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!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's really weird looking coffee.....

Gran does not use a coffee pot. That is too complicated and makes too much coffee. She uses one of those plastic "one cup at a time" jobs from the grocery store and drinks decaf.

In my humble opinion decaf isn't coffee, it's brown water, but alas, that's what she drinks and she's happy with it and so we don't rock the boat. To each his/her own!

This morning I was doing one of my many chores and was cleaning the kitchen (it's imperative that I get it done because otherwise gran "cleans" (see previous post on cleaning) and we all know how gross THAT is.

So I'm happily washing the dishes when I look in grans cup and see a thick sludge, that is the color and texture of sand. Hummm....what have we here? So I think little of it and continue.

Then I grab the coffee dohickey that she uses to brew coffee. I look in it and there are fat brown pellets swelled up to the top.


this is really gross. They look like swollen dog food or hamster food....brown, icky pellets swollen twice their regular size.

I can't for the life of me figure out what it is in the coffee brewer with no filter, no nothing.

I decide to dump the whole mess out and the bottom is even worse. Then I realize exactly what is in the coffee maker.

Fiber One Cereal pellets. See, I started weight watchers and higher fiber=lower points so I have disgusting stuff like Fiber One in the house.

Why the hell is she using it as "coffee"?

Her jug of coffee is no where to be found. I finally locate it on top of the refrigerator, which is way taller than gran, so it makes perfect sense that she couldn't find it.

So in a pinch she used something else.

Fiber one is brown pellets.....


This makes no sense to me and I have no explanation, other than GROSS!!

But it does brew like coffee, in case you're ever out!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gran is cleaning again.....

God save me.

Gran is cleaning again.

Now, I'm sure many of you are saying "why, Gran cleaning is a good thing."

um no. It's not.

When gran cleans, shit disappears and Kenna goes on the Easter egg hunt to find it.

She "emptied the trash" today and our can is one of those swanky metal cans that has a plastic removable inner liner. I put a bag in that plastic inner liner. Well gran took the trash out and I couldn't FIND the big trashcan size plastic inner liner. I looked in the kitchen. I looked in the back yard by the trash can. I looked EVERYWHERE and couldn't find it. I was getting annoyed and you can't ask gran because she will tell you she didn't do it (seriously she's like a 3 year old) and so its pointless to ask her. So frustrated I was on the hunt. It was in the dining room, near the front door. Why? Who the hell knows.

How did I figure out that the trash can was dismembered? I went to throw something away and looked in said trash can, that's when I realized that she put trash in it, without the plastic liner and without a bag. So now there is trash on the floor (peas) and I have to clean it up, clean the plastic liner that gran managed to spill the trash into and put it all back together.

See where I'm going with this?

Gran "cleaned" the kitchen. First of all, gran does not use hot water, soap or a clean towel when she "does the dishes". She "wipes" them with a dirty rag or dirty paper towel or whatever she can find. GROSS. So when she "cleans" the kitchen I have to figure out what she's "washed" and take it out and put it in the dishwasher. Usually it's fairly easy, because she puts things in the wrong spots, but when she does silverware I end up putting everything in the drawer in the dishwasher. She just finished "cleaning" all her dishes from dinner before I could stop her (I normally rush the kitchen at almost a sprint when she is heading there with the dishes. I didn't make it tonight. She wanted to "clean" her kitchen).

Thank heavens my Nanny is coming up this weekend to help deal with her. She is a handful and my mom is out of town.

*sigh* Lucy is gettin to me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Go to Bed!

Last night was a Friday night and I had had a long week, so it was my night to relax.

The dude has football on friday nights with his son, and so its MY night to do whatever the hell I want.

Last night I decided to start on the cutest darn quilt I've ever seen. It's called Merry Go Round and I'm making it with cherry fabric and I'm quite excited about it.
So I sew my strips together, and then iron them and start to cut them into the triangles I need. Gran was pretty quiet, sittin in her chair and watching tv, not much going on. Not really on patrol, not really doing much. By 11 I was back on the couch cutting my squares.

Gran must have been tired because she decided to go to bed. But for gran, the process is LONG. She checks every single door, every window, in the closet, the washing machine, then does it all again.

So it's about midnight and I'm still on the couch, still cutting and the tv is on.

Kenna I'm going to bed.

Goodnight gran!

She goes into her room.

(a bit of background. My couch is in the living room, directly perpendicular to the hallway. grans room is on the right wall at the end of the hall, and I can see the doorway clearly from where I sit on the couch)

(3 minutes later I hear the door open and her little head pop out.)

Goodnight Kenna. Check the doors before you go to bed.

