Saturday, January 30, 2010

I thought the blog was dead.....

but I was wrong.

See....I'm still living with Lucy....but now that she's passed, I'm living with lucy's STUFF.

And gran had a shit load of stuff. She was too neat to be a hoarder, but every drawer, every closet, every cranny was packed with shit.

See this is where I get it from. But the difference was that it was MY shit before and now this is someone else's shit.

And I'm exhausted like I never have been before. So the thought of dealing with it makes me want to cry. Or nap. Or both. But who am I kidding. Most things make me want to nap. Or cry. *laughs* or hurl. That's the fun side effect of Jr Mint.

So its been just over a month and I've stayed pretty quiet, as it's hard for my family to come over and deal with her memories and such. But I am living in the old lady palace and really ready to make it my own. With a baby on the way and the idea that this is going to be MY house for the next couple of years or so (at least the next year and a half, but probably longer) I want to make it MINE.

Which means getting rid of grans stuff.

Which is shockingly hard for some members of the fam to deal with. The blinds in the den were old, sticky, dirty and a gummy plastic mess. They needed to be changed while gran was alive. It was one of my projects. One of the six sets (the den has 3 huge windows in it) was held in with SCOTCH tape. Not even duct tape or something merit worthy....nope, old yellowed brittle scotch tape. SO I ordered roman shades in white. I took down the flowered chinz curtains that were in there, and the yucky yellowed blinds and replaced them with plain white roman shades.

Holy shit.

You would have thought I committed a crime. I also replaced a few pictures with ones that I wanted up, replaced a few lamps and a rug.

One family members reaction was "What did you DO to the den"

Well.....I changed the window treatments. I also took out an aging air conditioner, and really made the den a storage area until the furniture is gone (there is NO WAY IN HELL I would ever put my butt in the red chair. That is just yucky) and the stuff is going to go.

But somehow to some that is wrong.

Oy. So this morning I told my mom that I would like to have the giant estate sale by the middle of March. So I can start doing what I need to do to make the joint mine.

Seeing as how I'm supposed to be living here, it's time for me to LIVE here and not just live at grans house. I am an adult....I wanna live at Kenna's house.

And that does not include lace ANYTHING.

Nor does it include frilly curtains, flowers, newspaper cut outs stapled to the walls, or cloests full of 40 year old styrofoam plates and clocks that have different birds chirping on the hour.

For me it includes white curtains, simple roman shades and no table cloths....I'm really a pottery barn girl living in the victorian parlor....I'm starting to ITCH from all the lace!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Goodbye Gran

Today is a sad day...

Today is the day we are losing Gran. Right now I sit at home with a miserable cold and they took gran off her respirator in the hospital.

Two days ago Gran was nice to Tim for the first time. Shocked the pants off of both of us. Monday morning he came over, we were going to have breakfast, do some shopping, get ready for christmas. So he was here, I made breakfast and we ate and then left. When we came back Gran was sitting in her red chair and got up. She looked at Tim for the first time and instead of glaring at him like a serial killer and asking me in a loud stage wisper who that mans is, she smiled her gap tooth smile and said hello.

I was really tired and not feeling well so I laid down. I heard Gran wandering about like she was on patrol (which was odd for 1 in the afternoon, but not the end of the world) and then fell asleep. When I woke up a couple hours later I couldn't find Gran.

She wasn't in the yard. She wasn't in the kitchen, she wasn't in the red chair. So I opened her bedroom door and there was gran.

Side note. I am 32. In all of my years, I can honestly say that I can NEVER remember my grandmother being in bed during the day. Ever. Not at all. It just is NOT done. The woman would get up, put her clothes on, fix her face and be up for the day. On that note, I don't really ever remember her getting sick, but that's another story.

Anyway, she was in bed, covers drawn over her in a fetal position. I was immediately concerned.

Gran are you ok?

No, I'm sick.

What's wrong Gran?

I'm sick. My stomach hurts.

Gran get up, lets take you to the doctor.

NO. I'm not going to the doctor.

Then she rolled over and put her back to me. Stubborn to the end!

Gran. You are sick. You need to go to the doctor. I will call an ambulance.

Anna I am not going to the doctor!

So being the dutiful grandaughter I am, I called my mom and said YOU come over here and deal with her. So my mom did. She ended up having to call 911 and they took her by ambulance to the hospital.

She had a hiatial hernia and her stomach was literally twisted. They decided to do surgery and by that time her stomach had ruptured. Her blood pressure was very very low. And then her kidneys failed.

As a family, it was decided to just make her comfortable. She is 91. She has lived a very long life.

I think Gran knew it was time. The next discussion we were going to have was assisted living. She needed a lot more care than I could give her. I was starting to be worn thin, and my mom as well. I think the Assisted Living conversation would have left a deep and painful rift in our family. We always promised that she was going to stay in her house, and we would do all we could do to keep her here.

