Uncle Albutt Part 5

Quite often, our family and friends would gather for a late evening meal.  While the kids ran wild in the dusk and on into the darkness, the women prepared a filling meal of beef stew or chili and cornbread.  It would be near bedtime by the time they called us in, hysterical  with chasing each other in and out of the darkness.  Of course we’d been warned against running in the dark, but staying in range of the lights was for sissies.  I’d be in a delicious frenzy of terror till I stepped back into the light, where all horrors vanished.   They would be so many kids we’d be settled on the floor with our supper in a pie or cake pan.  This was before budgets stretched to include paper plates.  It was an honor to sit on the floor with the big kids.  Babies and toddlers sat at the tables where their mamas could keep a grip on them.  Two or three dinners were always dumped on the floor and there was squalling a’plenty as mamas cleaned up the mess and resettled the messy kids.  The kids finished in short order and tore back outdoors while the adults took their turn at the

After the meal, it wasn’t unusual for the men to load up their guns, flashlights, thermoses of coffee, and the dogs for a night of hunting, leaving the women and children to visit.  Mamas gave their kids a cursory wipedown with a washcloth before bed, since it wouldn’t have been possible to bathe that many children and settled them on pallets on the floor, sometimes as many as six to the bed.  Mamas rocked the knee babies and lap babies to sleep before putting them on a bed flanked by pillows once the settling down started, the women started their stories.  I loved these nights, especially if Mawmaw was there.  She believed in ghosts and could make our blood run cold.  Mother worried about nightmares, but lacked the courage to shush her mother-in-law, for which I was grateful.  I NEEDED those stories. Mawmaw thrilled us with tales of babies buried alive, girls who died of broken hearts when their dead sweethearts appeared to them, and big black ghost dog, and ball lightning rolling through the house. The kids didn’t dare move off the pallet, they were so terrified. Fatigued by their play, finally they drifted off to sleep, one by one.

As the women talked, they thought they heard an intruder trying to get in the front door. Someone else scurried to check the back door, unsure if it was locked.  .  Had there been an intruder, he’d have had a horrible shock breaking in on half a dozen  terrified women and a gaggle of children.  Meanwhile Mother hurried to the door.  Thinking she’d scare him away with a bluff, she called out.  “I’ve got a gun.  I’m gonna shoot through the door!”

Aunt Jewel stood right behind her.  Obviously terrified, she shouted out.  “Well, don’t just stand there!  Go git your gun.  You ain’t got no gun!”  Fortunately, there was no intruder, or he thought he’d better not break in, since nothing happened.

 

A Hog a Day 12

Church was a trial for me. Daddy marched us into third pew from the front on the right side of church. He’d stomped out any hope of back- row giggling long before. I did look longingly at the lucky, wicked girls happily ensconced there, but had learned not to even ask to sit with a friend. We always filed in and took our seats in the same order. Daddy was first with Billy sandwiched between him and Mother. Mother held a baby on her lap. I was in easy reach next to Mother, with Phyllis and Connie, a toddler next to me. Sometimes during the service, Mother and Phyllis exchanged charges.

Phyllis, an adolescent, was the model of propriety, the darling of Sunday School teachers and choir directors. She’d have crawled to church on her hands and knees and sung a solo every Sunday if they’d let her. I compared poorly. Every Sunday I offered up excuses to avoid church. “My stomach hurts. I have an earache. I can’t find my shoes.” That last one was probably true! Billy and I could be depended upon to misbehave if allowed to sit together.

In preparation for the Sunday show, Mother spent endless hours sewing, starching, and ironing frilly dresses for us to show off at church. To ensure total misery, on Saturday night, she clamped me between her knees and twisted my fine hair into tight pin curls as I whined and wiggled. Invariably, she expressed the hope the some day I’d have fifteen girls with straight hair. Ironically, I have one daughter with curls. As final punishment, Mother wrapped my head in a scarf, and made me sleep on those damnable pins. Come morning, I was transformed into a kinky-headed mess in a Shirley Temple nightmare of a dress. I hated it.

The enforced quiet of church sermons was endless. In the days before ADD, I was BAD. My parents didn’t believe in providing distractions for restless children during church, offering up pre-sermon threats and terrifying looks, instead. I completely understood what was waiting at home if I messed up, so I passed the time manufacturing silent distractions.