Goodnight Gran. I will.

(a minute later the door opens again.)

Kenna, it's after midnight. Its time for you to go to bed.

Excuse me? What?

I said it's late. Go to bed.

That's what I thought you said. Goodnight gran.

The door closes and I think the conversation is over.

Oh no.

Door opens a third time.

Kenna what time is it out there (as if it's different from in there?)

It's 12:17 gran.

I thought so. Go to bed. It's late.

(i looked at her like she was nuts)

Gran, I'm 32. I don't have a bedtime anymore. Goodnight gran. I will go to bed when I'm READY.

seriously?? The old woman told me to go to bed? I know she thinks I'm 9, but this is a first!!!

she goes back in her room and opens the door again.
Little old lady head pops out and she looks at me.

Goodnight gran.


Welcome to Lucyland!!

Gran that hairspray smells funny.....

Every Saturday gran goes to the hair helmet factory to get her shampoo set.

She's been going to the same lady, at the same salon, since I was probably 6 years old (that's as far back as I can remember, but who the heck knows, it was probably since I was a toddler) anyway, that's semi irrelevant to this particular story.

So the tradition is she goes to get her "hairs" done on Saturday so that on Sunday she's ready for church....I assume this is some sort of ritual left over from the dark ages before I was born, but whatever, it works for her. (Personally I find the idea of washing my hair only once a week kind of disturbing)

So during the week she "fixes" her hair herself....and on Wed she was getting ready for her weekly date with my cousin Rachelle for some action packed Bingo at Our Lady of Refuse, I mean Refuge and i was laying on the couch.

My mom came over earlier in the day and helped her get ready and then left, and because her memory isn't so great, she went into the bathroom a few more times to get ready before Rach comes. No biggie. I had come home earlier than normal because I had a wicked headache and was laying on the couch trying desperately to take a nap.

Then I hear gran fixing herself and spraying her hair (she LOVES aerosol hair spray) and I smell this funny smell that doesn't smell like hairspray. Then I think about it, the hair spray bottle sounds it's coming out at a VERY high velocity.

But I'm tired, and my head hurts so I don't think much of it, but it smells funny.

15 minutes later she goes in to "fix" herself again.

Same smell. This time I'm coughing up a lung.


GRAN what color is that hairspray bottle?


(Aqua net or final net or any of the cheap "net" hairsprays are not in pink cans)

GRAN DON"T use that "hairspray"

Why not?

oy vey. Gran. Please don't use that hairspray anymore. I will buy you some new spray.


Because gran. That's not hairspray. That's air freshener. Glade bathroom spray to be exact. I promise I will buy you some new hair spray.

Gran, please!

So I had to go in and confiscate Gran's "country garden" and replace it with some equally nasty hair spray.

Welcome to LucyLand!!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Oy vey.

We have entered a new phase here in LucyLand.

Lucy has decided to clean.

My room.

My stuff.

Not her room, nor her stuff, nope, that would be too easy. She can't throw away the paper towels she cleans the counter with, nor can she clean up her chair, or throw away any of the newspapers she reads (simply so she knows what day it is)....nooo.....Gran decides to clean up MY stuff.

I come home the other day and gran has "cleaned" my room. She made my bed, folded my nightgown and "straightened" my dresser. Which means that I found the keys to my beetle in my underwear drawer and the mail in the dirty clothes basket....not to mention the dirty clothes that were in a pile to be washed folded on the foot of my bed.

Today I came home and gran "cleaned" my desk area. She unplugged my laptop and put my lap desk in the office, the computer under the side table, the magazines on the tv and the mail on the dining room mouse was hidden behind the tv, the thumb drive in the candy was like a flipping easter egg hunt.....can Kenna find the pieces to her laptop.....not to mention the pile of grading that she put on my sewing table....

I asked her to please please please not touch my stuff.

She said "I didn't touch anything"

Um Lucy...there are only two of us in this house. I didn't do it, which leaves....YOU.

Yes, gran you did.

No I didn't.

Ok Gran. Please, please don't clean up my stuff.

Soooo this week will find me at the Home Depot buying yet another lock....

Now, this can be seen in a positive light....this is the first time in at least a year that she's shown any interest in cleaning anything.

I just wish it wasn't my stuff!!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Go to Hell Kenna!!

Everyone keeps telling me that gran is slowing down. She IS getting weaker, and her trips out of the chair are fewer and slower, and she spends more time sleeping in the chair....but this morning my mother said that even her voice is weaker....and I disagree.