She got that wish. She lived in her house til the very end.

That was my gift to Gran. That she was able to live her last days in her own house.

I think Tim and our baby (for those of you who don't yet know, I'm pregnant) is Grans gift to me. I have been blessed with my very own family.

Bye Gran. I love you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A new phase in Lucyland....

Tonight is the night before Turkey day and I've been cooking up a storm, just as every other American woman the night before a food holiday.

And Harriet the spy can't stand when anyone is doing anything and her nose isn't in the center of the action. I've said before, Lucy's hygiene leaves something to be desired.

And I'm a little feisty when I'm cooking for other people.

So as Gran wanders into the kitchen in the middle of my baking frenzy and looks at my cranberry white chocolate muffins and starts to walk toward them I intercept her.

Gran please don't touch the muffins. If you want to be in the kitchen you need to wash your hands.

(she stares at me with her mouth open wide enough to catch flies)

Kenna what are you saying?

I'm saying that you need to wash your hands before you start touching things in the kitchen.

(she stares at me again)

My hands is clean.

No gran, they aren't. Please wash your hands.

Oh shit. Don't tell me what to do!

(she stalks off)

Three minutes later Gran is back in the kitchen. I'm guarding my muffins and she's looking at them with a gleam in her eye.

Gran, if you're going to be in the kitchen, you need to wash your hands, with SOAP.

(she stares at me and starts to go for the muffins. See every time I bake she likes to touch EVERY SINGLE MUFFIN on the cooling rack)

Gran, don't touch my muffins.

Oh shit Kenna. Don't tell me what to do. I can't even look.

Gran if you're going to be in the kitchen wash your hands.

She stalks off muttering oh shit don't tell me what to do.

Five minutes later here comes gran!

We have the same conversation, complete with a Go to hell Kenna!

and then she tells me that she's not going to eat anything I cook.

Then she stalks off and I tell her goodnight and she ignores me.

Huh? She's not speaking to me? Really? SWWWEEEETTTTTT

I finished my baking without gran in the kitchen.

It was baking bliss.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coffee, Tinfoil pans and salt...NOT a great combo!

Gran is a disaster in the kitchen.

I have been REALLY trying to keep her out of the kitchen. She used to be a fantastic cook, but now her tastebuds are gone, she does gross things like using her fingers when they are obviously not clean, and has less than zero memory so she forgets what she's doing and either leaves things out, overcooks, burns, etc. It's a regular clusterfuck when she starts, so I try to keep her far far away from the kitchen..

Cuz bad things happen when I let her in.

Last night I was making a beautiful chicken stock. Picture perfect. Magazine ready. I got the recipe from Real Simple....chicken carcass, fresh herbs, peppercorns, onion, garlic, carrots slowly simmered over a low flame for several hours, to a beautiful golden, ready to be the base for my soups all winter (it freezes beautifully). I was cooling it before I strained it as not to burn my fingers. Gran had gone poking in the kitchen a time or two (or three) while I was cooking it, but I am quicker than she is and managed to foil her attempts to put her old lady nose where it doesn't MY pot.

Then I had to pee. Heaven forbid I had to use the bathroom.

I come out and gran is hovering over my pot....WITH THE SALT IN HER HAND.


That soup needs salt!


Kenna don't tell me what to do. Don't tell me how to cook. I know how to cook. That soup needs salt.


I ripped the salt and the spoon out of her hand, not before she managed to get at least a tablespoon of salt in my stock and nearly ruined it....and she slammed the lid down on the pot.

I had to leave, I was boiling.

That was yesterday.

Today I come home from work and running errands near 5ish. Gran is in the kitchen. Red flags go off in my head when gran is in the kitchen. I notice she's hovering around the microwave pushing buttons.

No biggie right?


Gran has put her "Meals on Wheels" dinner in the microwave. IN A TINFOIL PAN. It says RIGHT on the top of the meal "DO NOT MICROWAVE" and she puts it in the microwave.

For 12 minutes. (yes, twelve).

I see the shiny tin foil and LEAP across the kitchen to open the microwave. Gran has already started the slow crawl out of the kitchen.




I stare at her gape mouthed and dumbfounded. She is going to burn the house down. She does NOT microwave them all the time, because I am the one who gets her dinner 90% of the time.

So I plate her dinner and put it back in the microwave. Then I bring her her dinner in her chair where it's safe. She's not in the kitchen.

And I start to clean the kitchen. And I noticed that the coffee filter had what appeared to be very finely ground coffee in it.

Very fine.

and I look closer and it's not coffee at all. I pick it up and sniff. Hummm....well it's not all bran.

It's cinnamon.

Yes. Gran brewed Cinnamon.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pineapple pie

Gran loves Pineapple pie. I think it's gross, but gran LOVES it. That works for me as I'm trying to lose weight, and so I try not to keep the stuff that i love in the house. It reduces temptation, and the desire to snack and eat all those things i'm not supposed to eat.

