Sunday, September 25, 2011

unexpected sweethearts

gammer LOVES the kittens and she talks about how surprising that is almost as much as she talks about how much she loves them. a few days ago mr blandings unexpectedly jumped up onto the sofa and snuggled up to gammer. she was soooo incredibly delighted and it was so sweet to watch her pet him and she fell asleep with a smile on her face. the kittens sleep with me every night but i don't think either of them had ever done so with gammer. she was massively happy and it absolutely made my day. :)

the mother of invention

it's been a wild, wacky food day, in a wonderfully bizarre sort of way. for lunch, gammer made herself a sandwich: peanut butter and applesauce. yeah, you heard me, i said applesauce. i was a little surprised by that one, so much so that I had to peek at it when she told me what she'd made. she seemed not at all concerned that this might be an odd combo and what the heck, it's not like it was bad for her, so I didn't say anything. living with an older person, you learn to pick your battles. i'm not always good at this, but I'm getting better I think. anyway, she ate the whole thing so I guess it was good!

we went out for dinner after a nice ride to chazy lake. i had buffalo chicken nachos ("are those blueberries?") and gammer had a burger. she confiscated my salsa and sour cream, putting the salsa on her french fries and focaccia and she put the sour cream on her hamburger. she ate anything within reach, to be honest, and we had a lively discussion on how to make tortilla chips. I made up half of it, but it sounded logical so we were satisfied. I like making things up. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

holy new post, batman!

for a while, I was posting regularly, filling the world of the internet with happy gammer tales. and now it seems I haven't posted in over a week! oops, sorry. it's not that things aren't interesting here, or that we aren't having fun, but I seem to be distracted. one possible explanation: I'm taking classes. jeremy says that when I take classes i'm not nearly as much of a pest as I usually am, so that logic may extend to blogging. sorry!

we have been having lots of fun around here lately. today we went out to lunch with mary and marty, where gammer, queen of the phantom fork, sampled everyone's lunch, despite claiming a lack of hunger so profound she only ordered a cup of soup. she ate mary's spaghetti, one and a half pieces of my pizza (double cheese and ham), and marty's pepperoni and meatballs. and she was ready for dinner just a few hours later! no wonder mom calls her the bottomless pit. :)

one of the really great, wonderful, blissful things about living here is that I grew up in this house. I fell down the stairs here, fell out of chairs, scraped my knees, mothered my dolls, and ran into the Booth's car with my bicycle. so in other words, I love this house and I have great, loving memories of growing up in it. even that time I threw up on the rug in gammer's room. she wasn't even mad. :) I never liked sleeping alone when I was little, so I usually slept in my mom's bed. when she worked nights, for a while I slept in gammer's bed. every now and then, I can't resist sneaking into her room when she's sleeping to give her a hug. she sleeps with the blankets pulled up over her head, so you have to sort of pat her shoulder and then this loooong skinny arm reaches out and grabs you around the neck in a sort of headlock. it's very sweet and cute one of my favorite things in the world.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a very deceptive photo

this photo makes it look like we had a nice, quiet candlelit dinner. boy, would that be wrong! gammer requested a ride, as she often does, so I planned the ride to end at a restaurant overlooking valcour island (I try to vary our rides so it doesn't get boring). it was a beautiful day and the view of the island and a number of sailboats was fantastic. we were treated to a heavenly sunset and a rising moon. gammer even got to watch a cute baby, so she was in heaven. :) the actual food was only okay, and the stupid music was so loud we couldn't hear each other. it transpires that gammer reads lips way better than I do! we still had fun, though, and I like how deceptive this photo is. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

the dishwashing solution deficiency

i woke up to a panicked gammer today. actually, i think she's just plain not having a great day. ditto for me, at the moment. the first time she woke me up she asked if it was time to get up and I, being completely unaware of the time, told her no, so she went back to bed. when i saw her for the second time, she was in a tizzy regarding the lack of dish washing solution. she's usually pretty good at knowing to put things on the grocery list, but every now and then she isn't. however, usually i'm pretty good at keeping on eye on what we need. this time we both screwed up, hence gammer being in a panic. when gammer panics over not having something, it's like a national crisis that needs to be averted NOW. no, you don't have time to shower. no, you don't have time to feed the cats. no, it can't wait until you go to the grocery store. she doesn't actually say any of those things, but the implication is there behind the desperate pleas for me to drive her "just down the street" to buy more. even when you hem and haw because really, you have eight gazillion other things to do at that moment, her solution is: "if you drive me, I can go into the store." umm, yeah no. it's faster if i just do it, cranky and cursing to infinity, and then it's over and done with.