She is NOT losing her feisty ways. She is NOT losing her voice. She still manages to yell at me every day! Recently the weather turned cooler, so keeping the house open at night to cool it off was unnecessary. So when she'd close it up, I just let her, because it was cool and i was fine. Well, indian summer has hit us, and it's not that way. Now when I get home from work I fling the WHOLE house open and then I turn on the whole house fan. So yesterday I flung open the windows in the den, turned on the fan, continued into the living room and gran starts


Why gran? It's hot.


Nope. Its hot. So *I* go in and turn up her tv.

she seems mollified for a minute.

Then harriet the spy hears a plane, scurries outside to see what it is, and then comes back in, realizes it's getting dark and starts batting down the hatches.

I open them.

You know this game.

Fast forward to this morning....she goes on patrol outside and likes to pick flowers. She brings them in and puts them in drinking glasses all over the house. I have to go around behind her two days later and throw them away, but no big, they make her happy so whateves.

Today she brings in a bunch of roses, heads into the kitchen to cut the stems and I'm watching her. She cuts the stems with my paring knife and I cringe. I can't get her to switch to a cheapo steak knife on the woody stems and I mentally remind myself to sharpen the knife. Then she wipes it with a disgusting scouring pad and puts it BACK in the drawer. No water, no soap, no clean towel, just this disgusting pad I use with cleanser to clean the bottom of the sink when it gets grimy.


so I wander in behind her, open the drawer and take out the knife she uses. She looks at me and asks what I'm doing.

I'm cleaning the knife you just used.


Yes gran, you did WIPE the knife. But it's not clean. I am NOT leaving dirty dishes in the cabinet. It's DIRTY you used it to cut flowers from OUTSIDE. It is NOT CLEAN.


You WIPED it with a gross pad and no water and no soap. IT IS NOT CLEAN


Excuse me?


Oh gran....I'm already here. I live with you.

She looked at me dumfounded and stalked off. Guess she didn't have a retort.

Then she thought about it a second.


I didn't. I simply cleaned the DIRTY knife you put away.


Oh gran. We covered that already.

and I laughed.....welcome to Saturday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lucy I hate to break it to you....

So one of my many jobs at Casa D'Lucy is to feed gran. Make sure she eats regular meals (read: dinner) and that she doesn't cook. Every time she tries to cook she forgets whatever is in the pot and burns the hell out of it (the other night it was sausage and she fried it in a saucepan and I had to boil the soapy water in the pan for a half an hour to even attempt to get it clean)

Welll....the other night I'm cookin dinner and I bring her a plate. It was a simple hamburger patty and baked beans with cole slaw and some cantaloupe. I brought her a fork and the plate to her dreaded red chair.

She looks at me and says "Nothing to drink?"
I retort "I only have so many hands. I will get you something to drink"

I bring back milk.

"I don't want milk."

Tough. Take the milk. I hand her the milk.

"I don't WANT milk"

I look at her calmly and tell her she needs the calcium for strong bones.

She takes the milk.

I turn around

"Bring me a spoon"


"Bring me a spoon for my beans"

I bring her the spoon and she hands me the untouched milk.

"I don't want milk. Bring me something else."

What do you think this is, burger king?? Your way right away? Seriously?

I set the milk down and walk away.


I keep walking.


yes I hear, but I'm ignoring her and continuing on


seriously? I looked at her and said


then I started laughing.

She's a piece of work I tell ya!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not my old lady.....

Right before school started I had quite the adventure!! Early one morning I was in the bathroom brushing my hair in my nightgown when I see three little old ladies in the back yard. I check the red chair and gran is sitting fairly quietly enjoying Good Morning America or some other jibberish that's on channel 7 early in the morning and I don't recognize these three old ladies.

One opens the back door and says "She lives here" and points to the oldest one.

Um, nope. She's not my old lady. My old lady is sittin right there in that red chair.

I politely say "No, I don't think so."

Then it dawns on me. This is Aunt Jo. Aunt Jo lives next door. They have a white gate too, and Aunt Jo is 93 and sometimes gets lost.

So I say "She's not mine, but I know where she lives." and I turn to Aunt Jo. "Aunt Jo did you get lost" and she smiles and says "Oh honey I couldn't get in the gate".

No biggie, we start walking out. Two old ladies out for their walk, one old lady with her cane and me in my nightgown with half of my hair brushed and the other half looking like a rats nest.

"Aunt Jo, where is Rae?" (Rae lives next door and takes care of aunt Jo)

"Oh she's on some island"

"Aunt Jo who is taking care of you"

"No one"

(this I don't believe)

I get Aunt Jo in the house, lock the gate and ask her if she needs anything.

"Oh no honey, I'm fine. Thank you dear" and she pats my hand.