Mr. Rose and Miss Bessie sat on the pew directly in front of us. He wore ancient gabardine suits with wide ties. He drifted off to sleep as soon as the preaching and his gastric system relaxed. Soon he regaled the congregation with a symphony of flabby farts. Poor Miss Bessie elbowed him to keep him awake and silent, but was no match for his system. It was a fascinating show, made all the more thrilling, since I was supposed to ignore it. How can you not notice farting in church?

 

Hair of the Dog Sweater

This is the prequal to yesterday’s post about dog sweaters.  I decided it might go nicely today.

My son John lives to torment my mother. Buzzy, our American Eskimo Dog sheds incessantly, making us vacuum every day to stay ahead of him. One day my husband Bud noticed a big paper bag on the mantle stuffed full of Buzzy’s combings, hair pulled from his brush, and hair swept from the floor. Amazed, Bud asked, “What in the world is this bag of dog hair doing up here?”

Mother chimed in, “Oh, that’s Buzzy’s hair I saved up for your sweater.” This was the first Bud had heard of his dog hair sweater. He thought maybe Mother had finally come unhinged. “What dog hair sweater?”

“The one you’re going to get the woman at work to make for you out of Buzzy’s hair.” Mother thought Bud was losing it. “John told me to be careful to gather up all the hair I could find every time I came over so that woman you work with can spin it and make it into a sweater for you. How long do you think it will take to get enough?”

Poor Bud had to break her heart. “John’s been pulling your leg, again. There ain’t gonna be no dog hair sweater.”

 

 

My son, John

John as Jason

 

Happy Ninetieth Birthday

I had the pleasure of hosting Mother’s ninetieth birthday party Saturday May, 5th.  My mother’s only first cousin brought her an unusual gift, their grandmother’s hat.  Above, you can see Mother wearing it.  I looks kind of like a cow patty.  It must have been intended to be perched on a bun, since it is so small.  Mother said one of her earliest memories is of her grandmother in that small hat.

Here Mother is pictured with her five children.  Below my grandchildren make the acquaintance   of a lizard.  Don’t worry.  The lizard was unharmed.

 

 

Below, My granddaughter is investigating some yard art in my backyard.  I wish these cousins could play together every day, but they live across the country from each other.

Just love these images of little guys having fun.

 

Kathleen Swain in her new birthday hat, complete with tags

 

 

Icy Showers and Rotten Sausage

Cousin Kat was tight. We always took plenty of food when we went to visit, knowing how “conservative” she was. She thought three rolls, three scrambled eggs, a little jam and a dab of butter was plenty for any number of guests there might be for breakfast. “I just don’t think there’s any point in folks being hoggish,” was her favorite phrase as she set out a meal. She was a devout believer and had probably heard that story about Jesus feeding the multitudes on five loves and three fishes one too many times.

A few days before our last visit, someone had given Cousin Kat some fresh homemade sausage. She’d eaten a bit and saved some for us. That sounded fine till I opened her tiny 1940 model refrigerator to get some water. The rank smell of bad meat nearly knocked me down. “Ooh, Cousin Kat, I think something’s gone bad in here!”

“Oh, it’s not bad. It’s just that sausage Barney gave me. It’s real spicy!” She answered, totally unconcerned. “I’m gonna cook it up for supper.”

I made up my mind then and there to eat popcorn. I’ve never smelled a spice that mimicked the smell of rotting meat so closely. Mother and Phyllis both found other options. Count Kat cooked that sausage and ate up all by herself, since she was determined not to let it go to waste. It stunk the whole house up with its nauseating odor as it cooked. We all told her it smelled like it might have “gone to the bad.” She disagreed.

We planned a road trip for the four of us to go into Amish Country and packed a nice picnic …no sausage. Phyllis and Cousin Kat decided to take their showers the evening before so The four of us wouldn’t be competing in the morning. Cousin Kat told her how she could run a bit of water in the tub, sit on the edge, wash her face, ears, neck, then her body before washing the best parts and her feet. That way, she could get by with just a little of that expensive hot water. Well, I do believe I heard the shower running while Phyllis was in there, despite her lesson. Cousin Kat perked up her ears, too. When Phyllis came out, Cousin Kat said, “I hope you stopped up the tub and saved your water for me. Just one person don’t mess up bath water none.” Shamefaced, Phyllis had to admit she run it all down the drain. Cousin Kat gave her a look.

