Hot! Hot! Hot!

Every year I forget how hot the summer gets. I had a toasty reminder one day last week. The temperature was in the high nineties with a heat index of 105-110 degrees. I did what I needed to do outdoors and got back in the house before eleven a.m. I had a hair appointment at four p.m. My son had my vehicle and Bud had gone somewhere in his, so when I got ready to go, I realized I had to drive his old 1996 Jeep Wrangler. He loves that old truck. He’d wanted one since he was a kid, so he can’t bear to part with it. He usually drives it once a week or so, just to keep it from feeling depressed. When I was ready to go, there it sat, in all its un-air-conditioned glory, just waiting to bake me all the way to the hairdresser.

imageI climbed up on its sizzling plastic seat, no simple thing since it has no running boards, and settled myself in. It moaned and groaned, making end of life noises as I struggled to herd it out of the driveway. It has a stick-shift and no power steering. The windows were down so I could cool myself with the sultry air. Remember, the heat index? Long before I drove the two miles to the hair shop I looked like Sasquatch. Driving that Jeep felt like a combination of a tractor and a log wagon. I’ve driven both and really can’t say which I prefer. I told Susie to just cut my hair and forget styling it, knowing I had to go home in the hot Jeep. Just as I climbed back in, I remembered an errand I had to run. I thought I’d die. I took care of my business and thought I was just about to survive the heat when I saw flashing lights at the railroad crossing. I was caught.

As I sweltered, dying for a cool drink, my sister called on my cell phone. “Hey! What are you doing? I’m just sitting here in the air conditioning with a glass of iced tea. I had to step out and check the mail and thought I’d burn up!”

Oh! That was bad timing!

I Can’t Hear You!

I’ve neglected my WordPress friends the last week or so. Mother had a bad cold with extreme head congestion, so severe, she lost her hearing for a few days. I have a new respect now for people with disabilities. Mother is doing much better as the fluid in her ears resorbs, and expects to totally regain her hearing over the next few weeks, thank goodness.

I was really busy taking her to several doctors visits.  When visiting an unfamiliar doctor for hearing issues, I could tell that due to her age and deafness, they could have easily  have inferred her biggest issue was cognitive, not hearing.

She stayed with us several nights. She had to put medication in her ears several times a day and insert cotton to give it time to absorb. Mother is obsessive. Since her doctor said “a few minutes” she decided continuous cotton plugs might be better. Naturally, this didn’t improve her hearing a bit. Mother is garrulous, to say the least. When she couldn’t hear conversation, she’d shout, “I can’t hear you. I’ve got cotton in my ears.”

I urged her, “Take the cotton out. You’ll hear better,”

Her shouted reply was, “I can’t hear you. I’ve got cotton in my ears!”

When we picked up her medications, including an antibiotic, she bought yogurt to avoid antibiotic-related problems. She has meticulously eaten yogurt when to avoid antibiotic problems as long as I can remember. In fact, she is a great champion for yogurt with antibiotics, reminding the general public, even in the line at the pharmacy. She’s had way more experience with this than I have, even though I am a nurse.  Since she’d been away from home several days and was feeling better except for deafness, she decided she’d rather go to her own house.  I was a little worried how she’d manage, but took her home, knowing I could easily go back and get her if she had trouble.

At any rate, not ten minutes after she got home with the antibiotic and yogurt, I got a call.  “Does it matter what kind of yogurt I eat?  I got the vanilla yogurt in the carton, not the frozen kind.”

I knew she could barely hear, so I spoke succinctly and clearly.  “That’s fine.”  I know she had just put cotton back in her ears, since she could hear a little in the doctor’s office.

“What?  I can’t hear you.  I’ve got cotton in my ears!”

“Take the cotton out!”  Like I’d never met her, I waited.  By the time she came back on the phone, I’d kicked my phone volume to max.   “That yogurt is fine! It’s fine!”

Her response, “I can’t hear you with this cotton in my ears.  Did you say this vanilla yogurt is right or wrong?”

I don’t know what she was doing while I was holding for her to get the cotton out of her ears.  “It’s right!  It’s right.  Vanilla is right!”  The neighbors probably heard me.

She patiently tried again to clarify, making it more hopeless.  “I can’t hear you.  Did you say it is right that vanilla yogurt is wrong or that not getting the frozen kind is right?”