The other two old ladies are outside tittering because Aunt Jo is alone and she shouldn't be and that's not good (mind you neither of them was on this side of 70) and what am I going to do about it.

Excuse me. She is not my old lady. My old lady is inside. I have kept tabs on my charge!!

Then a big SUV comes tearing around the corner.

Out pops a frazzled 30something woman in her jammies.

"Where is Aunt Jo?"

And so I tell her the story.

And we both laugh. Seems Aunt Jo is sweet to strangers but a feisty old bat to the family.

Ohhhh do I ever know how that goes.

Aunt Jo refused to leave with her mom, who was taking care of aunt jo and late for work. She (the daughter) was enlisted to go convince aunt jo to go. It took her 30 min.

Oh do I ever know how she feels.

But she's not my old lady!!

it's gonna be a loooonnngggg year

It's gonna be a long year.

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but it's been a rough couple weeks. Gran has been in a snit, and has NOT been friendly to live with.

Lately we are closing up the house earlier and earlier and over and over again. We are playing the open close game but she is yelling at me that it is HER HOUSE and I am being SASSY because I'm being 32 and having an opinion....and I'm not willing to live in the cave that this house is....a stuffy one at that.

So enough of my whining....let's talk about her recent escapades....

So Wednesday night is usually date night for me. It's the night that my boyfriend comes over and I cook dinner and we enjoy a gran free house (gran goes to bingo with my saint of a cousin Rachelle on Wed. If it weren't for Rach, gran wouldn't go to bingo, nor would she ever win bingo because she can't remember what game they are playing or figure out when she has won, but I digress) anyway, it's my night off. It's quiet, and we can fool around or just have dinner and not have to worry about the 91 year old chaperone who insists on closing the house before dark and who is constantly on patrol asking what I'm doing.

Well things have been hectic and we missed date night last week. No big, we normally go out on the weekend too....but we go OUT and not spend much time in Casa d'Lucy. Well we went OUT to dinner and wandered around and such but by 10 pm we were ready to head home and watch tv. Normal stuff. Well, normal when you don't live with Harriet the Spy.

So we come home, and gran looks at the Dude like he is a serial killer (she's met him at least a half dozen times) and asks who he is in her not-so-quiet stage whisper....and I tell her that he is my boyfriend and we are going to go watch my bedroom with the door locked because harriet the spy opens every closed door (yes, including the bathroom door. can we say NO PRIVACY?) anyway, we close ourselves in, turn the tv on and turn the fan on and start cuddling.
30 min later the door handle starts to rattle....and I hear gran

I try ignoring her


Yes gran, I am. What do you want


Ok gran.


I will gran. Goodnight.

I stare at the dude and we start laughing. Seriously? I'm 32. I can't even be in my own room?

I literally start to fall asleep.


areyoufuckingkiddingme? again? really?


Just checkin! Goodnight!


Yes she was checking on me.

Fifteen minutes later

*rattle rattle rattle*

I ignore it.

*rattle rattle rattle*



Seriously? oh yes. we are doing this again.



Welcome to my life.


It's gonna be a LONG year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Gran has been a touch feisty since I got home from my vacation.

See I was gone for two weeks and her care fell into the hands of my cousins. Since I've been back she's been on a roll. Last night was a perfect example.

The dude came over and we had dinner. Wed is Bingo night for gran, which means it's Kenna Has the House to Herself night....which loosely translates to date night.

Last night I made dinner and the kitchen was a wreck. I had to clean it but the dude left early and called me as he when gran got home I was sitting on the couch talking on the phone and the kitchen was a disaster zone.

She walks into the kitchen and yells
"Kenna get off that phone and come clean this kitchen"

excuse me? pardon me? I'm 32, you have got to be kidding. Are you really giving me orders?

oh no. I'm not.


Oh yes, I heard you.


She huffs off.

30 seconds later she is on patrol. Opening and closing evey window and door in the house.



"KENNA GET OFF THAT DAMN PHONE"'s MY cell phone, I have offered to pay the electricity bill and I live in Ft Knox so there is no ventilation after dark, and I am usually hot.

Welcome home. Gran is on a roll!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Granny Panties?

I have written about laundry before, and how I have to do laundry during the day becaue of gran.

Well last night she came home and felt like folding laundry, so she folded mine....which she does sometimes and it's always welcome.

And my mom comes over today to give her her meds, and realizes she isn't wearing the disposables she's supposed to be wearing.

No....she's wearing MY UNDERWEAR!!!


Welll......seems she decided to be an underwear caper. I'll admit....I wear granny panties. And it was the white load she was folding. But my panties are MINE and I am not so skinny and gran is.