We went on to bed. I snore and talk in my sleep, so no one would bunk in with me. I am always early to bed, so I took the small bedroom. Cousin Kat gave Mother an inflatable mattress her son had left there to put on the living floor. Unfortunately, he had taken the pump home with him, so they sent a great deal of time trying to inflate it with a small hand-held hairdryer, the wrong tool for the job. Eventually, it approximated a mattress, though it flattened out the minute Mother reclined on it. They hadn’t bothered to pad the floor with quilts, so Mother was freezing the minute she lay down that frosty October evening. She got up, dragged her covers tote old-fashioned bi-fold sofa and tried to warmup. It was hard, lumpy, and had a couple of exposed springs but it was better than the icy floor.

Meanwhile, things weren’t going much better for Phyllis in the large, unheated upstairs bedroom. She’d chosen it because she liked to sleep in the cold. She’d dawdled and was the last to get to bed. I was quickly asleep though I kept up a listen for retching during the night, expecting Cousin Kat to come down with food poisoning, but the next thing I knew, Phyllis was climbing in the small creepy bed with me. “I thought you were too good to sleep with me.” I reminded her.

“I am, but when I got upstairs and switched on that dim overhead light, and everything looked fine, but when I turned back the quilts, rice scattered all over the place. I couldn’t imagine why rice would be on the bed, like that. I turned on that little flashlight Cousin Kat gave me and saw the bed and floor covered in mouse pellets. Mice were scattering everywhere. I can’t sleep up there with all those mice. She was mad! I was laughing so hard the springs were creeping. We sounded like honeymooners.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t sleep well, I talk in my sleep. In truth, it’s much worse than that. I curse and hurl epithets, language I’d never use during waking hours. Once I drifted off, Phyllis and I rolled up in that ancient mattress like a couple of hotdogs in a bun. She swears I shoved her and screamed at her to “get the f…. Out of here. I don’t remember a thing about it!

In a huff, she got up in search of a place to sleep. Seeing that Mother had abandoned the perfectly good air mattress, she gave it a try. Of course, it put her right on the floor. Not to be defeated, she folded it in half and stretched out. That was a little better. Just as she drifted off, it gave up the ghost and blew out. Hearing all the racket, Mother and I got up to help. I invited her to share my bed, but she was mad and wouldn’t have any part of it. Mother offered to share the bi-fold sofa, but there was no way that would work. She ended up spendinding the rest of the night wrapped in a blanket trying to sleep in a not-so-easy chair.

We got up early to Have breakfast and get ready for our trip. At the kitchen table, We chatted over breakfast and sipped coffee. Mother and Phyllis lied about the extent of their miserable night. Phyllis had to come up with an excuse about abandoning the mousy attic. Cousin Kat polished off the last piece of the rancid sausage with her breakfast.

I got the first shower, keeping it short, since I remembered Cousin Kat’s lesson. It was pleasantly hot, but Mother said Cousin Kat ducked down to the basement to “get something” while I showered. Mother was next in line. When she got in, the water was nice and hot while she soaped up, but in just a minute, an icy blast hit her. Obviously, Cousin Kat’s basement errand was to cut off the water heater. The water came from a spring, so Mother’s hot shower was over. She had to wipe the soap off with a wet washcloth dipped in icy water.

She was furious when she shivered out of her shower, accusing me of using all the hot water.
“Mother, I wasn’t in there but a couple of minutes. I didn’t use that much!”

All the while, Cousin Kat sat humming contentedly, finally offering, “Oh well, that water heater’s old. I guess it just gave out.” Only the day before she’d told us that her son had just put in a new one, over her objections. “I can heat what water I need on the stove and save the heating bill.” She made no mention of turning off the water heater.

Finally, the cold, sleepy bunch was ready to start the trip.

To be continued

Crazy Charlsie Part Part 15

Charley never spoke of Marzell’s visit.  Coming down early the next morning, he sat down to breakfast with his father and Cora.  He buttered a couple of biscuits and poured syrup over them. “I’m starving!  Can I get some eggs and bacon, too?”

”Why, shore, Honey.  You need to put some meat back on them bones.”  She grinned putting a cup of coffee with lots of cream before him.  “Them eggs will be ready in just a minute.”  In no time, a plate of grits, eggs and bacon sat in front of him.

Charles was delighted to see Charley downstairs and hungry, but was careful not to overdo it.”Good to see you up and about so early.  I guess you’re back trying to eat me out of house and home like your brothers.”

