Another Maltese MOM-versation

The Newsroom RING TONE calls to me from my phone at 9:30 pm.

MOM CELL (because she refuses to give up her landline and only calls me on her cell phone because my 435 area code is long distance) appears on the screen

ME:  Is she okay?

MOM:  Julie?  Julie? Can you hear me?

ME:  Yes.  Is Betty White okay?

MOM: I have to tell you that I’m spoiling your little girl.

ME:  Good. She deserves it. What are you doing?

MOM:  Well, she didn’t eat all of her food and I remembered how much Diesel like graham crackers so I smashed a half of graham cracker into crumbs and she at ALL of it.

ME:  I bet she’s happy.

MOM:  Well, she didn’t cry as much today. But, when she wakes up, she puts her nose in the air and just cries for you.IMG_1424

ME:  I don’t believe that. I don’t even think she likes me.

MOM:  And, she’s so good about going outside. She just went outside and did a poo.

 

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A Maltese MOM-versation

 

MOM (holding Betty White on her lap in the car):  Do you have any idea how old she really is?

ME:  Dixie thinks 20. We thought she was 15 when she came to live with me.

MOM:  Well, I hope she doesn’t expire while she’s with me.

ME: She is going to outlive all of us.

MOM:  What would I do if she expired?

ME:  She won’t.  Her little joints a fluid and her heart is strong.

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A Medical MOM-versation

Most often, a MOM-versation makes me laugh — hard and for a really long time.

Growing up, when I whined, “That’s not fair,” my dad asked, “Who said life was fair?”

Now I believe that life grows increasingly less fair with each passing year.

Nine days ago, mom pulled up next to a mailbox. However, her “next to” was a little too far away. So, she opened the door, put her left foot on the ground and reached to put her envelope inside.

Having forgotten to put the Honda in park, it started to roll — dragging her with it.

40 feet later, the Honda mounted a curb and stopped at a second curb just outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken. (Ironic? Perhaps. My second job was at a KFC. I lasted five weeks. But, thank God for the double curb at the Colonel’s on 33rd South.)

A pair of good samaritans scooped mom up and drove her home.

Since mom didn’t want to tell her children, “dear Cousin Lynn” (yep, that’s what mom calls her) drove up, dug the gravel out of mom’s knee and bandaged it.

The next day, mom told me because “dear Cousin Lynn” said, “If you keep secrets from Jeff and Julie, they will keep secrets from you.”

To celebrate the 24th of July, Pioneer Day (Pie and Beer Day), mom and I visited the Urgent Care. There, she received antibiotics and a tetanus shot.

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One week later, the bandaging was still sticking to the open skin and making it bleed. Mom wanted to see her “wonderful doctor.” So, we did.

Wearing the same house dress because she can “pin it and my garments up to keep anything from rubbing against my knee,” she didn’t smile as they peeled back the bandage.

Doctor:  Tell me what happened.

Mom:  (Reviewed the accident; see above.)

Doctor:  Any other accidents?

Mom (hesitant, but honest) described the accident that totaled her Toyota Camry, the milk incident, etc.

Doctor:  Let’s talk about your driving. I think you’re a nice person. You don’t try to hurt people, but it looks like you hurt people when you drive.

Mom was quiet.

Mom:  Julie doesn’t think I should drive. But, Jeff, our son, said I can drive if I stay off the freeways and don’t drive at night.

Doctor: It’s time to stop. I’m telling you this because I care about you.

The doctor said he would notify the DMV.

Mom thanked him profusely.

But, I saw a few tears. I heard a sigh.

Mom:  I won’t be able to drive to Cafe Rio to get my tostada salad by myself.

Me:  I’ll take you.

This MOM-versation hurt both of us.

Me:  I’m proud of you.

Mom:  You were right.

Me:  I wish I wasn’t.

Mom:  I know.

Me:  Dad would be proud of you.

Mom:  Oh, no. He’d be disgusted.

Me: No. He is proud. You are brave.

 

 

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In Our Element (with vomit)

Loading four dogs into the Element with mom seemed like a good idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to go for a scenic ride down the canyon to play in her grass-filled backyard?

Booker T. Washington Hooker sat on mom’s lap. Houston and Diesel enjoyed the view from the back. Honey kept trying to peak out the front window and leaned over the console.

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MOM:   Oh, I hate to ask, but could you get off at 39th South so I can cash a check at my bank?

ME:  No problem.

HONEY (at the light):  BARF.

Up came Honey’s breakfast — a mix of pumpkin, kibble, yogurt, and coconut oil — all over the middle console that doubles as a cooler, the emergency break, the cupholders, and the seat belts.

Since it was nice and chunky, I grabbed it by the handful and hurled it out my window. However, I didn’t have a wet wipe to clean my hands. So, to my mother’s horror, I wiped the chunky bits on the inside of my strapless dress.

After helping the dogs into the shady backyard and filling up bowls with water, I began the kibble cleanup. Mom pulled out a box of “rags;”  turns out, they were my old floral printed panties and Jeff’s tidy whities.  Who uses 30-year-old child’s underwear for rags? MOM.

