Buckle Up Puppies, This Ones Bumpy

19 03 2014

I know its been months since I have graced the interwebs with the goings on of my life. I won’t bother to offer apologies…the truth is, I am busier than a one armed paper hanger these days. Seriously. In addition to the work I have coming through the door at the company I own, my duties at my “day job” are more than any two people can truly handle. I am pooped, stressed, and more than a little tempted to say “screw it” and go get some stress free job that ends at 5 PM that I don’t have to think about til 9 the next morning.

Darling and I are entering month two of the first phase of our outdoor living renovation. Eight hundred square feet of concrete suspended over steel decking that will eventually be a screened porch, outdoor kitchen, and patio. Between Mother Nature, special order brick, and subcontractors who are either too busy or too lazy to show up, what we thought would be a two week project is now looking like it will qualify for the Historical Registry before we get to enjoy it.

But what you really want to know about is Mama, right? Well, buckle up puppies, because girlfriend has lost it.

About a month ago, I got a message from a woman asking if I had a sister, that she thought she might know her. I explained that my sister had passed some years back, and after apologizing for approaching me under false pretenses, the woman explained that my mother had messaged her on Facebook and claimed to have a love child named Michelle with this woman’s husband who was desperate to finally meet her father. Anyone who has read more than two posts here knows Mama is nuttier than squirrel shit, but that was crazy even for her. So I logged onto Mama’s Facebook account, and sure enough, that was pretty much what had happened! I called Mama out on it, telling her I didn’t appreciate being disturbed with such juvenile nonsense. “Oh I was just playing a joke on her.”  Neither myself, nor the victim, found the humor in it.

Around the same time, Mama’s sometime bosom buddy from the trailer park messaged me to say that ambulances and police cars were stationed at Kenny’s place, and wondered if I knew what was going on. I didn’t, but later learned that Kenny had gotten drunk and fired a gun several times, AT mama, depending on which time she told the story. He was hauled off to the drunk tank, evicted from his lot at the Doy Mobile Court, and he and Mama are, for the 15th and “Final” time, DONE with each other.

So back Mama went to my poor Grandmother’s house, where she plays the martyred caretaker when she and Kenny are on the outs. And there she has been, having similarly been evicted from the land she has kept her own trailer parked on for 30-odd years. (that’s a whole other post–but the jist is that she literally lost everything, a paid for trailer and all it’s contents, because she did AB SO LUTE LY nothing to sell it, move it, or arrange for an extension of her lease.)  Mama apparently sits at Granny’s house and does nothing but sext with men on Facebook (men who believe she is a 45 year old ICU nurse), and sneak into the basement to smoke cigarettes. She still has done nothing to replace her driver’s license, and feigns outrage that she has worn through the generosity of everyone she knows “Can you believe he said this is the last time he would bring me cigarettes?”.

A few days back, one of Granny’s neighbors phoned my aunt, saying that she was worried about the situation there. Apparently, Mama had stumbled up to her house, high on pills, seven or eight times in one day because she couldn’t figure out how to turn her cell phone on. The neighbor was also concerned that several people known to be sketchy characters were dropping by for quick visits, leading the neighbor to wonder whether some sort of drug exchange was going on.

The day after this call, Granny phoned one of my uncles to say that Mama was passed out on the stairway. He came over, carried her into bed, and when he returned a few hours later to check on the situation, Mom supposedly had no memory of it, but opined that “this new medicine they got me on has me all messed up, I think I’ll just flush it down the toilet.”

Well, apparently “toilet” is a euphemism for her mouth, because she was passed out again the next day, and last night, my uncles had enough of it, and phoned the sheriff to help when Granny called to say she was passed out again. EMTs came to find an unconscious Mama, pills from four different doctors lying about the room. One bottle, for a narcotic painkiller, had been filled less than a week ago. Of 120 pills originally in the bottle, only 42 remained.

So, off she was hauled to the ICU, perhaps to have her stomach pumped or soaked up with charcoal. My uncles swore out a Mental Health Petition, and as soon as Mama is roused to alertness, a hearing will be held and hopefully she will be hauled off to the mental ward–a place she’s checked herself into at least four times in the last two years, but hopefully it will do some good since she won’t be able to sign herself out the moment she starts itching for a nerve pill.

