Monday, November 15, 2010


Just a little back story and a tease. Dad assigned us occupations for things that happened around the house. If The Brother or I broke something we were "blacksmiths". Actually @!$#$%#$ blacksmiths. If you rummaged through someone's stuff, you were a fisherman.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Apple

While waiting in line at the WPI orientation barbecue, a woman standing next to us remarked how the Young One and I look like twins. We smiled politely and when she went ahead, we just looked at each other and shook our heads. Other than height and color of our eyes, we don't look a thing alike. The Young One has fair skin, a sprinkling of cinnamon freckles across her nose, and auburn hair. My skin tone is swarthy Italian. My hair is dark brown bordering on black with a fair amount of silver, and I don't have freckles across the bridge of my nose. The Young One is a carbon copy of Himself. The Young One and I do enjoy some of the same activities. Art, movies, electronics, sense of humor

"You don't look a thing like me." We laughed.

"No, but I have your soul."

"Poor you."

"No, poor you. It means that Grandma's curse that you would have one just like you came true."

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Friday, August 20, 2010


OMG! Auntie Rose called this morning, and I missed the call. The Witch didn't leave a voicemail.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Sound

As a dutiful Janet, I've been filling out forms for Dad. Not sure if he can't be bothered filling them out, can't see to fill them out, or has a hard time understanding them.

I filled out a form and brought it back for his signature. Showed him where I needed his John Hancock and handed him a pen.

"Isn't there a way you could sign my name so we didn't have to do this?" Dad whined

"Yeah, there is."


"The only way my signature would be accepted as yours, would be for you to give me power of attorney."

I heard crickets.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Dad has been complaining about having to do the cooking. Woman's work. Dad is torqued Ma hasn't been cooking meals. He lamented to me over the phone.

"I've had to do the cooking this week."

I could picture him raising the back of his wrist to his forehead. Martyr pose.

"She wasn't too happy with what I cooked for her tonight."

"What did you make?"

"The same thing I gave her last night. Potatoes and eggs."

"She doesn't like potatoes and eggs."

"I know."

I thought I detected a smirk in his tone, but I guess you have to break a few eggs.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Go Fish

Himself took Dad to the Mahket. They were nearly finished going through the list when Dad announced he need "little fishies"

"Little fishies?" Himself asked puzzled. "Do you mean tuna?"

"No, I hate tuna."

"The goldfish crackers?" Dad answered "no" to a string of possibilities.

"No." Dad left in search of little fishies.

Himself picked up the few remaining items and then waited for Dad. Five minutes, ten minutes. Just about the time Himself was going to send out the posse, Dad rounded the corner.

He placed two dozen eggs in the cart.

"But you already have eggs."


Himself didn't pursue the matter. Just wanted to get the heck out of the mahket.

Jury's still out as to what little fishies are.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Road Trip

It seemed like such a good idea. Or so I thought when The Nephew mentioned he had an old television he thought Grandpa would like. Dad's television bought the farm several months ago. This sounded like a perfect idea. Until last Sunday.

The Brother called late in the afternoon. "We brought the television, but can't find the converter box. The Weebles said Himself took it. I asked where the cables were. They said Himself took it. So I'm calling Himself to find out where these things are."

"Himself didn't take anything."

"Then where the hell did they put them?"

Himself and I both laughed. Himself suggested The Brother look in the basement just at the bottom of the stairs. Dad has a table, and he piles junk on it. If not there, then up in the attic on top of Ma's hope chest.

A short time later, Dad called. He was very excited with the visit and the television. He would finally be able to watch 60 Minutes and the news.

After Dad hung up, The Brother called to tell me he had hooked everything. I jokingly told him, I'd have Dad call him when Dad couldn't remember how to turn the TV on, or which remote to use. (There's a remote for the television that needs to be set to channel 03, and the remote for the digital converter box which is used to change the channels. The Weebles don't have cable television.)

Dad called later. Dad was having trouble figuring out how to turn the tv on, and how to change the channels. I told him, Himself would stop by Monday afternoon.

 And here is thee-mail exchange I had with The Brother at the beginning of the week:


Me:  Hey!

  Himself is taking a tv service call for you. Dad called to say he can't change the channel. I told him about the arrow buttons on the digital box, but he claims 1. the buttons aren't there and 2. no one showed him. I'm surprised he didn't tell me 3.Himself took them. I'm sure after Himself leaves there'll be another call on how to change the channels. Btw, he's very happy you and Your Young One stopped by. He loves watching the news and said the picture is terrific. Points to you for making an old man happy

The Brother: 

1. I don't make house calls (there was an emoticon of a little black sheep which cracked me up)
2. We showed him what to do and made him practice, he passed before we left and found the buttons while we were there
3 You better blog this "he can't see the buttons because his glasses are wired up and the bifocals don't sit straight  (there was an emoticon of a goofy guy with glasses)



  I'm sorry you gave Dad the tv. He's called 4 times today because he doesn't know how to turn the tv on.(crazy eyes) They already lost the channel changer. Himself was there yesterday. One of them unplugged the television. Though I'm surprised they didn't tell Himself you did it. (winky)
  oh well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions (devil emoticon)
  e're taking bets as to when the next phone call will be. Time slots still open if you want to place a bet.

