Wednesday, November 19, 2014

He's Gone to a Better Place

Remember my dad? The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy? Well, he's gone to a better place.

Yep, he's gone to the other side.

The other side of town, that is.

He had been in the nursing home since July. He hated it… and I can't say that I blame him. The facility is 50 years old and has never been updated. He shared a bathroom with another resident… and the bathroom was almost too small for his walker to fit into it.

Not a great place for him. But the option to go back and live with my mom didn't seem like it was in the cards either. He just needed too much care.

Then I heard that the three-year-old memory care facility on the other side of town takes people without memory issues. (Well, I mean he has basic 84 year old memory issues, but he's not Alzy… so that's good. Is that an offensive term? Can I say that?)

Anyway, he moved in there about a month ago. He is soooooo much happier. And my mom is glad he is there if he can't be with her.

I'm exhausted from running back and forth to the two places… and from running my mom back and forth every day for a visit… but for the moment… Going to the other side of town has been good.

Maybe I'll eventually find time to blog again regularly… but probably not. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

So Far, So Good

The Angsty Teen is surviving band camp! She's at school for 13-15 hours a day this week… tired child.

People ask me if she's been having headaches… I say, "I don't know."

She hasn't complained of a headache… and I've learned not to ask if I don't have to ask. If she has a bad headache I'm pretty sure she will tell me… loudly and in no uncertain terms, actually. (You know that's right.)

I actually don't know if it is a direct result of the acupuncture treatment she had last week… or if it's a result of good food from the Farmers Market.

And, no, I don't mean all the wonderful veggies… I'm talking about the cotton candy.
Sugar is her Love Language
Any acupuncture believers out there?

Friday, August 1, 2014

That Girl

The Angsty Teen is dying from marching band workouts… specifically her abs, her buns, and her quads are dying. She was kind of bragging about this plank thing they had to do for a long, long, time…

So the Stern German, after being at a physically demanding job for an exhausting 12 hour day, challenged the Angsty Teen to a Plank Off.

An old, tired, 58 year old v. an athletic, spastic 16 year old… hmmm… Would love to hear how you think this will go...

This is the craziness that defines my life:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Wonder...

In looking back at my calendar for the past two months, it's easy to see why life feels unmanageable.

During the month of June:

  • My mom was in the Emergency Room.
  • My dad, a.k.a. the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy, was in the Emergency Room.
  • There were 16 different appointments… doctor, dentist, Physical Therapy, & blood draw. 

In July:

  • The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy went to the ER twice, 
  • The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy went into the hospital for a few days
  • The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy went to the nursing home. 
  • The Angsty Teen and I spent three hours in the ER due to a migraine she couldn't shake.
  • There were 17 different appointments… doctor, dentist, Physical Therapy, & blood draw.
Some of these appointments are in our town… others are:
  • 20 miles east
  • 60 miles east
  • 30 miles west 

The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy is still in the nursing home and doing pretty well. He may get a chance to get home again…

Add all of this to just trying to do regular life, and I can see why I'm weary beyond belief…

...but at least I'm staying well-hydrated…

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

C'mon, Shawn

I do love to watch Psych… but,  I don't actually know anyone named Shawn… I don't think. Well, I do know one kid named Shawn… but his name is spelled "Sean" instead.  Not even sure how that comes out to be Shawn… but it does.

So a few days ago at my gym… (Don't I sound athletic!!) This sign was posted by the free weights:

Wait for it….. (haha!)

Even though I don't know this guy, he apparently he needs to get his act together at the gym…

Aside from punctuation and capitalization errors, it's pretty funny.

I'm glad there wasn't a sign with my name on it!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Usual Drama

Hope your face doesn't stay that way…
That would be unfortunate.
My life is just a little bit crazy. Well, it's more than just a little bit. That's why I haven't posted anything lately. It's been a nuts summer… but I'll spare you the details... for now.

The Angsty Teen has been full-on dramatic this summer...

But summer is winding down here… and marching band practice starts today! (Bye, honey!)

Band practice isn't full days... yet… just a five hour day. So I got up to help the Angsty Teen get out the door for a full morning of marching band.

This is a little of what it entailed:

  1. Listen to her piss and moan about her section.
  2. Listen to her gripe and complain about her pains.
  3. Deal with headache issues (hers…and maybe mine…)
  4. Help her talk through her knee issues.
  5. Make her a protein shake for breakfast.
  6. Fill her half gallon water bottle using water and the giant ice cubes I made last night.
  7. Make new giant ice cubes for tomorrow.
  8. Listen to more bellyaching.
  9. Get her out the door.