We shall see.

And how have YOU been?





It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

3 12 2013

A short post just because I haven’t written anything in ages. Its start to looking like Christmas around here. We’ve got our usual Christmas extravaganza up…eight trees this year, 2000 lights on the front of the house, and pine boughs tied to anything that would sit still. Usually by this point I’ve bought a few gifts and at least have an idea on how I will finish up my shopping, but this year I am clueless and the clock is ticking!

We had the pooch neutered about a month ago. That was an adventure. The doctors orders were to keep him calm for ten days, with no jumping or running. How does one get a six month old puppy to stay calm? Well, for us, the answer was drugs. At least we hoped it was. They would  knock him out for a ten minute nap and then he would resume his normal activities. (ie: running laps around the house, eating Christmas decorations, and hiding my socks.) Fortunately, he did no damage to himself in the process.

Then Darling had wisdom tooth surgery. An infection, over a week of pain, and lingering facial numbness were the after effects. It was little comfort when I pointed out that we have friends who spend good money to have their faces paralyzed.

My dad turns 60 today. I really think 60 (or for that matter, 50) is a lot different now than it was a generation ago. My grandparents were in their 50s when I was born, and when I see pictures from then, they LOOKED like grandparents. (And probably acted like them too) But today’s 50+ folks look and act younger. I’m hoping that by the time I get there, 80 is the new 50.  We’re planning to load up a rented SUV and take the little furbaby up to the mountains to celebrate this milestone this coming weekend.

And Mama has finally been served with notice to vacate her property. Anyone with a brain saw this coming long before she stopped paying for it and maintaining it. But she didn’t tell me about it, one of my aunts did after seeing the certified letter at my grandmother’s house. Mama, true to form, has two weeks to get out and has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to pack, find a new home, or make any arrangements for the sale or moving of her double wide. I suppose she will just lose all of it, and all I want to do is slap the stupid out of her.

 





And What’s Mama Been Up To?

12 10 2013

I’m sure my readers are wondering what Mama has been  up to.

Well let’s talk about her cell phone first. She has one of those pre-paid plans. This is really perfect for her…no contract, no credit check (she couldn’t pass that anyway—because of her divorce 20 some years ago, you know.) And for $50 a month she gets unlimited talk and text. (Less than half of what I am paying for similar service!)

But, the phone itself is garbage. She tries to Facebook on it, and ends up sharing a photo of marijuana with a prayer group, or sending messages to the wrong person. No less than six phone calls came from Mama asking what phone she ought to get. My simple answer of an iPhone or an Android weren’t good enough.

“I dont know if they have those with this prepaid service.”

“Then find out.”

“Where do I find out?”

“Online, or wherever it is you got the first one.”

“WalMart.”

“Then thats a start.”

Later that same day….

“Maybe next time you’re in walmart  you can see what kind of phone I can get.”

“I dont even know what kind of plan you are talking about. What company do you use?”

“I buy these recharge cards…”

“From what company?”

“I get ‘em at gas stations or walmart.”

“But what BRAND are they?”

“Its a Kyocera.”

“Not the damn phone, who provides the service?? Is it Verizon, or AT and T?”

“No thats who I need to be on, Verizon. They got them friends and family plans.”

(Long time readers might recall a year or two ago I got a call from Verizon because Mama was trying to add herself a line to my plan.)

“Verizon would be a lot more expensive than what you’re paying now.”

“No it costs me 50 bucks a month!”

“Mine is over $100 for practically the same thing! $50 is a helluva deal for unlimited.”

“But this phone sucks.”

“Then get a new one!”

“But what kind?”

“Jesus Christ. I told you, an android or an iPhone would be good.”

“I don’t know what kind I can get on this plan. Maybe you could look for me the next time you go to Wal Mart.”

“I don’t have time to deal with your damn phone or for talking in circles about it. Go down to Wal Mart and find out what your options are, and if you need some advice then call me.”

“Well maybe you could look on your computer…”

“No. I couldn’t.”