there are two reasons why I can't really get mad: a) the whole reason i'm here in this house is to help her and b) she's old and she has no idea what she's doing. so those thoughts are in the back of my head as I drive to the nearest drug store, where the clerk laughs and says, "I know what you're doing today!" ha. lady, you don't know the half of it. i think what really bothers me about situations like this is that gammer is too old and confused to understand much beyond her needs and i end up feeling like a servant, that my life isn't mine at all. that can be a very sobering and frustrating feeling. it's true, I am living here to help but I don't think that makes me an indentured servant. most of the time, gammer does not make me feel that way.

as I said early in this post, I think gammer is simply having a bad day. there was a spill on the back porch (don't ask!) but it befuddled her to think of what to do. I see a paper towel crisis in my future, so until the next time, have a lovely day, dear readers. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a good team

gammer and I make a good pair. we always have, actually. ever since i was a wee thing, I've loved my gammer and loved spending time with her. when mary went to nursing school, i was home with gammer and we had a lot of good fun. gammer and I would eat lunch and then read books on the brown sofa. we would each choose a book and she would read them to me. as I got older and started to read, I would sometimes read to her. my favorite was "eloise in paris" and gammer was really good at reading that one, with all of eloise's bon mots and run on sentences. many years later, we're still an excellent match. tonight gammer ate her own pot pie (lobster) and a good portion of mine (chicken), mostly the bits I didn't want, like the veggies. mom says she looks guilty in this photo and I agree. :)

a thousand million questions

is this similar to having children? i wonder. a sampling of recent questions from gammer (these seem to be a hit with gammer fans):

"how did you sleep with your orange hair?" (i have golden blondeish highlights. they're not orange, thank you very much!)

"I don't have a dog anymore, do I?"

"do you want me read this to you?" (letter from brad, which i'd already read to her)

"what do you think his muscles feel like?" (tennis)

"are those rubbers on his feet?" (brightly colored shoes on a player. i think she meant something like galoshes)

"are these any good?" (croutons)

"is that today's mail?" (it's a genetic trait that we anxiously await the arrival of the mail)

"how many cats do we have?"

"have you talked to mary today?" (every day)

"how much do those people get paid?" (tennis tournament linesmen)

"do you think his mother is watching?"

"do tennis players do anything else?"

"is it really six o'clock?"

"why didn't you tell me tennis was on?" (repeat twice in five minutes for the full effect)

"do you think she'd eat a grape?" (the dog, with whom she'd already shared her sammich)

"is it thursday? I thought it was sunday"

"are we in september already?" (she once got the calendars so mixed up that she actually threw away the current calendar and put up the next years)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the three faces of gammer

jamming a chunk of cake into her mouth. before i took the photo, she asked me "do you think i can do it?" :)

forlorn upon discovering that mary couldn't stop by on her way to work. :(

totally perplexed by poor alexandr bogomolov, who looks a bit like a girl. and with a happy kitten in her lap. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

best gammerism ever

"I think I'll sell the car and get a few teddy bears"

she's looking at a catalog from the toy shoppe. we are a pair of grown-up children here. :)

leaps and bounds

gammer is a very discerning tennis viewer. her verdict on mardy fish v. jo-wilfried tsonga: "these two aren't as appealing as that other pair". unfortunately, we've watched so much tennis today I haven't the faintest idea who the other pair is! frankly, i'm lucky I even know what day it is. I'm working a shift at the hospital on wednesday and i'm a bit paranoid that I'll simply forget to go. if anyone wants to give me a call wednesday morning, about 630, that would be good. ;)

in other news, today has, thus far, been a much better day than yesterday. gammer even made several phone calls without assistance! sometimes she gets flustered and has a hard time dialing, but she successfully called robert and leslie's house. she also called me when I went to the mall. as she put it, she wanted to see if she could do it and she did! of course, she then called me twice more because a) she forgot what I'd said and where I was and b) she thought that the note I'd left her, indicating where I'd gone, was an old note. so we had several nice chats while I bought pants. that's trousers, not underpants. I had a mixup about that once and it was very comical. gammer is now happily eating mini cupcakes and reading her new winnie the pooh book.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