However, they are the seamless kind and they look a lot smaller than they are. So gran folds my laundry and puts some of it in her drawer....and I now have to keep my drawers under lock and KEY!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The hunt is on....

So this weekend we decided to play a new game around here.

Let's hide Kenna's Glasses.

Yeah. I wasn't amused. I get home from the Community Festival day frustrated because it was a slow day and I was hot, and I was tired and I was cranky so Bonnie and I decide to go out to dinner.

I come home take off my sunglasses, walk into the bathroom to get my regular glasses, which I leave on the sink, and *POOF* they have vanished.

I look in the drawers. I look in my room. I look in the kitchen and grans room and no glasses.

I call my mom. "Ma, did you see my glasses today?
"Yeah, they were on the sink in the bathroom"
"Well....they aren't now."
"What'd you do with them"
"Nothing. I was gone ALL DAY"
"Did the housekeeper move them"
"No. She doesn't do that kind of thing"
"Well....start looking"

So the hunt for Kenna's glasses was on.

I looked in grans room. I looked by the dreaded red chair. I looked under the cushions (per a suggestion from Daralynn who's son is autistic and an awful lot like gran. She sympathizes) I looked in the fridge, under everything.


Finally SO FRUSTRATED I go find an old pair and decide to suck it up. I am praying that I find my lovely Ferragamo frames that I love so much!! I am broke and can't afford new glasses yet.

Besides it's late by this time and I figure the hunt can continue tomorrow.

Sunday I get up and Sunday is a HORRID morning....Dude tried to break up with me for my own good (that's a story for another blog, let's just say by the end of the conversation we were not broken up and all is once again right in THAT world) I go looking for a pen in the green vase where gran keeps the pens.....and low and behold....


What in the sam hill are my glasses doing there?

Who the hell knows. She obviously picked them up and stuck them there. Now I know another place to look. It's like when she plays "Hide the cane" only the cane is big and easier to find!!

You're so vain....

That song describes Gran.

Did I mention that she's 91??

Today was "seniors" at church. Basically it's a social hour of lunch, bingo, chatter, etc at the church hall every other Monday. Usually my mom brings her and drops her off, but my mom was busy this morning so the chore fell on my shoulders.

First of all gran was NOT amused by the switchup. Mom is the one who is supposed to drive her around. Not me. She doesn't appreciate change. So the switch to me was particularly annoying. THEN we start the leaving the house routine....

Gran: "Close those windows"

Me: "nope. I'm only dropping you off at church and will be right home:

Gran: "I SAID CLOSE THOSE WINDOWS. Anyone can come in this house"

Me: "Why? We're going to be gone for 10 minutes. I'll be home. LETS GO".

Gran: "Where's my purse?"

Me: "In the den. Where's your cane?"

Gran: "I'm not taking my cane to church"


Gran: "NO I'm NOT. Gimme that damn thing" (and she throws it to the ground)


Gran: "NO"

Me: (picking up the cane) "You need the cane take the cane. I will carry it out, but you WILL take the cane"

Gran: "I don't need the damn cane" (then she stumbles. I give her the cane)

We get to seniors....repeat said conversation with me thrusting the cane in her old lady hands and making her use it. Now mind you that we are at SENIORS and the average age in the hall is about 80 and a good 75% of the old fogies have canes. But gran is OH SO VAIN that she can't be seen with her red with pink polka dots cane.

Yes. Her nickname when she was younger was Diamond because she thought she was better than everyone else.

She still does.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Meals on Wheels

Gran gets Meals on Wheels. For those that aren't familiar with the program, it's a food delivery service for elderly shut ins. They deliver one hot meal in the afternoon and a sack lunch. It is often the only food Gran eats during the day, and they are a Godsend.

Anyway, I digress.

So I had never really paid attention to the Meals on Wheels volunteers, but now that I've been home I get to witness the deliveries, and occasionally I take them for her.

The other day this Mercedes SUV roars up and out crawls a very elderly man, who is as old as Gran if he is a day. And his little white haired, hunched over self goes to the back of his suv, pulls out her meal with his little oven mitt on and starts shuffling up the path....

Then he see's Gran.

He smiles this BIG dentury grin (there is NO WAY that that stooped little man could possibly had BIG WHITE TEETH. They HAD to be dentures) and says:

"Good Morning Mrs. O"

and Gran, ever vain and always loving the mens replies:

"Good Morning" and grins her little grin minus a few teeth.

he says to her
"I'm bringing your lunch, you should come get it while it's hot"

and she replies:
"Oh thank you!"

and I realized something.