An hour or two later, a text message: “THIS PHONE SUCKS. I CANT GET ON FACEBOOK. LOG ME ON FROM YOUR COMPUTER.”

“I can’t log you on from here! Turn off your caps lock, your Facebook password is lowercase.”

“WHAT DOES THAT MEAN”

“You are typing in all capital letters. Your password is lowercase. Your caps lock is on.”

“WHERE IS IT?”

“I don’t know where it is on your phone.”

“THIS PHONE SUCKS.”

“TURN OFF THE CAPS LOCK!!!”

“WHATS CAPS LOCK”

“Just turn the fucking phone off and back on again.”

A few minutes later….

“that worked must a needed to be restarted.”

“Great!”

 

A few days later, a phone call came from Mama. She was in a panic, nearly in tears. “They broke into the trailer again.”

This would be at least the fifth time her abandoned, overgrown double wide has been broken into. Its a puzzle to her why people keep breaking into a trailer with grass four feet tall that is clearly unlived in. “They took the living room suit, and that dining table that I bought when you were two with money I got from a car wreck!” (the woman has never had a dime she worked for.)

“Well what do you expect?”

“I went to the police but they can’t do nothing. They said a single disabled woman ought not live out there by herself.”

“You haven’t lived there in years.”

“It’s too much work. I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. And they’re gonna take that land for commercial use.”

“Well there’s not much left for you to move then.”

It is kind of sad. She had a perfectly nice little home and through her own stupidity is basically left with nothing now. I can’t feel sorry for her though. Does that make me awful?

 

 





Tales From the Showhouse

12 10 2013

I’ve neglected my posting of late. The truth is, I am absolutely swamped with work. I started a new job over the summer…going full time with a company I had done some consulting work with. It’s a good opportunity, a lot more money, but its taken a lot of time away from my home life, my sleep schedule, and the company I own. One of the “plusses” to this job is that the company is genius at marketing. Tie ins with national magazines, lots of PR events, lots of press. And once or twice a  year, they do a major showhouse that is tied to a national magazine. One such house is open now at a beautiful community in the middle of nowhere, just west of Bumfuck, Georgia.

The house opened a few weeks ago with an event that hosted over 400 people. The driveway, naturally, did not hold that many cars, so we used the country clubs golf carts to bring guests to the house.

And that proved to be a mistake for one poor guest. Bless her heart, she suffered from vertigo, and the drive from the parking lot to the house set her spinning. She did her best to soldier on, but as she made her way onto the rear terrace, the contents of her stomach emptied onto the newly laid flagstone. Embarassed, she struggled through the shoulder-to-shoulder mass of guests trying to escape, only to find herself pinned in the foyer by people coming in. Wave number two came, and whatever was left in her digestive system came flying, loudly, out onto the floor.

We hired a part time girl to help out at the showhouse…shes on hand to help answer questions, tidy up, or whatever else needs doing while it is open for tours. She grew up in one of the suburbs of Bumfuck in a conservative, deeply religious household, and attends an equally conservative, deeply religious university.  One morning, I mentioned that I was starving, and that I’d hoped to find a restaurant on the way in to grab a quick breakfast, but was disappointed that all I passed was a Captain D’s. “You should have turned by the new Home Depot.” she offered, “There are a lot of really good restaurants back there.”

“Oh? I didn’t see the signs.”

“Yeah, well they’re nice places, its not fast food. There’s a Steak N Shake and an Applebees.”

Bless her heart.

And finally, a couple of well dressed ladies came through the house today, and one of my coworkers was making small talk with them. When they mentioned the small town they were from, my coworker said she knew the town well, that a good friend from college grew up there. One of the ladies asked for the friend’s name, and when she realized it was a common acquaintance, launched into a 20 minute gossip session in which this person’s ex husband was revealed to be a gun smuggler, that person’s stepson was into meth, and this man’s first wife “was, is, and always will be bat shit crazy!”  I was a little shocked that someone would dish so unashamedly to perfect strangers, and my coworker seemed to be as well. She asked how it was that she knew the mutual friend.

“Oh, I’m her Sunday School teacher.”