“I feel good, Dad.  Do you think you could take me out to the farm? I want to work with Robert and Bobby.  Farm work will make a man of me if anything will.”  Charley was clearly ready to get on with life.

“Let me make a quick call.  It’s my half-day and I only have two appointments.  Dr. Jones can pick them up for me.  He owes me, anyway.  He just got back off vacation and ought to be plenty rested.”  In just a minute he was back.  “We’re all set.  Cora, can you give Bessie a call and let her know we’d love some of her fried chicken for lunch if she has a fat chicken penned up.”

“Dr. Charles, could you bring me back some eggs, fresh cream, buttermilk, and greens.  If the dewberries are ready, could Freddy pick me some?  Oh, and if possible, could you bring me a rooster.  Bessie done tol’ me she was gonna git  Robert to fasten one up when I talked to her last week.  It sure would be handy if you could bring it.  I got to make some chicken and dumplings and chicken and dressing for my church’s Sunday Dinner on the grounds? You know I’ll make plenty for y’all, too.  Ginny has been beggin’ to go to services with me ever’ since she found out we gonna have baptizin’ this Sunday.  She never wants to miss that.  I sure hope they’s enough dewberries for me to make cobbler and put some up.  Y’all seem like you can’t never git enough dewberry jam.

After the weeks of languishing about, Charley welcomed the normalcy of the morning.  He knew he’d always held a special place in Charles’s heart and Cora was simply, Cora, the only mother he’d ever known and his soft place to fall.

Just then, Ginny came banging down the stairs.  “Cora!  Charley ate all the bacon and grits! That ain’t right!  You know bacon and grits are my favorite!”

“Don’t you go startin’ nothing with Charley.  If you hadn’t been so lazy, you’d a got yore share.  Sit down and drink this milk and eat a biscuit while I make you some bacon and eggs, but grits takes a while.  Are you gonna still want some if I fix’em?”

“Since Charley got all the grits, can you make me some chocolate gravy? That don’t take long.   I love that.”  In a bargaining mood, felt she might have an advantage.

“How would know how long it takes to make chocolate gravy, young miss?  I ain’t never caught you cookin’ none.”  Cora was already getting out the pan and the cocoa.

“Ooh, thank you, Cora.  I love you.”  She leaned against Cora, always ready for a hug.

“Huh, you loves chocolate gravy.  You’d hug a hobo if he made you chocolate gravy.”  Her smile belied her gruff words.

Charles pushed out his chair and leaned back in his chair.  “Can I get another cup of coffee!”  obviously, basking in the wonder of a happy morning.  They’d survived many hard times in the past and would face challenges in the future, but today was a good day.

 

Chocolate Gravy (Serve over hot biscuits)

1/4 c. cocoa

3 tbs flour (can sub 1 1/2 tbs corn starch for 1 1/2 tbs flour for ease in getting rid of lumps if desired)

3/4 c. white sugar

12 ounce can evaporated milk.  (not sweetened, condensed milk)  Add 4 ounces water to bring up to 2 cups.  Can use fat-free if desired.(Ha!!)

1 tbs softened butter

2 tsp vanilla

Whisk cocoa, flour and sugar in dry sauce pan together till smooth.  Stir in milk and whisk till well-mixed.  (corn starch makes this easier)  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 7-10 minutes till it reaches consistency of gravy.  Off course it will scorch if not stirred constantly.  Add vanilla and butter and stir till well-mixed.

Get all you want before you serve it.  It goes quickly.  I used to make this for my kids for rainy days and holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

Bucket List for a Spring Chicken Part 2

 

This battered beauty makes  every mile with Mother.  I will never forgive my daughter-in-law, Carissa, for gifting Mother with it when Mother complained  her old one had worn out.  I’d been looking forward to its demise for a while.   Except for that betrayal,  Carissa is a perfect DIL.  Please note the frayed seams and the deluxe cat collar fortifying its temperamental zipper.  Though lots of folks think it’s a fanny pack, Mother wears it prominently displayed in front where no one will catch her by surprise.

While we’re on the subject of money, when Mother told my brother she couldn’t afford her ticket, he put one hundred dollars in her account.  One concerned sister gave her two hundred, enough for the trip and spending money.  Lest you think that money went on her trip, it disappeared deep into the bowels of her savings account.  Financially, that trip worked out really well for her.

