Saturday, November 24, 2012
Not so much to write about in these past two days, because it has mostly been peaceful and quiet. Mom pretty much just watches TV most of the time, and she gets herself a reasonably decent breakfast and lunch. She always remembers her morning pills, but only seems to remember the evening ones herself if she eats at home. And...she doesn't much like to eat at home. It's funny - growing up we essentially always ate at home, and she made us healthy, balanced meals. Now, she really doesn't want me to cook, even though I also cook healthy, balanced meals. She would rather eat out.
Growing up, I remember only ever eating out when we were on vacation. Otherwise, never, unless Mom and Dad were giving a party or going to a party, and then we had fast food. For birthdays, we kids got to pick our favourite meal for her to make for us. Now, all she really wants is to eat out, and she wants to eat out at restaurants that are so expensive that I am appalled just looking at the prices. She can afford it, and she really doesn't overeat. She is at a good weight for her height. I don't know why it bothers me so much that she spends so much money on 'out food.' It isn't that I am insulted - I would just as soon not have to cook and clean up if I don't have to.
Other than taking Mom out, I have wrapped the Christmas presents I brought to leave here, done a bit of laundry, read a bit, done some crossword puzzles, and some grocery shopping. Plus, most important of all, I have spent a lot of time with my daughter, which is a rare treat. Sadly, I can't really much enjoy the time with Mom because her hearing is so bad it is an exercise in frustration to try to have a conversation with her. She won't wear her hearing aids, and she needs to. Sigh.
Tomorrow Cecily and I are heading out. I will drop her off back at her college, and perhaps meet some of her friends. Then I will go to the home of some friends who are letting me crash on their couch before leaving at 0-dark-30 to catch an early plane on Monday.
It has mostly been a lovely break and I am sorry to be going back to real life. But...cheers!
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Yesterday and today have been much, much better days than days one and two. Yesterday was calm and quiet, with my daughter and my mother. Cecily and I went out grocery shopping. In a grocery store I don't normally shop in (because I don't live here), they had all kinds of products we don't see in grocery stores at home. So...we bought a lot of things just because we can't get them at home. But I got lots of great looking veggies, and I planned a meal for last night that would include them.
Naturally, my mom didn't like the idea. She asked why I was cooking acorn squash and beets. I said, "For dinner! And look what else I got," and I showed her some beautiful fresh asparagus. She said, "That's way too much food!"
Well, I didn't think so. Obviously, I had planned appropriate portions of each thing. Then I started looking for some lean chicken breast, which is one of my mom's favorite things for dinner, only to find that there isn't any meat in the house other than hot dogs and sausages of various kinds, some rather exotic and unusual, some just everyday varieties. And I hadn't bought a single meat at the store!
However, Mom didn't really want me to cook for her in the first place. She wanted to go out for dinner. Going out for dinner is one of the few pleasures she seems to have left. I should mention that she is not overweight, largely because she never eats more than small portions of anything. She has her three favourite restaurants locally. I don't generally mind going out for dinner, especially if someone else is paying, but I can't help but be a bit shocked by the prices at these places.
I simply don't have enough money to eat out regularly, and on the rare occasions when I do eat out, it is, if not fast food (which I try to avoid for other reasons), then at least inexpensive. I have found that Cracker Barrel is one of the most reasonably priced places - with good food - as long as one doesn't order a drink nor a dessert and gets one of the cheaper entrées. But I digress, as usual.
At all events, we did eat out. My entrée was one of the cheaper ones they had, at $14. I ate only half of it (risotto) and was pleased with my restraint. My healthful veggies got put in the fridge for a later occasion. :-( So did my leftover risotto.
Then when we got home, my brother-in-law arrived. It was great to see him. I hadn't seen him since my sister's wedding last summer, but we didn't get to talk then. Before that, the last time I had seen him to talk to was in the summer of 2010, and he and I can always talk the night away. And, indeed, he, my daughter, and I nearly did.
Today has been a quiet day, and we will go out for a Thanksgiving buffet in an hour or so. I am planning to try my best not to consume 4000+ calories! I am really enjoying the resting and relaxing I have been doing.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
So we left the house later than planned yesterday, mostly because I hadn't been feeling well on Sunday night, so nothing got done in advance. Still, leaving around 4-4:30 isn't too bad for me. We had to drive about five hours to meet my son Henry at his University.
