it is past my normal bedtime and I am more than just a few minutes late providing her with her nightly drink from the bathroom faucet. Evidently this is a situation that shall not be tolerated. She's such a witch!
He is home from the hospital and seems to be doing well. The big problem now is arranging care for my mom and making some modifications that will allow her to do some things that had previously been handled by my dad.
My wretched sibling has been down there with them since I left on Sunday.
Dad said he is feeling pretty good. He goes until he gets tired, then stops. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. He told me all about Jonboy building a new ramp for the front door which will let mom get her motorized chair in and out of the house, unaided. He mentioned that they'd enjoyed his company immensely. Then he said it:
"We've really been having some great gourmet cooking while he's been here. Even his presentation is spectacular! He puts just the right portion on the plate and arranges it artstically and it looks so good that even tasteless meals taste good! His cooking has been just wonderful! Last night he made some stuffed squash and sauteed some vegetables in olive oil... and..."
It was at that point that he realized that starting tomorrow he will be stuck with me for the next four days at least. It was a sobering thought. He started to back pedal.
"Ahem, well, you know, Jonboy's always had to follow his diabetic diet and he has learned how to cook healthy food as pleasingly as possible..." he said.
"uh-huh." I said.
"And, uh, well..." he floundered.
"yep," I said.
"I guess we could have turkey sandwiches and baked chips once you get here?"
But he's not the only one. When I got back to work this week, one of the first things my friends wanted to know was what my mom had been eating. They were concerned that I was responsible for arranging meals. They wanted to know if they needed to send casseroles. I told 'em their worries were entirely unfounded. In addition to multiple daily forays into the hospital cafeteria, I had done a spectacular bit of frozen pizza preparation followed by stellar exhibition of sandwich assembly.
HA! Be quashed, you doubters!
I think they're just jealous because none of them married a Jackson who cooks dinner for them every night. And if I learned to cook, then what would happen to that spasm of self-preservation that motivates Jackson to keep doing the food prep? Hmm?
Save this post. One of these days when I am either sick, afflicted or infirm, you're going to need it. (Did you ever have that guy in your church? The one who prayed in the sing-song voice for the sick, the afflicted aaaaand the infirm? We did. He also threw in something about filthy luker, but I can't quite remember how that went.) Anyway. One of these days, I'll be sitting in a hospital bed grumbling and grousing and generally being an ass. Feel free to throw this in my face at that point.
Dad has never really been sick before. Oh sure, he has diabetes, but he's all health-nut-extreme-o and it's not really been much of a problem. He doesn't do being in the hospital very well. I'm about to kick his ass.
I've become a bit grouchy myself, so he's about to try and kick mine. I think this may be the only time in my life that I could beat him in a fair fight. I'll let ya know how it turns out. My mom is also a bit cabin-crazy and may run over the both of us with her wheelchair. However, she's in the old manual-transmission type chair, since there is precious little room for her motorized one, and I don't think she can catch either one of us.
Dad is currently planning some sort of tall-people class action addendum to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Everything is too short - the gowns, the bed, the toilet, his temper, the time the doctor spends with him, the amount of time he spends sleeping, the chairs and my patience. He has waxed eloquent lengthy on the subject this morning.
Have I mentioned that my worthless sibling is making the 3 hour drive to get here tomorrow? I will make the three hour drive back and go to work on Monday. I think three hours of adventure movie soundtracks tuned to brain-liquefyingdecibel levels while driving down solitudinous blacktop will be a good thing.
On a less whiny note, my aunt and some of her kids will be here tomorrow. I haven't seen any of them in a hundred and twelve years. We do an exceptionally horrible job of keeping up with each other in my family. We all seem to agree that if ya ain't dead, ain't no need to come see ya. I'm looking forward to visiting them and meeting a few 9-12 year old second cousins that I've never met before, without having to waste part of the visit at a funeral service.
You may remember my family reunion, which I attended this summer. It was the first one I'd been to in years - since before I got married. It was good I went. Helped me remember a few names and a couple of voices, which saved me from being totally lost while fielding phone calls from some assorted great-uncles and cousins this week. Even with their side-showish eyebrows, they are really nice people. I don't know why we don't keep in touch. (Note to self: pluck eyebrows. I'm starting to get a few of those bearded lady lookin' hairs up there, myself.)
Oh, and just so you won't think the funeral home folks are too creepy: Dad used to work there part-time. Sort of their Lurch-In-Residence. (Although, actually, he more generally resembles Herman Munster.) So, they're buddies and sent him get well flowers out of the goodness of their frigid little death-mongering hearts.
