Wednesday, December 26, 2007

She's back from Hell and I wish she'd return!

Well, The Aunt From Hell is officially back in action. I just got home about fifteen minutes ago. She and Grandma haven't left yet. I went downstairs after changing and she asked me about a bill. I replied that I wouldn't know because noone trusts me to do anything about them. She said, "Well, you never do anything so why should anyone trust you?"

I guess devoting practically all of my time to grandma's care is nothing. I guess making sure she's fed, dressed and her sugar is normal is nothing. I will admit I spend most of my time upstairs and not downstairs waiting on her hand and foot, like TAFH does when she's visiting or Grandma's visiting her. I control enough of her life, I'd prefer we have some illusion of freedom from each other. No, I don't clean the dishes unless forced. Nor do I run the vaccuum unless forced. But I clean. I pay or contribute to all the bills but her medicals. Obviously, it's nothing.

If it were nothing then I'd damn well go out every night and actually enjoy my so-called life. I'd have a date and maybe have the opportunity to meet some nice guy before they're all married and I'm old and grey (getting there on the grey front). I'm 31 non-fucking years old and for nearly all of the last five I have devoted myself to the care of my grandmother.

But I do nothing, so there's no reason to trust me. I wish it would do any good to yell at her, but it wouldn't. She's never wrong and any reaction other than "Yes, drill sergeant, how high?!" is you over-reacting and being unreasonable for not seeing the True Light of TAFH's Infinite Wisdom and Superiority. Gods, I wish they would just leave already.

I will not be telling Mom this one. She's already on a short rope and she's having a decent holiday now. Telling her this before she really gets her time off from Grandma would ruin it. It has for me. I was nervous enough for meeting my little brother for the first time in both of our lives. This has my stomach in knots. Sometimes I truly hate that woman.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not too bad a week overall.

Okay, I'm apparently a grandchild again and Grandma now wants to get me a gift. She doesn't remember saying what she did, of course. *sigh* Shoot me if I ever get this bad.

The kids are in and I just want to hug them and never let them go. We're taking them to Corning and the movies while Grandma's away.

Christmas is almost over and I got to avoid working with the co-workers who have been annoying me for the last month on Friday. I may get to do the same on Monday. Yippee!

Not too bad a week, visits from Mrs. Hyde and co-workers getting on the very last shred of the very last nerve I possess aside.

Oh, and I'm going to a party tonight. Of course, I didn't anticipate seeing Kim and the others before Christmas, so their gifts aren't finished yet, but I think they'll understand.

Plus, I'm making go0d progress on the Chameleon and my genealogy work (Re-work?!).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Shopping Hell and how to cope with it

I have come up with quite a few coping methods for dealing with Grandma and the fact that I'm essentially under house arrest for the duration of her care.

The first and easiest is to turn on the television to the History or Discovery channels, A&E for CSI:Miami, Spike for Star Trek or CSI, Sci-Fi for a bunch of different shows and cheesy-good movies. Watching one of the movies in my rather large DVD collection is the other option. Nothing cheers me up better than watching 1776. While I'm watching those I'm also on the computer or stitching something.

The second is to turn on music. How can you possibly feel down when you're listening to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Tom Lehrer? Of course, I'm on the computer, reading or stitching while listening to said music.

The third would have to be the computer. Now that I have a genealogy program, I use that a lot. Before, it was mostly surfing or trying to write. Of course, the television or music is on in the background.

So, the fourth one is stitching. It makes me feel like I'm putting my confinement to good use. It's something someone will hopefully love and find either useful or beautiful. What I make should cheer them up. Also, I have this little problem called ADD. I simply must be concentrating on more than one thing at one time to keep sane. Weird, I know.

The fifth is reading. I pretty much ordered these in reverse, saving the best for last. I have actually been stitching more than I've been reading lately, but reading is and always will be the most important. I've read since I was two years old. I literally cannot remember ever not reading. While I may have the music on while I read, it's the only one of my coping methods that I can do without one of the others. I can and usually do read without anything to distract me at all from the story.

This little exercise in self-discovery came about last night. Mom, Grandma and I went shopping for the last of the Christmas presents she needed to get everyone. I pushed Grandma around Penney's and we picked out the items for three of the cousins (1,2 and 5). Grandma was told by TAFH (who is really much nicer anymore, but I keep that tag only to continue descriptive purposes) not to get anything for cousins 3 and 4 because she was going to get them gift certificates and put Grandma's name on them. Then we went to pick out Mom's present.

While we wandered that way, we figured out that the only people left after Mom were my brother, me and his two children. Grandma said she wouldn't get the kids toys or clothing. Well, what's left? As for my brother and I, suddenly we weren't grandchildren and were getting only her traditional $5 gift in our stockings. A short argument/discussion ensued which she completely blew off. Mom and I gave up and Grandma and I went to get Mom's present while Mom made herself scarce. We got it and afterwards I managed to convince Grandma that we could at least go over to the men's section and see if anything jumped out at her for my brother. Mild drama (her picking at me and my taste in everything, as usual) and we got my brother a shirt.

Then I suddenly realized she hadn't gotten anything for TAFH's hubby-type-creature (who should be sainted for living with her if they were actually Catholic). The men's t-shirt and underwear area at Penney's is not conducive for shoving a wheelchair around, let me tell you. However, we finally settled on something and Grandma paid for her booty. We left the store without anything for me or my niece and nephew.

As we walked to the food court where I was about to have a piece of pizza and damn the gluten consequences we tried again to convince her to get something for the kids. She insisted that they weren't grandchildren, even in the face of the great-grandchildren argument. Apparently, my nephew made the fatal mistake of saying that he'd put the $5 he got last time in his piggy bank, which impressed the hell out of Grandma. I guess she thinks this means he will only want that, even though he really loved and squeed over the toys and books he got last year. She totally ignored the fact that they're kids and will want something, anything to rip open on Christmas.