They were flirting with each other. Her in her broom and disposable drawers, him in his one oven mitt, grinning like teenagers.


Thursday, July 23, 2009


So there are days when I think I live with a 12 year old boy.

Seriously. She can be SO crass. Hey, I know I'm not the most proper of women in the world, but she takes the cake. This morning I am putting laundry into the washer (it's day time, its all good) and gran is sitting in the ever present red chair and I look over and she is BLOWING HER NOSE on the hem of her nightgown.


She looks at me and says "what?"

"Use a Kleenex, they are RIGHT THERE"

"What for?"

"Because that's GROSS"

"Shut up Kenna. I needed to blow my nose. It was there."

Areyoufreakingkiddingme? Really? It's come to this?

I am grossed out.

Of course we can add it to the laundry list of other gross things that granny does. Like drink right out of the container. We have switched her to soy milk because it's easier on her digestive track and last night I'm sitting on my couch in my living room (we have separate rooms, it's easier on me) and I look over and she is CHUGGING soy milk out of the container standing in the fridge.

"GRAN! Why don't you get a glass"

"What for, I just wanted a swallow"

I just stare.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look at those leaves!

I know I've written about gran and the leaves before.

However, at least twice a day, sometimes three or four times she goes on patrol and hits the leaves in the yard. She picks up her broom and heads out the back gate to attack the leaves from the beautiful Magnolia trees in the side yard.

Here is gran and her rake and the leaves!


It is summer. I am trying to cram as much sleep as I can into a short amount of time. Did I mention I love to sleep? I'm also a night owl. Which means I go to bed late and get up late. Works like a charm in the summer.

This morning I am in a lovely slumber, dreaming who knows what when all of a sudden I am rudely jerked from my delightful unconscious state by


Thwap thwap twhap on the wall


Thwap thwap thwap on the wall.

Now, seeing as how Lucy isn't the steadiest woman alive and has been known to fall, and seeing as how she's 91 I JUMP from my bed, wretch open the door and RUN into her room thinking she's on the ground hurt and yelling for help.


Yeah right.

She's standing at the window, holding the curtain up pounding on the window making hideous noises as if she's in pain.


"I'm yelling at the birds"

I stand there dumbfounded. You have to be kidding. Really?? It's 8 am. You are yelling at the BIRDS?? I turn on my heel and head back to bed. But of course my heart is pounding and I am AWAKE.

Then I start laughing.

This is SO my life.

I live with Harriet the Spy....senior version

So Gran is one of the nosiest people alive....and is CONSTANTLY spying on the neighbors. She lifts the edge of the curtain and peers out all the time. She hears a noise and runs to the window to peer out.

When I ask her what she's doing, she always answers the same:

"I'm lookin"

"Ok. You're lookin. At what?"

"The neighbors"

ummmmm Lucy....I hate to mention this, but you've lived here for 50 years. In the 32 years I've been alive the next door neighbor, the family across the street in the front, the family across the street on the side and the guy kitty corner on both sides have all lived there. The people behind gran moved in when I was about 12 and the ONLY new neighbor is across the street in the cul de sac....and they are never around. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?? I highly doubt Rita is going to go streaking across the street and we know Bert and Ernie's son (no freaking joke, the couple's names were bert and ernie!!) is as loony as a bird with that yard, but that's nothing exciting. Waiting for Carl to ride by on his bike, like he has been doing every day for the last 30 years? I live in a time warp....nothing ever changes in ole El Dorado Park South....

Heaven forbid if there is a loud noise outside. This morning, Gran, who normally uses a cane, or a broom, or your arm, or whatever she happens to be able to find to steady herself did a semi RUN to get out the front door to see what the noise was....I was laughing to see her little old self hustle to the gate to get it open to see what was going on. When I asked her what happened, she seemed almost disappointed that it was only a UPS truck.

I'm tellin ya Harriet....nothing ever happens in this 'hood....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Washing Machine?'s summer and the power grid is taxed so they ask us to do laundry at night. I'm good. I love to work at night. I do laundry at night all the time. No biggie. Never thought much of it.

Welll....that is until I moved into Casa de Lucy.

We do laundry during the day here. If the washer is going during the day it's no biggie and no one really notices. Turn the darn thing on at night and all hell breaks loose.

Gran doesn't like noise in the house when she goes to bed. Who knew the old lady's hearing was that great?

I put a load of laundry in one night and went to bed. Got up in the morning and it was done, transferred it to the dryer and went to turn the washer back on for load two.

Nothin. A low hum and that was it. No water, nothin.

Oh shit. I look to see that it's plugged in. Check.