My mom normally buys her pineapple pies when they are on clearence at Ralphs, and that's fine because they don't last long at all.

Gran eats pineapple pie for breakfast, she eats pineapple pie for a snack, she eats it for dessert and in two days *poof* the whole pie is gone.

So Tuesday night gran had dinner as normal, I fed her before I left for my errands....she had a pretty big dinner too. When I left there was just slightly more than 2/3 of a pie.

I came back and there was about half a pie left and there was a sticky plate by her chair and so I knew she had eaten dessert.

9pm gran is wandering in the kitchen. She takes a knife, cuts a sliver of pineapple pie and eats it on her way to the sink. She washes her hands, dries them on the towel and turns around to leave the kitchen.

She spies the pie and gets waylaid.

She cuts another sliver of pineapple pie and eats it, goes to the sink and washes her sticky fingers, wipes down the counter and turns to leave the kitchen.

You guessed it. She spied the pie a third time. She walks over to the pie (I am watching this highly amused) cuts a slightly larger piece this time, puts it in her palm, grabs a napkin for cleaning purposes, takes a big ole bite and then opens the fridge.

She ponders for a moment.

I think she's going for the milk. However, I just bought a new gallon and the gallons are a bit hard for her to hold and swill from.

Oh no. She grabs the non-dairy creamer. lifts the carton to her lips and swigs.

I looked on in horror.


She puts the carton down.


What do you mean so?? I have to use that too! GROSS. Gran that is gross.

She tells me to go to hell.


Yup, we are back to that!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Those damn kids and the red beans.

The red beans are back!!!

Gran is obsessive about the yard. She is out there at least two or three times a day in good weather sweeping and cleaning. We literally have the cleanest yard in the neighborhood (well except for the crazy guy that lives across the street, Bert and Ernie's son who is almost as obsessive as gran and he's not 91 or senile) anyway I digress.

Gran sweeps the leaves, picks up the pine needles one at a time sometimes (and occasionally sweeps the grass). We have a large pine tree in the front of the house (HUGE is a better way to describe it) as well as a beautiful large jacaranda tree. On the side of the house (we live on a corner) we have two beautiful magnolia trees that bloom and smell fantastic in the spring and summer. In the fall they lose their leaves and the flowers go to seeds. (remember this! It's important later. There will be a test).

So a couple years ago my mom goes to grans house and gran has been in the yard and on a paper towel in the kitchen is a bunch of what look like red beans or pomegranate seeds.

Mom what are these?


Huh? Where'd you get beans?

Those damn kids! They are throwing them in the grass. I picked them up.

They didn't look like food, so momma throws them away.

Fast forward a few years. I've heard this story and I know what she was talking about, but alas I forget all about it, and a few days ago I'm getting ready to leave and gran is outside sweeping. She has a handful of something and hands it to me.

Gran what is this?


I laugh. She tells me to put them in the house.

I throw them in the trash....see the "beans" are really the seeds from the magnolia tree (remember the test?) that have fallen....every fall the seed pods open and thousands of red "beans" litter the lawn.

Gran picks them up one by one from the lawn (picture my little old lady leaning heavily on a broom bending from the waist to harvest the "beans" from her lush and green lawn)

Awwww. Sometimes she's actually cute.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When you come to grans house, don't drink the milk.

Trust me. You just might find lipstick stains on the carton. Gran likes to drink from the carton. Because this grosses me out to no end, and I do all the grocery shopping, we now have separate everything.

Gran has milk, OJ, coffee creamer and juice on the door or on the shelf eye level.

I have milk, OJ, Coffee Creamer and Juice hidden on the very bottom shelf of the door of the fridge. Out of sight outta mind. (this really does work!)

And I had a realization the other day that I better hide the egg beaters. It's in a "milk" type carton, and I'm afraid she's gonna see "egg" and think it's "egg nog" (a favorite of grans) and swill outta that too. And since Salmonilla isn't a type of seafood, and I don't particularly want to spend any more nights in the ER of Long Beach Memorial, it's safely hidden in the back, behind a few things.

See gran's eyesight ain't what it used to be. And she likes to open the fridge, and grab a carton and go to town.

Yes, I wrote that correctly. She swills from the continer of EVERYTHING.

And she's 91.

I know she has the consitution of cast iron, the old woman used to strain the curdles out of milk and still drink it (if you want a hilarious rendition of this story, ask my cousin Dan. He will leave you in stitches) Anyway, she doesn't believe in throwing out old milk, and she doesn't believe in dirtying a class when she just wants a "swaller" of something.

So it's fairly normal for the milk, and the oj continer to have lipstick on the rim.

Like I said....don't drink it! look down, and you will see my stock. Feel free to grab a glass out of the cabinet (look for the ones in the back, I promise you they are clean. Beware of the ones in the front!) and have a good long drink, knowing that it's container hasn't been molested!