Actually, all of that is done. It is 7:30 in the morning.

I'm going to sit and drink a nice, hot cup of coffee.

Yay, me! I blogged!!! Kind of proud of myself.

Well, haven't hit the "Publish" button yet… obviously. My phone just rang…

While the Angsty Teen remembered her meds, her athletic tape, her water, her music, etc… she did forget one thing…

So I just got back from a quick run out to the high school in my PJs… to bring her….


Yeah, she might need that...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Go, Gophers


I am a mega-fan of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

I didn't know that I was such a great fan… but… apparently, I am.

How did I discover this little-known fact?

Well, let me tell you… as succinctly as I can...

Yesterday I did something I've never done before. No, I didn't purchase Gopher clothing… or a Gopher window sticker for my car…

I done got my hair colored.

It's been colored before… but only by me. But I am going on a trip this weekend… and I wanted to look better than normal. (As if that is even possible… apparently…)

I went to a stylist whose work I've seen and liked. (That that was a good idea.) I had her color my hair all over and then do some subtle highlights.

Anyway, when she got done I thought everything looked great. I headed home. When I looked in the mirror in my bathroom… which had much better lighting… I was surprised at how purple-y, brown my hair was... and at how golden the highlights were.

I made a cocktail… and sat on the porch with the Stern German. He said it didn't look purple-y… and that the highlights weren't too golden… that it looked good. (But remember… he's the guy that says I look beautiful in the dim light… so…)

Then the Angsty Teen got home and joined us on the porch. Her first comment? Are you a Minnesota Vikings fan or a Minnesota Gophers fan?

Purple and gold??? Maroon and gold??? Upon closer inspection I'm going with maroon and gold.

Go, Gophers.

I'm going to go on Amazon and buy one of these to wear for the next few weeks...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I'm not at home. I'm not even in my town. I ran away from home...
… except, not really. "Running away" implies it was unplanned and secretive. This was neither of those things.

I have my cooking class tomorrow night… woohoo!!!! It's held an hour and a half from my home. 

I've tried to leave home early the day of the class so I can run some fun errands in the Minneapolis area… Mall of America, IKEA, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, World Market… you get the picture. But it's tricky to get out of town early enough to get to run errands and get around the metro before rush hour.

I've tried staying in a hotel after the cooking class… but by the time I get to the south metro where I want to stay… I could just drive home. I'd be home in an hour… So that never worked all that well.

Well, I had an epiphany last week… I could come up to the Twin Cities the day before the cooking class!

Priceline was not being all the cooperative… in fact, I think Priceline was mocking me for my $35 bids…

But… eventually I found a 2 1/2 star… for $41. Not the best Priceline deal I've ever gotten… but fine enough. And the hotel doesn't suck… so that's nice.

So… try not to be jealous. I'm currently watching the Food Network… and sipping on a margarita. No one is needing anything from me at this moment in time. 

I could get used to this.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In the News...

Well, my sleepy, little town made the news… not just the local news either… We made the national news…. CNN, The Washington Post, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. Dang.

Did you hear/read about the high school junior whose plans to kill his family and fellow students was thwarted? That happened here… in my little town.

Click here to read the story.
Or click on this video link… it might work...

He went to school with the Angsty Teen. She knew who he was. He wasn't really odd. Seemed normal enough. He made eye contact with people in the halls. Dressed normally.

But, obviously, something was amiss.

Such a bizarre situation… here… in my little town.

So thankful that it turned out the way it did.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So Much Angst

It is snowing… kind of… guess this is "Wintry Mix" and that's not one of my favorite things.

Along with the snowy, rainy goodness I've been dealing with a variety of life issues… my geriatric mom with her medical issues; the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy and his issues; and the Angsty Teen and her health - or lack thereof- issues.
Not a new dance move… this is the Angsty Teen elevating her arm...
The Angsty Teen has been having headaches again and last week she had to go in for an IV for some headache relief. The first nurse blew out the vein in her arm when she first tried to insert the IV needle. So now her arm is killing her. (Hence the elevating of the arm in the first pic.)

The arm… the headaches… the shoulder… the knee… the concussion… the... well… I'm sure I'm forgetting something. The past year has a long, long, long, long year with that child. Things have been going better… but… having headaches back is wearing me down.

She has been texting me about coming home from school today… I've been concerned about her. It has weighed on me constantly today… but then… she just sent me this Snap Chat…
Honey, you don't look Irish…
So... I'm going with "I think she's feeling fine." and celebrate with a drink… It's a little early… but really? Is it?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oh, Mother.