The three of us caught the train in Marshall, Texas, unaware the price of the shuttle from the Shreveport Airport seven miles from home was included in the ticket.  You can be sure we caught the shuttle on the way home, sparing Bud the return drive for pickup. Mother was as excited as a kid at Christmas as we boarded Amtrak.  We found seats on the second floor of the coach.  They were spacious and comfortable, a delight after air travel.  Mother made fast friends with the conductor.  We spent a great portion of our ride in the lounge car.  I highly recommend it.

During our four-hour layover in Fort Worth, we had time for a leisurely lunch downtown When the eager waiter whisked her leftover chicken salad back to the kitchen without asking if she was done, he had to come up with a replacement for take out. Mother always gets at least two meals out of a restaurant meal, especially after she gleans the leftovers off her dining partner’s plates. Back at the waiting room in the depot, Shirley and I made a quick trip to the bathroom, leaving Mother alone for just a few minutes.  We should have known better.  On our return, Mother was deep in conversation with an elderly gentleman who’d moved to the seat next to her.  I warned him she’d already buried seven husbands and he ran like a rabbit.  I told Mother a long time ago I didn’t want any more mean brothers and sisters, but still have to remind her occasionally. I guess that poor man didn’t want a mean daughter, either. I didn’t get a chance to tell him I was kidding.

An hour or so before we got to Oklahoma City, our host called to see if we were still coming the next day.  “No, we’ll be there in an hour.” Fortunately, she picked us up anyway.

More to come……

Just Folks Getting By Finale

 

Ben brought Uncle Amos home to supper that night, just like he always did on Thursdays.  Lucille did herself proud with fried chicken.  Jenny made mashed potatoes, English Pea Salad, and sliced fresh garden tomatoes.

“Ladies, I haven’t had a meal this good since I don’t know when.  Lucille, I been thinking about asking you to marry me, and your fried chicken just made up my mind.”  He said.

“Well, I hope it don’t break yore heart, but I already been married plenty.  I like to do things my way.  I don’t want to have to take care of nobody no more.  I don’t mind cooking you up some fried chicken once in a while, though.”  She laughed. 

“Well, that’s a relief.  I really ain’t partial to gittin’ married again either, but I sure admire your fried chicken.”  Everybody got a laugh out of that.

Jenny brought out coffee and pie, then told Ben.  “Mama and I want to talk to you about something.  Mama wants to buy Miss Dolly’s shop.  Miss Dolly needs three thousand dollars.  Mama has fifteen hundred.  I am thinking I’d like to go in with her.  You know I’ve got a little saved from before we got married.  Lucy could go to work with me.  There’s a little bed/sitting room opening right onto the shop where she could nap and play.  That way, I could work and not have to leave her.  What do you think?”

Lucille spoke before Ben had time to respond.  “Now before you worry over this too much, Ben, I want you to know.  I ain’t expecting to live with you.  I can move into the back of the shop. I want my own place.  I don’t want to be dependin’ on nobody for a place to live.  It was good of Shirley and Martin to let me fix up their garage apartment, but I don’t want to feel like I am in their way.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Martin’s mama didn’t want to move in there.  The house was hers to start with.  I sure don’t want to cause no family trouble.  I don’t mean for Jenny to go in with me if you’d rather not. Dolly has already suggested I could pay it out by the month if I haf’ to.  She ain’t had no other offers.”

“Let’s just do the figures and see how it works out.  Jenny has her own money to use as she pleases. You know I’m not the kind of fellow to take from my wife. I like the idea of her having Lucy with her.  Jerry wants more hours, anyway.  Uncle Amos is there in the mornings.  All that kind of fits in with something I was thinking about, anyway.  Jenny’s idea of coffee and treats has really caught on.  You know the hardware store and Dolly’s Shop have an adjoining wall.  How would you feel about opening up between and I could give my customers a coupon and they could come over there for a free coffee?  They could buy their own snack.  That would help us both.”  Ben looked thoughtful.  “It might just work.  What do you think, Uncle Amos?  You are a good businessman.  Do you think it’s a good idea?”

“It sure sounds good to me.  I believe folks would always go for free coffee.  I expect they’d turn a good profit.  I believe me and you could open up the space between the two stores and not have to hire nobody to do that work.  I did all the work around my store.  I never wanted to pay for no work I could do myself.”  Amos looked enthusiastic at the thought of getting his hands dirty.

“I can’t see any reason not to do this.  I believe we’d all come out well.”  Ben admitted. “Let’s get cracking.”