I knew now the conversation was so convoluted, there was no way we’d ever straighten this out.  I would have tried to text her, but Mother is hostile to texting.  That would have gotten me a furious phone call. I cut my losses and headed back to her house.

While on the way over, I got a call from my sister who is also a nurse.  “Mother is asking about yogurt, but she can’t hear me answer.  Do I need to go see about her?”

Just so you know, she is getting better every day.


Hi everyone! I hope your day went well! I’ve had a bad headache since yesterday! I’ve been relaxing and sleeping throughout the day. I didn’t go to work because the headache was too much to handle! I’m glad it’s been cool at my place or I don’t know what I would do! Right now it’s only […]

via El Paso, Life, Blogging Event, etc. — Life of an El Paso Woman

Ask Auntie Linda

Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, My husband, Bob, had a cancerous kidney removed four years ago. Our marriage was never good. He is a truck driver and did well until three weeks ago when he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after a seizure. Now, he is unable to work. His prognosis is poor and he needs my health insurance. We have three children. I had already told him I was leaving before all this happened. I could never leave him, now, with him being sick. He had already confronted me because of some text messages and emails he found, though I am pretty sure he has been unfaithful as well. He knows I have gotten involved with Mike, co-worker. I want a relationship with him.

Bob, our children, and I are all devastated by Bob’s illness and terminal diagnosis. They know I was leaving before all this happened, and immediately they all started saying I had to stay now. I feel awful about Bob’s illness. I know I am hopelessly stuck. Both our families are involved now. We live in small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Our minister has already been here to visit.

I know I have to stay and care for Bob till the end. That is not my issue. Mike is very supportive. He understands I cannot leave Bob and isn’t asking for that. There is a workshop for my job I must attend in San Francisco next month. Bob’s parents will be coming to stay with him and the children while I must be gone.

Mike wants us to be together that week. I don’t see how it would hurt since Bob knows how I felt before his illness. I wouldn’t hurt Bob by rubbing his nose in it, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t take this opportunity since Bob knew I was leaving him before his diagnosis. Am I wrong to want some happiness before what promises to be a miserable, lengthy ordeal?  Molasses Molly

Dear Molasses,  No, you are not wrong to want happiness, but this is not the time to put yourself first.  Escape will not solve your problems.  Examine your conscience.  You know Bob’s time is limited.  If your relationship with your children is important, don’t lose sight of the fact that it will be impacted forever.  Their sympathies will be with him.  If the ethics of that don’t concern you,  being involved with a coworker may be a sexual harassment issue, not to mention the damage to your professional reputation and possible job loss.  On a more practical level, you and Bob share a financial situation.  You could be left with astronomical expenses should you lose your job.

I suggest you back off, support Bob and the children through his illness, and consider your needs when the situation changes. I can’t see how adding another problem to the mix will help. Auntie Linda

P. S.  Old Mike sounds like a real buzzard.


Dear Auntie Linda,  Our parents had to go in a nursing home a year ago because two of my sisters and I could no longer care for them at home.  My father had end-stage lung disease requiring professional care.  Mother has early Alzheimer’s Disease.  Though she appears fairly functional on visits, she requires constant attendance since she wanders off and can’t manage her daily care.  The problem is, my father died three weeks ago.  Now, one sister who lives several hours away insists Mother is well enough to return home with some help.  Of course, Mother is all for it.  The problem of managing her care would fall on me and my two sisters who live near Mother.  Even though she appears pleasant and competent, Mother can not be left alone.  She was leaving burners on even before she went in the nursing home.  Several times we had to go looking for her in all weather.  Even though we have made this clear to my sister, she insists Mother can manage with home health.  She says we (not her) can check on her a couple of times a day.  The responsibility of Mother’s care would fall on those of us who live in town, and we have already tried everything.  I am worried my sister will move her home over our objections.  What do we do? Exhausted

Dear Exhausted, Make it clear to your sister that you will not accept responsibility for caring for your mother at home.  If your sister insists on bringing her home, involve the social worker and adult protection if necessary.  Your sister cannot force you to assume responsibility.



24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

Reblogged, I love this.

Warning:Curves Ahead

This morning, as I was perusing my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and it triggered Maximum Eye-Rolling from everyone who took the time out to read it.