The last time I posted was when I was going to take my mom to a series of doctor appointments for her back… and I talked about The Big Three items I needed to be sure to take along.
The appointment didn't go as planned, I'll write about that another day, but before that  appointment my mom had one here in our town.

At that appointment, my mom asked me the nurse's name after the nurse had left the room.

"Her name is Cassie," I responded.
"Cathy?" my mom said.

"No, CASSIE," I enunciated more clearly… or so I thought.
"Oh… CATHY!" my mom tried again.

"No," I said shaking my head.
"Spell it," my mom said to me.

"C-A-S-S-I-E," I replied.
"Ok... Cathy," she said.

"No, Cas-sie… as in short for Cassandra?" I tried.
"Oh, I see… Cathy!" she said excitedly.

(Really, mom? Every name you've tried has BEEN THE SAME NAME!)

"C-A-S-S-I-E…. with an 's' sound," I attempted one last time.

"SASSY?" my mom said quizzically.

Yes, because that's what everyone names their kid.

This. is. my. life.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Big Three

Today I'm taking my mom to a series of appointments at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Nothing serious… She just needs to have a procedure done on her back that she's had done a couple of times over the years.

When the Stern German's kids and Kati were little we would play a game in the car. You'd say "I'm going to Grandma's house and I'm bringing a…. " The first person would take the letter A… the second person would repeat the "A" item and name something  that began with a "B".

I think we probably played it with the Angsty Teen when she was younger… but I have a vague impression of the game getting shut down with someone yelling, "I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT SHE SAID. THIS IS A DUMB GAME!" That may or may not have happened...

So, in this case… I'm taking G-ma to the doctor and I'm bringing...

No, I'm not going to go through the entire alphabet. I won't need an elephant, a kite, or an x-ray machine… (I never said the item had to make sense... or fit in the car.)

Here are The Big Three items that are important for me to bring:

Well, that damn hearing aid, for one thing… 
1. Bring the hearing aid.
Last time we went to Rochester for the consultation for today's appointments. She forgot her hearing aid. I said, "SHE FORGOT HER HEARING AID!"

I'd never even thought to ask her if she had it in her ear… because even though she forgets it on a day-to-day basis, she has always remembered it for appointments… until now. That was a long day.

2. Bring her glasses. 

Also, that same day… she forgot her glasses. So when we checked in for her appointment… and there were eight pages of forms to fill out… I had to do it. That was unfortunate.

3. Bring The Kit.
There have been a number of times over the past three years where this has been necessary to the survival of the day.  I have two words for you… the first one is: explosive. I think I'll spare you the second one.

My mantra? I can do anything with gloves on.

I hate that mantra.

So I guess those are the Big Three items that need to be brought on today's adventure… along with the various assortment of items I always bring.

If I wasn't driving I would be sure to pack my flask. But… can't bring that today. That's unfortunate.

At least with The Big Three items stowed in my bag I just might make it through the day. Remember… "I can do anything with gloves on."


Friday, March 14, 2014

High Five for Friday

Can't believe I haven't blogged all week… again. Life is still crazy… so many different doctor appointments for so many different family members…

But I will take a couple of minutes to let you know what the highlights of my week have been:

1. Kati is coming home for her spring break!
So cute...
 Getting a Spring Break is definitely a great perk for a teacher! Due to some changes in her life, that child is the happiest she has been in many months. I'm excited to have her around for a few days.

2. The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy is walking again.
"Suck it up, Buttercup!" I wanted to tell him. But instead, I just kept taking him to physical therapy and to work out... and then I kind of tricked him into walking.

3. The Angsty Teen is on the mend from her latest injury…
Yes, she does look more-than-slightly unamused  that I took her picture.
You're pretty observant to have noticed that...
This time it's a shoulder thing… Let's see, in the past year it's been concussion, ankle, knee, lump on eyebrow, wisdom teeth, hmmm… maybe that's it… but probably not an exhaustive list… just an exhausting one!

4. Our small town population showed up in droves to honor a soldier from our town who died.
The people of my town lined the streets to wait for the procession of military people, the hearse, family, and friends of the young man to honor him.

5. I've decided to pitch the onions I have and buy new, milder ones.
Tears were just running down my face
when I had to cut those onions!
Pretty exciting week… huh?

Friday, March 7, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's been another CrAzY week. But it could always be worse… I think. - Lately, there have been far too many drinkable moments...
Everyone in my immediate family (Kati, the Angsty Teen, the Stern German) are mostly healthy and pretty darn happy… so that's all good.

But… my parents are not doing quite so well and the week has been long dealing with everything.