“If you don’t mind me makin’ a long distance call, I guess I’d better call Shirley an’ let her know she’s gonna need a baby sitter.  I have an idea it will be a relief to her,” Lucille said.  “I’ll get the operator to call back and let me know what the charge is so I can pay you back.  I don’t usually call long distance, but I want to talk to Dolly before somebody else gits the place.”

“You go right ahead, but you are not paying us back for that call.” Ben told her.

Lucille was gone about ten minutes.  “Well, Shirley took it real good.  She told me she’s about four months along and she ain’t goin’ back to teachin’ this fall.  She’s really looking forward to finally gittin’ to stay home with a baby.  She had to go back when school started in the fall with the other three.  She did ask if I could come stay a couple of weeks when the baby comes, though.  I told her I figured you could handle things.  Turns out, it’s good I come up with somethin’ else anyway.  Old Lady Benson has been houndin’ Marty about wantin’ my apartment.  She thinks she’s still got a claim to it since they bought the house from her.  He told her I’d done put three thousand dollars in it an’ it wasn’t up to him.  She told him she’d give me four thousand if I’d give it up.  I told Marty to tell her, it’d sure hurt me but I guess I’d do it.  If she wants to keep that new stove, icebox, and curtains I put in I told him she could have them for two hundred fifty dollars more.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to git them out of a hard spot.  I don’t envy Shirley none, havin’ that old lady in her back yard, but she says she can handle it.

Six months later:

Lucille walked in Jenny’s Sweet Shop and surprised Jenny at the register.  “Mama, why in the world didn’t you tell us you were coming on the bus today?  Seems like you were gone a year instead of just three weeks.  Uncle Amos was planning to drive over and pick you Sunday!  I can’t fuss, though.  I am so glad to see you. I’d dance a jig if I could, but Lucy and this big old baby under my apron are ‘bout to wear me out. I can’t believe I’ve still got five months to go! Uncle Amos has been having to help me half a day every day.  Come on in and I’ll get us a cup of coffee.  Lucy, come see!  Grandma’s back.  Tell me all about that new baby.”

“Oh, she’s a pretty little red-headed blue-eyed thing with the curliest eyelashes you ever saw, just like you and Jimmy!  I got some real cute pictures of all the kids.  Old Lady Benson was claiming credit for them eyelashes the whole time.  You know, I always talked about the eyelashes on my babies.  Whooee!  I’m glad I don’t have to put up with that woman no more!  She tried to talk me down to a hundred and fifty dollars for that new stove and icebox I put in.  I held out for two-hundred fifty and she gave up and paid it, once she found out I had another seller lined up.  Lord, that woman is hard to please.

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/just-folks-getting-by-part-1/

Link to first post in this serial

Quirky Family Evening

img_1799Kathleen Swain and her children.  Front left to right, Connie Miller, Kathleen Swain, Marilyn Grisham, Phyllis Barrington.  Back row, Linda Bethea and Bill Swain.  How did she ever birth all these behemoths?

A few evenings ago, Mother and her five children met for dinner at a local restaurant.  Afterwards, we went to her house to visit.  As soon as we no longer had to be socially acceptable, we regressed into our former roles and behavior, teasing Mother and each other.  At various times, we ganged up on each other just like we always had, sometimes with one sibling, sometimes another.

Once we got all that settled, we started noting interesting things about Mother’s house. Does this clock situation look odd to anyone besides me?

img_1796It seems she has been meaning to call the clock repairman but just hasn’t really had time, besides, that other clock was on the clearance rack at Walmart for a dollar.  She never did explain the lightbulb accessory.  She looked around meaningfully at the crowd.  “I guess I could use my Christmas money, but ………..”  I wonder which loser will crack first.

After my brother left, she asked us to turn her mattress.  I didn’t get a picture, but each corner of her mattress is numbered.  She didn’t remember why.  I really didn’t need to know.

When we were sitting in her living room later, we notice that each of her four speakers has a number (or two) that matches a corresponding number on the ceiling. I will only offer one photo as proof.  For some reason, she had numbered a couple twice and added a letter.  She said the theory was on a need-to-know basis.  Fortunately, I don’t need to know.

img_1793

I am not concerned that Mother is developing dementia.  She is no different than she has ever been.  Oh, yes.  A large rubber band encircled the front door knob, despite the fact that she has a security system, dead-bolt, and safety bar propping door knob securely.  That’s so she will know the door is locked.  Go figure!