I have no idea. But I know I'm late to work and will figure it out later. I call my mom.

Ma, the washer is broken. Great, I just gave mine away. Oh well. Figure it out.

The washer is 20 years old. Or more. If it were broken, it wouldn't be a shock.

Get a call later in the day and my mother is cracking herself up. REALLY laughing.

Washer you see is NOT broken. Not by a long shot. Granny didn't like the NOISE of the water rushing into the washer. So....she turned the water off. The washer works fine....the OLD LADY strikes again.

I will refrain from doing laundry at night.


The TV is broken.

I can't tell you how many times in the month that I've lived here that I've heard the words:

Kenna The tv is broken!

The TV is NOT broken. We have FIOS now because I HATE HATE HATE the cable company with a passion and I needed internet and phone too and $99 a month for all of them is a deal. So I switched gran to fios.

There was one unexpected negative.

FIOS requires a box. And a remote with all kinds of funny buttons. But it's the box that is the problem.

See the box has a yellow light on it, and a digital read out of the time. NOT a big deal except that it means that it USES ELECTRICITY. And we must unplug EVERYTHING that has an indicator light.

Which means that she unplugs the box. EVERY NIGHT. We fixed that by putting the ever present and oh so versatile electrical tape over the time and the indicator light. Now all gran has to do is push the power button on the tv and VIOLA it goes on (and I leave it on channel seven because that's all she watches). Well.....insert new problem. When the tv goes on it says CH 3 because the TV itself must be on channel 3 for the cable to work.

Gran doesn't want to watch channel 3. She wants channel 7

So she pushes the channel up button. All the way to the 100s and then yells "Kenna the TV is broken!"
So I have to go in and put it on the correct channel.

I have come up with a solution. I turn the tv on first. Works most of the time.

But if she tells you the TV is you know.....

Granny hates fans

Granny hates fans.

Actually, Gran hates anything that uses electricity. But she REALLY hates fans.

It's been hot lately. Which means that my fat self is using the fans to keep cool. This does not make for a happy house!! As soon as the sun goes down Gran hefts herself out of the red chair and goes on patrol. This means that every window, every door must be shut and locked tight. No matter that it's over 80 degrees in this house, IT'S DARK! therefore we MUST shut the house.

I disagree.

I believe that after dark it gets COOL outside and we must OPEN the house to get air. So she shuts, I open. This isn't new. We do this every day. No, now I add in FANS! Granny HATES them. She turns them off. I turn them on. This leads to the nightly mexican standoff. It goes something like this:

Gran: Why is that door open? Why is there a fan in that door? Turn that off. Close that door.
Me: No. It's hot. I'm sitting in here, you are sitting in the den, I want the door open, the door stays open.
Me: Why? What for?
Gran: (standing and looking confused) BECAUSE IT'S DARK.
Me: There is a security door. It is locked. It's 80 degrees in this house. I want the door open. As soon as your ass hits that red chair in the den, I will open the door again. Might as well give up.
Me: We covered that.
Gran: (stalks off in a huff)

Now....repeat this conversation at least three times. Add in the

Gran: What is that fan doing on in that bedroom if nobody's in there.
Me: Gran, it's hot, it's cooling it off
Gran: Turn it off.
Me: No, that's my room, I want it on, I'll turn it off when I go to bed
Gran: I said turn it off
Me: I pay the electricity bill, THE FAN STAYS.


And then there's my favorite. The ceiling fan in my room and the office are both hooked to the light switch. Therefore when the light goes off the fan goes off. Simple? Not so much.

I hear "clank" "clank" "clank" and realize that gran, who is too short to really reach the fan is trying to turn it off and is letting the chains hit the globes.

I tell her that the fan goes off when the light goes off. This leads to a screaming match about fans and electricity.

I wonder what she'd do if we had air conditioning?? hummmm.......

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going for a ride?

Gran is obsessed with leaves.

The ones on the front lawn drive her nuts. Any leaf drives her nuts. The upside? She gets here exercise by going out and sweeping the lawn. Every day, twice a day, rain or shine she's out there with her broom sweeping away.

The other morning my cousin called to ask gran to get ready for church. She was of course in the yard, so I answered the phone, then had to go find her and get her in the house. So I go outside in my nightgown, hair sticking up in 10 different directions and my flip flops on (it was sunday, my ONLY day to sleep in, and 9am is EARLY for me).

Gran has lived in the same house for 50 years. AND the neighbors have lived there nearly as long. So they have all known me since I was a kid. This is good, and bad. The good is that the neighbors are friendly and they are all happy someone responsible is living there.

The bad? They think it's funny to pick on me.