So here's a countdown that has to do with five things about my week:

FIVE various doctor appointments this week!
One every day (either Physical Therapy, Primary Care Provider, or Endodontist!)… it's been kind of a long week.

FOUR different family members had these five appointments…
So, five various appointments for four various family members.

THREE separate towns… yep that's three separate towns where I had to go for these five various appointments for four different family members! (This is sounding like a children's book with lots of repetition!)

TWO appointments in two different towns had to do with the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy…
He's decided his leg hurts and he can't walk… (and it is sore… but… time to suck it up, Buttercup…) After meeting with his Primary Care person we were referred to Physical Therapy… plus his toenail needed to be removed due to something totally separate from the not-walking thing. So then we had to go to a podiatrist… never a dull moment.

ONE really tired person….  that'd be ME!

I'm kind of wiped out… But I'm pretty sure this week was just a warm-up for next week.

On Monday I will be going to three separate towns for three different family members for three various appointments.

All of a sudden this week doesn't seem so bad...

Friday, February 28, 2014

High Five for Friday

This isn't really a "High Five for Friday" post. It's been a chaotic week between the weather, life with my girls, and life with my geriatric parents.
View from my front door a week ago.
Yes, I love my mailbox!
I'm kind of tired… but not doing badly… just tired. Caught a little cold from one of my girls.. either Kati or the Angsty Teen… not sure which on. So glad I taught them how to share.

But, I found this poem on Pinterest… and it is pretty great. We, as women, have probably all been in relationships where we tried to change to please someone else...

So, to all the single ladies… You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful.

Friday, February 21, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's been a good week… here are my five highlights:

1. We've watched a lot of the Winter Olympics.
Such grace, such style… but, Angsty Teen? You don't skate. In fact, just doing this… the Angsty Teen fell down… so pretty sure doing this on ice would causes permanent injury!

2. I was able to attend my monthly cooking class!
This is always one of the best parts of my month. One of the things we made was Spaghetti Carbonara.   
So good!

3. Presidents Day + a Snow Day + a 2 Hour Late Start= A Short, Short School Week
Who knows? Maybe school will be called off today too. There's a blizzard out there as I write this… so, maybe...
4. We've eaten some great food.
This Cheesy/Potato/Chicken/Bacon bake was delicious! We made it at my cooking class on Wednesday… and I made it for my family for supper on Thursday night.
The Stern German and the Angsty Teen DEVOURED this
5. The Stern German and I had a hot date at the boys' basketball game to watch the pep band!
I wrote about that earlier this week. (Read it here.) It was loud and it was fun.

Every time I look at this picture and see the height of the Angsty Teen compared to the height… or lack, thereof, of the junior high boy next to her… I just laugh out loud.

That's my week in review. Hope you had a good week, too. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snow Day!

For two days we've had GORGEOUS weather. Well, gorgeous for Minnesota in February… 40 degrees… ABOVE ZERO! It's kind of a big deal.
This was the Angsty Teen when we had a sub-zero day and school was cancelled.
But for these same two days there's been murmuring and whispering about a HUGE storm headed this way. This storm is supposed to hit on Thursday… See?

It's not going to be super cold…  but, apparently the threat of the 5-8 inches of snow (which is preceded  with three hours of rain/sleet - also known as "wintry mix". "Wintry mix" is what stranded me overnight in Iowa last March… so, I'm definitely not a fan...) is enough to make the school districts in the area play it safe.

So… Thursday has been declared a Snow Day.

It'll be just me and the Angsty Teen…  together… all day… except for she doesn't really want to do anything with me. She just wants to veg on the couch in the basement and watch One Tree Hill.

I envisioned the two of us hanging out in the kitchen with our adorable aprons baking cookies together.

That is so not going to happen. Every time I try to get her in the kitchen to bake cookies, the Angsty Teen says, "I don't want to make the cookies. I just want to eat them."

Well, I definitely haven't raised her to allow anyone to force her to do something that she doesn't want to do.  I'd like to think that will be beneficial to her in life.

But for now, all my idealistic plans of spending quality mother/daughter time in the kitchen are not going to happen…

I'll let you know how the cookies turn out.
Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Turn That Down

Last night was a home boys' basketball game… with our wonderful pep band playing:

There were some junior high band kids in the mix… so it was a really big band night.

Also, can you believe all the moving around? Didn't they know I was trying to take their picture from across the gym??
Oh, and the arrow on the right? That's how tall the Angsty Teen is. Compare that to the arrow on the left… that's how tall the little junior high boy is next to her!! Kind of hilarious.