Written by Kallie Provencher for, this “article” (I use the term loosely) highlighted things such as “leopard print”, “graphic tees”, and “short dresses” (because “By this age, women should know it’s always better to leave something to the imagination”). Kallie, it seems, has a number of opinions on what women over 30 should and shouldn’t be doing, having also penned “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own” and “20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting Online”. (What is this magical post-30 land where women are suddenly not allowed to do or own so many things?!)

Motivated by Kallie’s “article”, I decided to…

View original post 305 more words

Finger-licking Good

Yesterday afternoon about three-thirty, I was preparing to put a chicken in the oven to roast for a sensible dinner. Over the course of the next ten minutes, the electricity flashed off, then on again two or three times. Normally when this happens, it goes off for good. I decided on my back up plan for the chicken. Though I have a gas stove. The oven won’t work when the power goes off, so I lit the burner with a match and fried the chicken, a less healthy and much welcomed choice. When I served dinner, still with no power, Bud passed on the healthy side salad, and probably had the best dinner he’d had In a while, fried chicken and butternut squash pie, all the good stuff and not too much pesky nutrition. He was a happy man.

Bodies Beautiful

Reblogged from Cordelia’s Mom, Still.

Cordelia's Mom, Still


I’m happy to say that I didn’t cry after all.

As my mother wished, upon her death three years ago, we donated her body to the local medical school – State University of New York at Buffalo (UB).  Every 18 months or so, UB holds a memorial service for the families of all those whose bodies have been used to train new medical students.  Today was the service which included my mother.

You will recall from a recent post that notice of this service hit me hard, but I felt I owed it to Mom to honor her memory.   Although I knew the service would be for more than just my own mother, I expected it to be a rather small ceremony attended by maybe 30 or 40 people.

Last night, we learned there would be around 500 people in attendance!, and I seriously debated the wisdom of attending what…

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Dear Auntie Linda

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I was out to dinner with a group of friends from work when John, an old boyfriend, spotted me and stopped by our table. We were a couple for a few months until I realized he was a narcissist and I realized I needed out. I don’t know why I ever went out with him to start with since he had three ex-wives and four children. We remained on vaguely friendly terms, so I wasn’t surprised he stopped off speak to me. me. Part of the reason we broke up was because I found out he cheated with old girlfriends the whole time I thought we were in a committed relationship. That, and the fact the he became more critical and more manipulative the whole time we were together. I am now happily married with a new baby., now, and want nothing to do with him. One of our group posted a picture with names of everyone in our party.

When I came back from three months maternity leave, Jody, one of my office mates was excited to tell me that John messaged her after seeing her on Facebook. John has moved in with her, and they plan to marry right away. She was over the moon with joy. “John treats me like a princess. John is crazy about my kids. We go out to dinner every night. He wants to get married right away and have a baby.” She is a friend as well as co worker. I feel awful for her. She is smitten. This is John’s pattern, as I sadly learned.

I was very non-commital, but am torn over what, if anything, I should say to her. I don’t want her to think I am still interested in John. On one hand, I like Jody and work in the office next to her. She knows John and I were a couple and has asked a few questions. I don’t want to go into our history, but feel sure she is headed for trouble. I dread having to see it firsthand, especially at work on a daily basis. Should I try to tip her off or just let the chips fall? Been There

Dear Been There, If Jody asks for advice, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give generic advice like, “I always encourage people to take the time to get to know their fiancé well before jumping in with both feet.” Chances are, she’s made up her mind. Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, my husband and I are retired. We both worked hard and split the chores while we worked. I did most of the housekeeping, cooking, and laundry. He did the mowing, car care, and bill-paying. Since we retired, I work outdoors a lot, because I enjoy it, still cook two meals a day, and do all the household chores. The problem is, I spend a lot more time working now that he does. He doesn’t want to pick up any household chores or pay for cleaning help, even though we can easily afford it. How do we settle this? Katie the Cleaning Lady

Dear Katie, Is your husband inclined to be fair in general? Sounds like he doesn’t want to give up a good deal. It depends on whether you are willing to do. If he is unwilling to do some swapping, let him eat whatever he wants to fix for dinner and leave his laundry. Cold cereal, peanut butter, baloney sandwiches and canned soup are way cheaper than big meals. You could save grocery money and pay cleaning help. If he is not interested in change, it’s up to you. Let some stuff go. Auntie Linda