Well, I must go - he's sending me out in search of a lot of old guy paraphernalia. However, he's also requested I get him a comic book to read. There may be hope for him, yet!
I haven't spent much time in the waiting room so far today. Mom and I have been hanging out in Dad's luxury ICU cube. Ah, the joy. He is feeling better and is only still there because he has a slight fever. Feeling well enough to be a total grouch. I suppose he has good reason.
But he's skeered the poor little nurses.
Dad's always been one of those people who wakens from a deep sleep slinging punches. My brother and I used to like to stand just out of reach and then yell, just to watch the show. This tendency apparently carries over into anesthesia as well.
When they tried to awaken him following surgery, he decided he needed to get out of bed.
That's ok, nurses can handle it, right? Well...
My father is 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs probably close to 300 pounds. His nurse was a nice little oriental lady. You do the math. They eventually had three nurses in his room and ended up tying him to the bed. He was. not. pleased. *snicker*
The nurses kept coming out of there, wiping the sweat off their brows and muttering "he's so strong!" Now he has a male nurse in a Harley Davidson do-rag. *more snickering*
* I can also tell he's feeling better because I had to listen to most of last Sunday's sermon yesterday afternoon. I think he was peeved that he hadn't gotten to preach it. Jonboy owes me because he wasn't here for it. Owes. me. big.
* Oh, you'll be pleased to know Mr. Couth just walked in. White t-shirt today. He brought food. Wonder if it's possum? His father is in the lavish, dee-lux ICU bed next door to Dad's. Poor man is still hooked up to a breathing machine, still comatose. But I noticed he is wearing his glasses...
* Stop the presses and call the president! Mr. Couth has solved the crisis in Iraq! It seems we should pull "our boys" back home (ladies stay behind, I suppose) and tell those towel wearers they got six months to work it out for themselves or we're coming back to bomb them off the face of the earth. Hmm, why didn't George think of that? I'm sure history will come to call this the "Don't Make Me Stop This Car" doctrine of diplomacy.
* In a bit of a role reversal, the local funeral home sent flowers to my dad.
I am bored spitless and about to pass out from inactivity. Finished my book, dammit. Nothing is worse than finishing the book hours before you are finished waiting. Wonder if the gift shop has any books that I could stomach?
And Mr. Couth the Caveman is grating on my last. fricken'. nerve.
Up until now I have been highly entertained by Mr. Couth the Caveman. He's loud. He's proud. And he's an idiot. His father is in ICU for some as-yet undiagnosed disease/infection. Mr. CtC and 12 to 57 of his immediate family members are here around the clock, taking turns infecting the ICU with red-necked germs. Right at the moment, there is a rousing roundtable discourse on the subject of who the hell thought it was a good idea to bring Daddy's glasses. There is the "it's good to be prepared/he might need them" camp versus the "what the hell is he gonna be reading/he ain't even conscious" camp.
Mr. CtC was wearing a faded read t-shirt emblazoned with a cartoon caveman when I saw him yesterday. It was highly fitting, I thought. While we, and several members of my parent's church, were here waiting on the surgery yesterday morning, a debate raged over what could be the cause of the patriarch's mysterious illness.
Jane, a nice, quiet, church lady who shares my love of one-liners and eavesdropping, and I were both almost injured by this debate. It seems we were both eavesdropping when someone mentioned something akin to Oedipus. Our eyes locked over the table and we tried not to gape open-mouthed at their group. See, Mr. CtC is one of those people who has had or knows all about any disease known to man or beast. I thought I would pass out from suppressed mirth when he said:
"Oedipus syndrome! Oh yeah, I had that once!"
I am not making this up, people. I swear to God his next statement was:
"It was such a violent case, the doctor's couldn't do a thing with me. Hell, I thought I'd never get over that. That Oedipus syndrome is some kind of bad, let me tell ya whut!"
I thought I was gonna hurt myself bad, trying not to roll on the floor. Jane seemed to be similarly affected.
This morning when we arrived, Mr. CtC was here again, sporting another faded red t-shirt, sans caveman. I side stepped him, no small feat requiring more walking than you might think, as I headed for the stairwell. I smiled as I went past. He needed no more encouragement and started speaking.
"Tired of waiting on these elevators are ya? Me too. They're too damn slow. They got six of 'em and only twos of 'em are workin', I tell ya whut." He was now following me down the stairwell. I was saved from replying by the ringing of his cell phone. He said:
(You know this isn't going to be good. Why are you still reading?)
(Look away, I tell ya! Look away!)
"Howdy! Yeah, he's doin' a little better this mornin'. He ain't ate nuthin' but he still managed to drop a deuce on 'em!"
Yup. How long did it take YOU to figure out what he meant by that?