Anyway, I got my pizza. Mom stole a bite and even though she hadn't wanted any, she got one for herself because it was soooooo good. It was ham and cheese stuffed pizza. I finished mine and she brought half of hers home to eat today at work. As we wandered back to Penney's so we could get to the car, we passed Gertrude Hawk's. I stopped and asked Grandma if she wanted any Smidgens, but she said she wanted fudge. I got two pieces of fudge for her. This did not please Mom, who is justifiably upset that her child and grandchildren don't seem to rate in her mother's eyes. I just figured it would be nice since she doesn't get Gertrude Hawk's very often, you know. Mom and I had already decided to get gifts and put Grandma's name on them for the kids. I did tell Grandma that she had damn well better treat cousin 2's kid the same way she treats my niece and nephew. But she won't. She'll dote on the little mite when she's born. It's predictable.

When we got home, I read. I didn't bother turning on the television, even though I knew I'd be missing two of my favorite shows: Numb3rs and Stargate: Atlantis. I read a book I had just gotten at Target when we stopped to get Christmas cards. It was a good book, too. Lara Adrian's Midnight Awakening. I could have turned on the television and stitched, but I chose to read and miss shows I ordinarily am very annoyed if I miss. I guess Grandma's attitude really got to me.

Oh, I told Mom this morning not to get me a gift and put her name on it. As an experiment, I want to see if anyone will notice that I am the only person without a gift to open on Christmas. Maybe then they'll believe me when I tell them some of the things she does. If they even notice, which I really doubt. TAFH might notice, but that's it. She actually believes us when we tell her some of the things Mrs. Hyde does.

The worst part is not that she doesn't think we deserve presents. It's that lately she's been pretty good. Mrs. Hyde has poked her head out briefly each week, but not to this extent. Not even after her fall. We've been joking this week about the present she'll get me. I keep joking she'll get me a book or a gift certificate for a book and she does her whole too many books routine. It's a running gag. Well, I guess the joke's on me, now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Grandma fell today. She's a bit confused. She knows she's going to one aunt's house for Christmas, so she keeps getting her shoes on and getting upset with us for not bringing her over, even though we have two weeks yet. She also knows she's going to TAFH's house after Christmas and keeps asking about that. Then there's the fact that Mom was going to take her to the bank today, which didn't happen because of the fall.

Lately, she's had a lot of trouble getting up from the couch and needs a hand up nearly every time. She's calling for Mom or I all night and for the stupidest things, like just wanting to find out where we are. Sunday she called me from the front room because she needed to go to the bathroom and thought she needed help walking there. It's a shorter distance from the couch to the bathroom than it is to the monitor she stood in front of to call me! If I stay downstairs, she tells me to go upstairs but if I go usptairs she thinks I sleep and won't hear her when she calls me. I slept two hours Sunday night and about four last night. I only slept that much because I slept in an hour and was late to work today!

On the other hand, she does really well late at night. Her internal clock is totally gone. She sleeps all day and stays up all night. She's aware and alert at night rather than the daytime.

Argh! Now she's on about my laundry again. Can I help it that we do not have a clothes dryer and I have to put my laundry on the radiators to dry? If I do more than one load of laundry every two weeks I get screamed at. Since it takes me about four loads to do all of my laundry every two weeks, I get in trouble a lot. I'm not even washing clothing right now. Mom's taking a shower, washing the dye out of her hair!

She was teasing us last night. It's almost like dealing with a person with Multiple Personality Disorder. She switches from totally apathetic to cheerful to the Exorcist all in half an hour's span! It's a roller coaster ride trying to keep up with her personalities and demands.

She's really sore right now from the fall and needs a lot of help. Mom has to work early so she'll be going to bed early so I'm going to have to stay up late again. I'm so exhausted.

Am I selfish to just want to sleep for twelve hours and have everyone leave me the bloody hell alone!? Mom intends for us to replace the kitchen floor while Grandma is gone to my aunt's after Christmas. We know she's going for a week, but she thinks it's for two weeks. In a way, I sincerely hope she's right. I could use two weeks vacation. One week is nice, but two weeks would be utterly amazing.

I know it sounds like I don't love her. I do but it's exhausting keeping up with the dementia and her physical limitations. Gods help me if she gets worse...when she gets worse.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Family Tree fun

I've been slacking on my stitching. I bought Family Tree Maker on Thursday and have been trying to get as much done before my thirty-day trial with runs out. I just found out that it'll be $30 a month if I keep the subscription going. I think I'm going to do it. I can afford it if I cut back on something else, probably stitching stuff. I'm finally doing what I wanted my laptop for. Now, if I can just gather all my genealogy research from the many corners of the house it's been scattered to since I've not been able to do anything with it, I'll be all set.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm tired and I'm sore. I wonder if this is even worth it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Toys for Tots and Punk bands?

I'm deaf in one ear. I spent the day yesterday with a few friends at The Backstage in Kingston. It was a benefit for Toys for Tots called Christmas for a Cause. Lots of punk bands, my friend's band Devils Are A Girls Best Friends and a few very uncomfortable-looking Marines hanging out for a good cause. It was great. I heard Kim's band, some of Sorrowsun, The Cutters and Lugosi's Morphine. I think I liked The Cutters the best of the Punk bands.

LM was good except for the fact that as I was standing by the wall avoiding the lemmings having seizures I started getting dizzy when they hit a certain rhythm. There must have been something in the pitch they were using at certain times that was playing havoc with my inner ear. Weird.