Well....first there was the usual terrible traffic part way there, which I was expecting and knew was unavoidable. We lost a half hour there. Next was some road construction which meant one lane was closed. We lost 10-15 minutes there. But the crowning glory (if one considers disasters as being ranked according to disastrousness) was the 'MAJOR ACCIDENT AT MM 314. EXPECT LONG DELAYS.' I saw this sign about a hundred miles from MM 314, so I figured there was at least a decent chance that the whole thing would be cleared away before we got there, especially since we stopped to get dinner. Not!
We were probably at least ten miles from MM 314 when the traffic stopped DEAD. I mean, we were parked on the highway for several minutes. Eventually, we started moving again, but it was reeeeeeeally slow. I was averaging maybe 3 mph. This kind of stress puts knots in my stomach and makes me feel very ill. We inched along and inched along and inched along. We lost over an hour and a half. At about MM 313, after another (shorter) spell of being parked on the highway, the traffic started really moving. I never saw any sign at all of the accident, no flashing lights, no broken down cars, not even any bits of broken glass. Strange. After some more driving, and a short bathroom break, our ETA, as calculated by my GPS, was 11:40. When we had left the house, it had been 8:59.
I had to stop again to get something done on my computer, then managed to get turned around by not getting off at the exit the GPS had indicated. By the time we reached our destination, it was after 1 A.M.
After less than four hours sleep, I wasn't in the best mood this morning to catch my plane to Baltimore. I got groped by the TSA agent because the back scatter X-ray detected my double mastectomy (evidently) and showed something suspicious. The only thing that it could have seen is what isn't there. I was furious, but there isn't much one can do.
The only good thing about the flight was that I had signed up for some promotion or other, and I actually got to check two bags for free - with American. Wow. Can't say the day is totally bad when you save some real $$.
Got to BWI, and the baggage claim conveyor belt wasn't working right. It was that kind of day. Eventually I got my bags (see, free or not free, I probably shouldn't have checked them after all), made it to the rental car facility, and got my rental car. Then today's nightmare really began.
There are a lot of reasons why I never want to live in the DC area again. One of the big ones is the traffic. If there is any way to avoid it (I had none), do NOT attempt to drive west of DC on I-66 during rush hour. The experience reminded me forcibly of the situation yesterday, only this time there was no accident for an excuse - 66 is just always like this.
I had an even worse experience when I tried to pull off the highway just to get some fast food. I had had no lunch and was starving. BUT - the traffic was so heavy I wasn't able to change lanes to get to my turn, then wasn't able to turn around, again because of heavy traffic and no turn offs...ended up going miles and miles out of the way, finally getting back on the highway and finding a different exit (where I did eventually get a Subway sub) and losing around an hour and a half...pretty much for nothing. My daughter had turned the ringer off on her phone and didn't answer my calls, and I had to pound on her dorm door to get some kind young lady to let me in and beg the RA to find my errant daughter. She was apologetic, and I was stressed out to the max.
Instead of arriving at my mom's house at 7:30, which was the original plan, we pulled in at 10:30. Thankfully, Mom was up waiting for us, and very happy to see us whole. It is so good to be back where I grew up, that I still always think of as home. And it is always so good to see my mom. The rest of this vacation has to go well now...I won't be doing any driving in traffic for days. And I am already happy to be home again.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
I am heading to DC/Maryland/Virginia/Pennsylvania...all of the above really, for my Thanksgiving holiday. I am so looking forward to it. I land in MD, rent car, drive to VA to pick up my daughter from college, then drive to PA, where we will be joined by my brother-in-law in caring for my mom (who has dementia) and having a nice Thanksgiving together. The consensus is that we will go out to eat. I don't mind cooking, but everyone else thinks it will be easier on me (it will!) to eat out. It will be so nice - a rather unusual group of very different people, but that will make it even more fun...and it will be for a short enough time that hopefully no tempers will rub together and create (the wrong kind of ) sparks.
Meanwhile, my two sons will be having their Thanksgiving together at our house. I hope they have fun, and I also hope that when I return, the house hasn't been totally trashed! I fully expect to find a huge sinkful of dishes waiting for me. :-( Oh well, it will be worth it.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I did something really awful the other day...so awful I have given up e-mail temporarily, and am spending a lot of time in introspection. Not sure if I will come to any grand conclusions, but at least I am spending time trying to figure out how to become the kind of person I really do want to be.
In brief, what I did was write something rather nasty and sarcastic about someone on a loop I was a member of. What I thought I was doing was forwarding my nasty comments to another person - really in order to get his opinion and comments. However, instead of hitting 'forward,' I had accidentally hit 'reply,' and my comments went, not only to the person in question, but to the entire loop. Ouch! Major ouch.
I was (am) so mortified. But nothing like sticking one's foot totally in one's mouth to teach a good lesson.
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