Amen.

 





Lord, my Load is Heavy

7 08 2013

Buckle up puppies, its been a busy few weeks.

Let’s see…

My crazy mama got released from the nursing home/rehab facility where, near as we can make out, she was just taking a taxpayer funded vacation. There was much drama, phone calls, and ballyhooing about where mama would go upon her release. Social workers called family members, attempted to place her in apartments, and basically fretted themselves to death over nothing, because as I told one of the social workers, within a week she will be back at Kenny’s trailer.

And much as I hate to say I told you so, I pegged it. Mama was released, spent a few days at Grannys house then hightailed it back to the mobile manor.

Then grandma got released. You might recall she spent over a month in rehabilitation herself following a stroke. Now, during the dozens of phone calls and impassioned pleas made during MAMA’s stay at the Medicaid Spa and Resort, mama insisted that she needed to be allowed to go back to Grannys to help her out. But, naturally, when Granny got released, Mama was nowhere to be seen. Furthermore, Mama had the only set of keys to Granny’s house, so anytime there was a doctors appointment, outing, etc, Granny had to leave her house unlocked. This despite dozens of phone calls trying to get the damned keys returned. Finally, we’d all had enough. Granny’s house is old…the back door, front door, and deadbolts all require separate keys. The front door lock is so old it can be picked by anyone who could jimmy a credit card into the jamb, and over the years several sets have been lost.  So we (several sane family members and myself) decided to just have the house re-keyed, putting all the locks on ONE key. I called and arranged a locksmith, called Granny to let her know he was coming, and arranged with a local cousin to be there at the same time.

This was all to happen the same day that the part-time home  health aid was to start. It was a situation ripe with drama. Mama felt SHE should have been hired as the health aide. (Yep, kids, she wanted her brothers and sisters to pay her for shacking up at her own mother’s house.) Despite the obvious reasons why this would be a horrible idea, Mama has been on the dole for decades, “disabled” you know.  So not only did she want to be paid, but she wanted everyone involved to commit fraud by doing it “under the table.” I think they should have entertained the idea just long enough to run a background and drug test so we could all have a good laugh at the next reunion.

And Granny did not want this health aid, seeing it as a blow to  her independence. (Bless her, the string of medications she is now on boggles MY mind, so its asking for disaster to expect someone recovering from multiple strokes to keep them straight.)

Now, wouldn’t you know that the day the aid starts, Mama would show back up at Grannys? Yep, after leaving the poor dear there alone for two weeks, she shows back up just in time to take her roll in the latest drama. The poor aid lasted a half an hour.

The locksmith was cancelled for reasons still not clear to anyone, and now just to get some kind of control over the situation, it looks like lawyers are going to have to get involved.

In the midst of all of this, Darling and I adopted a puppy. I bring this up only to pass on a couple of  laughs. The poor dog can not get the hang of potty training. He’s slowly doing better, but five minutes after going outside for a potty break, he will make a mad dash for the formal dining room and leave a stinking pile twice his size behind. I’ve complained about this on Facebook, and Mama called, offering to “have that pup trained in two weeks time if you’ll send me a plane, train, or bus ticket.”  Her previous suggestion to the puppies high energy level was to soak a pacifier in peach schnapps until he went to sleep, so when I asked her what experience she had training a dog, she pointed out that she’d had “Honey Bunny” and “Sassy Lassie” before. Both of these were outdoor dogs that she kept chained to a pine tree. Her biggest success with either of those was that if you told Honey Bunny to “jump” and happened to be holding food over top of her, she would, in fact, jump.

Needless to say, I will not be putting my puppy through that. But, here’s another laugh. This dog is seriously cute. Really. Don’t believe me? Here he is:

cooperCan the congregation say “Awwwwww!”? Yes. God made this dog so cute because otherwise I would have killed him weeks ago. Anyhoo…Mama calls a few days ago and tells me she has an idea that is going to make me rich. (The last time she had a million dollar idea, it was for a device that would measure how many words per minute a person spoke, because she thought there was a big call for that information.)

You need to get a patent on the color of that dog.”