The Woolite fabric cleaner in the garage cupboard was so old, it wouldn’t spray.

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Pulling out the floor mats, cupholder, and cooler, I wiped and hosed down the parts of the Element.

Still stinking of the vomit wiped on my dress, Mom offered me a house dress.

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ME:  I can’t wear one of those!  What if I get pulled over in the canyon?

MOM:  Well, if you borrowed one of my house dresses, you’d be more modest.

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Summer School Lessons for a Middle-Aged English Teacher (Lessons #1 – 16 plus a question)

  1.  It is a bad idea to start painting the deck at 1:30 in the afternoon.
  2. A better idea would have been to write the graduation card that I couldn’t write because I was too emotional.   18951397_10155403543839451_3446220325217752634_n
  3. Another better idea would have been to unload the dishwasher.
  4. An even better idea would have been to fold and put away the piles of clothes on my dining room table.
  5. It is a bad idea to start painting the deck with less than a 1/2 gallon of stain.
  6. It is a bad idea to go to go to WalMart in sweatshorts, a t-shirt, a hat, and big dark glasses because you boycotted HomeDepot because the co-founder endorsed Trump.
  7. It is a bad idea to buy stain the color of red cedar wood; turns out it is a stain with a color.
  8. It is a really bad idea to paint the top railing of the deck and then bend over to paint the sides.
  9. Painting and impatience do not go together.
  10. Sticking a big brush in a small ruins separates the bristles and makes it so the brush can’t hold paint.
  11. Paint splatters.  Paint flips. IMG_2128Fortunately, the dogs think the drips, the flips, the splatters look like a Jackson Pollock. Since it is their backyard, I’ll just leave it.
  12. Painting barefoot is a bad idea. When you walk on the paint, it tracks inside.
  13. Stain resistant carpet is not resistant to stain.
  14. Vegetable oil removes stain from your skin.
  15. Vegetable oil is slippery.
  16. If I slipped and fell in the bathtub, covered in vegetable oil, would the dogs eat me before my friends found me?
  17. Cut your losses. Just put it all in the garbage.IMG_2120.jpg
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Meryl Streep Aged Well — Dwight Hooker

Watching The Bridges of Madison County, we saw Meryl Streep turn, after saying “goodbye” to the love of her life, walk back into the farmhouse, and brush her skirt beneath her hips.

Dwight said, “She did it right. She aged well. Look at that. That is so natural. Any woman of that age would feel self conscious and make that gesture.”

This year, without Dwight, I watched and listened to Meryl Streep accept her Golden Globe award. She spoke to our hearts.

Dwight would have been proud.

 

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What Would You Do if You Could Do it All Over?

What Would You Do from If Then

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Dwight taught me to love musical theater. In the mustard yellow Range Rover, the silver Subaru, and my green Legacy, Dwight belted out show tunes including Soliloquy from Carousel. (I thought he sounded like Frank Sinatra.) We passed the time driving to and from Sundance listening to The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, and Cats. Together, we saw Miss Saigon ON Broadway. Musicals matter in my life.
I wish my Mighty Dwighty Hooker was here to enjoy Hamilton and If/Then. 
If/Then is my new favorite contemporary musical. It speaks to me as 40-something. It reminds me of New York. And, it reminds me to “love wherever and whenever” I can.
Now, after The Little Prince, the song, “What Would You Do?” requires me to answer.
If you met him tomorrow and knew you would lose him
If you saw him and saw all the hurt you would know
Would you hold him while you had him
Or let him go?

If you knew that your laughter would not last forever
But you knew while it did you would breathe it like air
Would you let him make you love him?
Would you dare?

Feeling like you feel today
Tell me you’d just walk away

What would you do if you could do it all over?
What would you do if you could start it all new?
If you could go back knowing what you know now
What would you do?

Feeling like I feel today, I would not just walk away. If I could do it all over, I wouldn’t change a thing, except, of course, for the outcome.
Lil’ P and me were together for 39 days.
Of those 39 days, he spent two nights without me; those were two of the longest  and loneliest nights I’ve ever had.
39 days. 37 nights.
My heart hurts. But, I would do it all over again.
The Little Prince made me brave.
By design, my life is small.
A man who loved me and wanted to be a part of my life said, “You hide behind your dogs. You keep bringing more in, so you don’t have to go out.”
He was right.
My furry family makes my life big and small, at the same time.
My furry family makes me friends in neighborhood, friends on Facebook (because I’m old and don’t Instagram), and makes common ground for my mom and me.
The Little Prince made me travel to Fort Collins, Colorado. He gave my mom the opportunity to mother the Hooker Horde and my neighbors. None of my best friends and neighbors have mothers — they have either lost their moms, live far away from them, or don’t really get along.
The Little Prince made me brave. The two of us road-tripped. That was scary for me. It was just the two of us.
The Little Prince made me brave. I learned to wrap wounds, check stitches, and give medicine.
The Little Prince taught me to love unconditionally. People on Facebook followed him; donors I didn’t know, helped with his expenses; and, the only thing that mattered to me was helping him heal.
I would do it ALL over again.
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