So as I'm standing there trying to coax a stubborn 90 year old into the house to get dressed, she hands me the broom and tells me to finish sweeping.

Yeah right.

So I stand there holding the broom and she looks at me and says "Well, aren't you going to sweep?" So, being the good grandaughter that I am, I pretend. Long enough for her to turn around and go in the house.

And the neighbor, Neil, who watched the whole ordeal looks at me standing on the curb with the broom and says "Going for a ride?" And then laughs.

Welcome to my new world.

The Open Close game

It's FINALLY summer time....and Gran and I have started the "Open Close" Game.

I open the windows, the doors, etc to get some light and some air into the dungeon that we live in. The house isn't really supposed to be that dark....however she has shades and curtains on every single window. And the shades are NEVER opened more than half mast. And the curtains NEVER open. EVER. So the house is like a dungeon.

Which is really really bad because Gran doesn't see that well.

It's even worse, becasue I'm sister mary freakin sunshine and like the light and the breeze.

Oh yeah, and the house smells musty and old because everything in it is old. Including the main occupant.

So we play the open close game. See, Gran goes on patrol and likes the place boarded up like Ft. Knox. I think she's afraid someone is going to come in and steal something (not sure what!) but anyway, she closes and locks every door, every window, every crevice....ALL THE TIME.

She goes on patrol at LEAST 3 times a day. So last night it was HOT in the house as I hadn't gotten home early. But see, it was also dark. Dark=scary=the whole house has to be locked down as if there was a red alert at the airport.

So I open the door. She walks in the living room and YELLS at me that it's DARK outside and the door needs to be SHUT and LOCKED. No matter that there is a security door on the front door that is SHUT AND LOCKED. NOPE! The door must be locked. Ok fine. I'll shut the door, but I'll open the window.

She goes on Patrol and closes it.

I go behind her and open it.

She goes on patrol again.

See a pattern here?

Oh yes, this is EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. At LEAST twice. Sometimes as many as six times.

Summer just started 9 days ago.

It's going to be a LONG season.

Moving In

Recently I decided to move in to help care for my grandmother.

She is 90 and almost 91. I am 32. I am the one of my cousins and assorted family members who is pretty much footloose and fancy free. Yeah, I owned my own house, and I lived the good life all alone....but I'm a spendthrift and I was house poor and wanted to travel. I also had a grandmother who needed more care than she was getting, so in I moved. I rented out my cute little house, got rid of half of my stuff, and "viola" life changed. In a big way.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

Life with Lucy is amusing to say the least. First off, lets talk about GrannyPie as I call her....she's a feisty old bat. She is shrinking....she used to be a robust woman of about 5'6. Now....she's a petite 5'2 if that, and about 120 pounds. Altho under my watch she's gaining weight...which is no shock since she wasn't eating well....however It's not my fault. My mother realizes that her mother is becoming a child again....with a particular affection for pineapple pie and gross brightly colored sodas that my normally health conscious mother provides for her. Right now Strawberry Crush is her current favorite (insert gagging noises here). For whatever reason I can't stomach BRIGHT PINK soda. However, Granny Pie is currently drinking about 2 liters every 3 days. Sometimes right out of the bottle. However, normally it's milk that she consumes right out of the if she were a 16 year old boy just home from football practice.

Speaking of's like football practice every single morning. She comes out of her room dressed and I pat her ass to make sure the disposable drawers that she's supposed to be wearing are on. When she gives me the death look (it's lost it's power as I've gotten older) and asks why I'm patting her ass I tell her I'm checkin for the pants. Sometimes I check to see if they're full....pretty soon it's going to be like the baby where you pull the back of the diaper out to see if there is anything in it....altho I am trying to protect a shred of her dignity. If I notice that she's bare assed (oh yes, this happens OFTEN) I just hand her the disposable. The dementia kicks in, she doesn't remember WHY she has it, but knows what to do with it....I learned this after MANY a mexican standoff in the bathroom with her screaming at me "THIS IS MY HOUSE" and me yelling back "I DON"T GIVE A SHIT, PUT THE PANTS ON". It wasn't working. I had to switch methods....when one doesn't work, try another. The upside? She forgets our fights in about 4.5 seconds. So....she doesn't often stay mad at me long.

I'm fat. It bothers her. She brings it up just about every meal we have....and since it's my job to feed her, that is a lot of meals. So every time she brings up me being fat, she ends it with "you need to lose weight." Then about 10 seconds later "Aren't you going to eat?" This is a constant. I have learned over the years to ignore her (she hates my big butt the most, and every now and again will comment on my ass. This is usually while I'm bent over picking something up off the floor).