“He’s tan. I don’t think you can patent tan.”

“Yeah you can. And use that color for carpet or hardwood floors, or blankets.”

“I’m pretty sure tan carpet has been invented.” (In fact, one “plus” for this dog is that he is the same color as our carpets were before he pissed and shit on every one of them.)

“Well look into it, you’d make a fortune.”





Nurse! She’s Outta Bed Again

2 07 2013

Lawd children. Buckle up,  its been a bumpy week.

I’m in the midst of changing jobs. While the company I own has grown quite a bit over the past two years, I’m not quite ready to unlock the golden handcuffs of a regular paycheck and benefits. So when an opportunity arose for a new “day job” that paid a lot more and gave me a lot more flexibility, I felt I had to take it.

This, of course, means that since returning from vacation I have been in overdrive trying to wrap up projects and get them to a point where they can transition to a new project manager. So while being busy is nothing new to me (In fact, since the economy started to recover, busy has been a way of life, thankfully.), these past couple of weeks have been “OH MY GOD, I NEED SLEEP” busy.

And naturally, this is when Mama has a meltdown. If you tuned in last week, you know that she was laid up in the nursing and rehab hospital and that the owners of her land were threatening eviction. I put a call in to the land company to see if I could learn when exactly Mama needed to be out of there. I was told that she just needed to pay her damn rent and get the grass cut. One of the things Mama spent her Fruit Cocktail Settlement on was a new riding lawnmower. A big ole $2000 one. And she had never used it. I use the past tense because last week, at some point, thieves returned for the FOURTH time to her abandoned trailer house and made off with it. I always questioned why she bought the damn thing to begin with, as before the FIRST thieves stole the OLD lawnmower, it had been ages since she had used it anyway. (She confided in one of my aunts that she had been advised to spend that settlement as quick as possible before the government found out and cut off her benefits. God forbid she be self sustaining.)  Anyway, maybe thieves took the new one, maybe Kenny did, and maybe Mama sold it for two oxycontin and a hair doodle, but its gone. I’d briefly considered paying the past due amount on the land for Mama (because it was only $200 bucks, and I recently got a check in from an old client that I had long since written off–enough to pay off my cruise charges and bring Mama’s rent current.) But this newest “theft” reminded me what a folly it would be to throw another red cent her way.

And, it turns out, it would have been a lost cause, as the land company has decided, current or not, she’s outta there.

But let me back up a bit.

I’ve gotten, quite literally, over 100 barely coherent text messages from Mama this week. Some as simple as “Help me!” and others several paragraphs long that wax eloquent about how she never should have left MY father, from whom she has been divorced for three and a half decades. (Wait, how old would that make me? Uh…maybe its only been 25 years. Yeah thats it.), how she should have held on to Rogers, one of her almost-husbands from the early 90s, how she should have married Scott, another almost-husband who died the same day my sister did. If even one of her “shoulda, woulda, coulda” texts had said “I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A DAMN JOB” I might have felt sorry for her. But they just underlined her total, lifelong, refusal to take care of herself. So, I have ignored most of her texts. (Why on Earth would you text someone 350 miles away to say “help, Im out of cigarettes”??

Then there was the call this morning. Just as I was pulling into the office, and five minutes after I had hung up with Mama, I got a call from a strange number that began with her area code. I have a client up there who frequently calls from different offices, and I answered thinking that was who it was. But, alas, it was the social worker from the nursing home, calling to discuss Mama. In not so many words, she said that she wasn’t even sure why Mama was there, and that she had been on vacation when she was admitted, but at any rate, her admission papers allowed for 30 days, and it was almost up. This poor social worker had also called the land company and been told that they were sending Mama a certified letter letting her know that her time there was up, regardless of any last minute efforts to save it. I explained to the social worker that Mama had not lived there for years, that she had spent most of the last three years living with Kenny, her on again, off again “Friend” and that for the past year, she had spent a lot of time at my grandmothers when they were “off” again. The social work gal said that she understood Mama was not able to go back to her Mama’s house because “her brothers and sisters thought there were some housekeeping issues.” I corrected her that two dozen bags of clothes and hair doodles piled up in a bedroom was not a housekeeping issue but a hazard, but NO, going back to Grandma’s was not in the cards. The social worker asked if Mama could come stay with me, and I told her it was quite out of the question.