Anyway… since there were quite a few extra kids in the band… they had a great sound.

Well… I thought they had a great sound.

This guy?

Not so much.

His wife wasn't impressed either…
But… they did make a cute couple:
 And… we won the game… in spite of having almost no one in the student section...
Guess they were all in the band!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's Always Something

We've gotten quite a bit of snow in the past few days… probably 10 inches? Not sure… but a lot!

Today is supposed to be balmy… upwards of 40 degrees. So it's a great day to get the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy out of his building…

…except this is what their car looks like at the moment.
It's not terrible… but looks like more work than I want to be doing.

The guy that plows the driveway where my parents live does a terrible job. I'm surprised one of the geriatric residents hasn't fallen and broken a hip and sued them by now.

When my parents moved into the building they were told that someone would clean off the cars and move them when the guy plows… except that rarely happens.

Maybe, the "someone" they were referring to… was me! Damn. I should probably be getting paid for this… especially with how wet and heavy this snow is.

Well, I'm gonna get my tall winter boots on and start clearing a path to the driver's door… Hope I don't fall.

On the plus side, if I slip and fall and can't get up… there's always someone looking out their windows watching for something exciting to happen who could call for help.

Not really joking about that.

Friday, February 14, 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! Hope you've had a good week… here are my highlights:

1. It's Valentine's Day and the Angsty Teen is home… no school.
Pretty sure she'll want to hang out with me… oh, wait…
Not even sure I remember what she was doing on the floor… She's a little crazy.
2. Got a rental car for $69 for a week… through Thrifty.  (They don't know I exist…)
I'd already booked it for $196… for a compact car. But rebooked it… I just saved over $125!!

3.  Really? Guys are skiing BACKWARDS!!! 
This Olympic event was crazy to watch… the mens' free slope? or free style? I don't know what it's called… but it was bizarre to watch. I didn't know that was possible...

Just heard them say "Men's Ski Slope Style"… whatever...

4. We had an amazing supper last night….
except maybe Chicken Caesar Salad isn't really a "man's meal"… again… whatever...
Oh, wahhhh.
This is the bread I made:
It was delicious.
5. I was able to talk to Kati a bunch yesterday. 
Always fun to get to chat with that girl.

Anyway… Happy Valentine's Day! Hope your day is special. Hope my day is special… don't think the Stern German has done a good job of getting ready for this day… but… I could be (would like to be) wrong.

Have a great day/weekend!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

You Don't Need a Girlfriend

Last week I took my dad to the clinic. The person he doctors with thought that since my dad had been acting a little off… and not feeling all that great… and since his blood work/urinalysis came back fine… maybe the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy might have had a small stroke.

So… I took my dad in for a CT scan today. We drove to a town about 20 minutes away for his scan. 

(When you are traveling 20 minutes… getting a wheelchair… unloading the guy… getting him inside… parking the car… and racing back inside the hospital… that's a long time between bathrooms for a guy who has to pee every 20 minutes.)

Plus, before we left… he refused to go to the bathroom… "I don't have to go!" he angrily told my mom. Yeah, well… guess what? If you wait three minutes… that'll change...

We made it there and raced inside to the bathroom… and made it without incident. So, that was good… except there was an arse-wiping… so that's unfortunate...

We had some good… or... humorous conversation in the car.

These are the questions he asked me...

"Where are we going?"  "We're going to the hospital for an x-ray."

"Who are we going to see?" "We'll be seeing someone in radiology."

"What are they doing to me today?" "They are doing a CT scan of your head."

"What's a CT scan?" "It's an x-ray of your brain, kind of."

"Are they doing a scan of my brain to see if I still have any of it left?"

Okay, that was pretty funny.

On the drive back to his place we started talking about  a friend of his from a long, long time ago.  I went out with this guy's son in high school (ONCE) to a work Christmas dinner. 

The kid's name was Stan. My dad had always called him Stan the Man… and since about 1980 he has also called this guy Stepladder Stan… but that's another story.

Apparently, this friend of my dad's wife died a few years ago… and this is the conversation my dad and I had…

"I heard he has a girlfriend." "Really? When did his wife die?"

"I don't know exactly…. but, I think every guy needs a girlfriend." "I'm pretty sure you don't."

"Why not? He's older than I am!!!" my dad said indignantly.

My reply? "Well, I was kind of thinking you didn't need a girlfriend… BECAUSE YOU HAVE A WIFE!!!!"

"Oh, yeah…" he says sheepishly, "I forgot about her."

This is my life. This is why I drink. In fact, just writing this down has made me a little thirsty...