it all started out so well. it was a nice, relaxing day. gammer puttered around the house, I bought new calligraphy pens at michael's. we watched tennis, we ate dinner. gammer tried on her new halloween sunglasses and I documented the event. and then, all hell broke loose. poor gammer fell into the deep end of being confused and I damn near lost my mind right with her. I think I would have been okay if she hadn't kept shouting at me to go outside to see a bunny, despite me shouting back that I was on the phone. we did this back and forth until she got mad at me and gave up. this was followed by the mystery of the nonexistent puddle, the case of the disappearing paper towel (to combat the nonexistent puddle), and the riddle of how many times to walk the dog. but the thing is, gammer gets so forgetful that we do these things several times over, like a little dance. It's okay to joke about now, but sometimes while these things are happening I get so frustrated and upset. when you are old and have dementia, certain links in your brain just don't connect correctly. so how can I argue with that? it doesn't matter how many times I explain there is no puddle in the bathroom, or that she's already had the dog out, her brain just doesn't seem to process it. well, it does, but it doesn't hold. the good thing about this is that as jarringly frustrating as it can be, it doesn't last. sometimes I find a quiet spot and cry and get it all out, sometimes I do what I did tonight, which is attack the dirty dishes and the hamster cage. I sent gam to the bathtub and she's already in bed. and tomorrow is another day. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

who's that girl?

dear readers,

now, I've experienced a lot of crazy things around here the last few years. gammer wearing my underpants is up there on the crazy scale. gammer walking in on bruce using the toilet is perhaps not crazy, but so gloriously funny it deserves a mention. you can't make this stuff up; no one would believe it. anway, lately an interesting thing has been happening and though I try hard not to laugh, it's not always easy. what's happening is that gammer, who has been getting names mixed up for several years now, doesn't quite seem to know my name all the time. she knows who I am, certainly, but I think she might think my name is mary, although mary herself thinks my name is jean in gammerland and jean is, as we all know, deceased. or is she? one evening gammer was a bit mixed up as to who was in the house, or at least who was supposed to be in the house (this happens a lot). she asked, "where's that little girl?" several times and also asked, "isn't aurora here?" or something along those lines. I cheerfully and rather gigglingly (I made that word up) explained that perhaps the little girl was me and I was home where I was supposed to be. today, prior to an outing to the bank (try to contain your adventuresome envy, ok?), gammer looked at me and asked, "should we tell aurora we're going?" now, there are two options here: one, gammer is just getting a bit older and a bit more puzzled and two, that gammer is actually the only person aware of multiple universes and she simply wanted alternate aurora to know we were leaving the house. I'd say that's very considerate of her!

yours very sincerely,
that girl who lives in the room on the southwest corner of the house. or do I?

p.s. yes, i'm feeling very silly tonight. :)

the most wonderful time of the year

it's the US Open, the wildest, craziest, noisiest tennis tournament in the universe. and that's just at our house! this evening we've been watching that twat andy murray play against the guga-esque robin haase and the sounds coming out of the dining room have been oohs, ahhs, shrieks and gammer frequently asking, "was that out?" as good as her eyesight is, i think a ball could hit a linesman on the forehead and gammer would still ask if the ball was out. it's just what she does. for the two weeks of grand slams, particularly the us open, gammer and I give up almost all of our other tv habits: news, movies on tcm, seinfeld, and ummmm, well that's about it. i've been watching tennis for a long time (thank you, mary) but I never realized gammer enjoyed it until I moved back to morrison avenue in 2008. and sometimes she hoots and hollers at the tv as much as I do! she, however, does not curse at andy murray. she's a lady, after all and I, alas, am not. I just hope the neighbors can't hear us. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

billions of blistering barnacles

ahhhhh life! so fun. so carefree. so damn frustrating at times. gammer and I had a minor (and somewhat regular) squabble about emma at dinner. we all like to give emma people food, but gammer doesn't really understand limits in that respect. i try to tell her that emma is a small dog and shouldn't have that much food, but she just sort of tunes me out (but doesn't give emma the food), which is damn irritating. today she made a face at me which made it even worse. i try to tell myself it's all practice for having kids. karma had her mighty vengeance, though, when gammer gave emma a plate to lick, emma pushed the plate against the cupboard door and it made a lot of clanking noises as she licked it. gammer couldn't hear the tv and I couldn't help but laugh. so it all works out in the end and everyone is happy. :)

ain't misbehavin'

we have a fondness for late night hijinks around here. there's just something extra fun, extra giggly about an unexpected late night gathering. mom came by after work last night and we sat in the dining room, giggling, telling funny stories and looking at stuff online (she's a bossy shopper!). gammer happened to get up to go to the bathroom, so I told her mary was here and she wandered down in her nightgown, hair wildly askew. she smiled a lot and claimed to have cooked for mary. the contents of the bowl she proffered? dog food! she laughed and went back to bed shortly thereafter. i bought beer for the next late night get-together. :)

ps. this is a photo of my mom when she was little. apparently she's cutting her doll's hair. gammer said just a few days ago that mary didn't always behave, but that grandpa never saw it that way. personally, I never misbehave. ;)