She asked if there was another family member who might have a place for her. I told her I really doubted it. And outlined the various reasons that I really doubted it, the top of the list being that Mama has spent her entire life making one bad decision after the other and we are all frankly done with helping her out of them. The social worker sympathized with me, saying she had sensed in their meetings that Mama just refused to take care of anything and had no sense for what was important. (In their meeting that morning, as the lady was trying to help mom find a solution to her housing issue, Mama instead wanted to talk about how she couldn’t find her drivers license. Yes, the same drivers license she lost before Christmas. The same drivers license that could have been replaced at any point these past eight months if she had bothered to do it.)

Just in the time I’ve spent writing this she has called twice. She goes on ahead and has whatever conversation she had planned with my voicemail. The first was to talk about some picture of me with my sister when she was a baby. The second was to say that she had gotten some papers from the Neurologist to fill out, complete with a pretty logo that should be green, but was printed in black and white. (if you’re saying “HUH?” don’t worry, I don’t know what the hell that was about either. And two text messages. One that says “tell your daddy I wish I never divorced him I would do his laundry.” (pretty sure he won’t have to give that offer much thought.) and another that was just my name.

Delivah’ me.

 





Didn’t I Tell Her??

23 06 2013

Darling and I just got back from our yearly cruise. We, and 20 of our friends, sailed around the Caribbean to celebrate a few milestone birthdays. A fun time was had by all.

In preparation for this trip, I had tied up all my loose ends at work, made it known that I would be totally unreachable during my week away, and set my voicemail and email to autorespond with the date of my return.

You might recall that Mama had some sort of sympathy stroke and went off to a nursing/rehab place the same time HER mama did–just a day or two before we embarked. I talked to her the day before she was being shipped there, and she seemed fine, if a bit confused as to why she was heading there in the first place. (Some vague comments about regaining some strength on her left side)

So when I turn my phone back on this Saturday, there is a frantic message from Mama, repeating what I already knew, that she was at the Medicaid Spa and I needed to call right away. Fearing it might have something to do with  my legitimately ill Grandmother, I called the place back. The nurse couldn’t find mama, and figured she had probably “gone out to smoke again.”

A second call this morning was finally answered, and Mama claims to be able to move only with the assistance of a walker, and apparently disregarding the conversation we had the day she was going to this rehab, claims she was unable to walk or move AT ALL when they brought her in there. What. The. Fuck. Ever. Where do I sign for them to just keep her there??

Anyway, my longtime reader will recall that over a year ago, Mama got 20 some grand for the theft of some Nascar memorabilia and a jar of fruit cocktail. I advised, begged, and pleaded, that she use that money to move her three bedroom storage unit off of the 8 acres of leased land she has lived on since I was 4. (To reiterate the reasons why—the land is now very valuable, with development happening all around it, and I knew it was only a matter of time before the owners of the land cashed out on its potential.) Instead, she bought a used car (which has sat, rotting, in my grandmother’s driveway for the last seven or eight months, because Mama lost her drivers license and has not found time in her busy schedule to go to the court house to have it replaced.), a storage building (because adding another building to land you don’t own makes great sense.), and a riding lawn mower (which, by the overgrown look of her property, has NEVER been used.)

Lo and Behold, the day has come. Mama has not paid the paltry rent on the leased land, and since the weeds are taller than she is, the company that owns the land has ordered her off for failing to maintain the property and pay her rent.

Which is why Mama was calling, frantic. I’m sure she is under some delusion that not only do I have thousands of dollars sitting around to clean up her bad decisions, but that I would be willing to do it.

Fuck. That.

Pardon my French. I will not lose a moment of sleep if they shovel her trailer, her storage building, and her damned lawnmower to the curb, because I offered when she had the money to move it to take care of all the logistics for her. I attempted six months ago to go unearth the trailer from the years of hoarding, and she has failed to make even one sensible decision along the way. It is not my problem.

 

 

 








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