The Brother:
The say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
guess it's right.
My guess is MA unplugged the set out of spite although we showed both how the set worked.
I guess for them watching tv is a curse for you and me.
Her comments was why they were getting my junk, any way if it keeps up I can go pick up the set and bring it to my office.

So Himself has had to stop at the Weebles every day after school last week. There was a hunt to find the channel changers, plug the television back in, and to go over all the buttons, how to turn things on and off and how to change channels. Himself even wrote directions put everything in a folder by the television.

Saturday, Dad called all frustrated. He couldn't remember how to turn the set on.

"I need Himself to show me and to write down what I need to do. 

"Himself did."

"No, he didn't."

"Yes, he did. He put the instructions in a folder with the channel changers."

"Where did he put the folder?"

"By the television."

Dad went on to whine how frustrated the new fangled gadgets make him feel. (Make him feel!) 

Like they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hey Good Lookin'. Whatcha Got Cookin'

I get calls from Dad at least once a day. The calls fall into two categories: I'm Lonely and I Need a Buddy or Complaints. I've been getting complaint calls all this week. Most of the complaints have gone like this:

"You know Himself took me shopping last week. I spent $250.00 on food."


"Well, I haven't had a meal since we brought the food in."

"What do you mean you haven't had a meal?"

"She hasn't cooked! Not a thing!"

"And your arms and legs are broken so you can't make yourself something to eat?"

I tried to explain to Dad that Ma isn't going to make home-made raviolis ever again. Cooking is one of the activities that's beyond her. She doesn't have good control over her hands. I reminded him how often she drops things: silverware, cups, papers.

"It's dangerous for her to try to cook. Moving hot pans about."

"What am I supposed to do?" his voice rose with frustration.

"You have a few choices."


"Yeah, you either pay to have someone come in to cook." I know this won't be an option as he also rides Ma's I'm Not Paying Train. "You can have meals on wheels brought in, which would be cheaper on your grocery bill in the long run."

"No, I'm not doing  meals on wheels. The food is garbage."

"And you know this because you've eaten it?"

"No, but it's garbage." What he means is it's not Italian. No home-made gravy. No home-made ravioli, eggplant Parmagiana, no braciole.

"Then your only option, besides starving, is to take over the cooking."

At this point in the conversation, Popeye could be heard grumbling. "Cooking is woman's work..."

"Well, if you don't want to starve, cooking better become man's work."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Legal Eagle

As I mentioned before, Dad had a secretary named Janet. He loved Janet's efficiency and how she took care of the nitty gritty of his office. I've been helping Dad with his finances and paying the bills, and I'm his new Janet.

On a recent visit he handed me papers he received from the Board of Bar Overseers, forms for license renewal.

"I want to renew my license to practice law," he said. He signed the forms. "Send these out for me, will you? And see that the fee is paid."

"No worries."

Tonight my boss called.

"Did you take care of the thing?"

"For your license renewal?" Dad is sometimes vague about what he talks about.


"Yup, made copies for you and mailed everything out this morning."

"Good. You know this will be my 60th. year practicing before the Bar. I want to keep it up because it will look good in the paper."

"The paper? You mean your obituary?"


Palm to forehead.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sorry Wrong Number

If I am going to be out of the house for more than an hour, I transfer the home telephone calls to my cell phone. While running errands, a call came through. Dad. Since Dad's calls tend to be 43 minutes or longer, I told him I would call him back.

(Note: this is an interactive blog. Click on the links. You will need to use your browser's back button to continue reading the blog.)


"Hi, Ma. It's me. How are you?"

"Eh." ( similar to "meh", not the Canadian "eh")

"Dad called me while I was out. Is he in?"

"Yes." And she began shrieking his name until he picked up the extension.


"Hi Dad. It's me. What's up?"

There was a long pause as if he was listening to something.

"I just wanted to know when my doctor appointment is this week."

"Your appointment is...."



"Is that you huffing?" Dad asked. He was clearly irritated. I could tell he wanted to talk to me. Mostly to vent about Ma, but he was leery.

"Me? No."

"Who is it then?"

"I think it's Darth Mater"

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Himself, as usual, was patiently listening to me whine about the Weebles.

"Remember in the old days you would hear parents complaining about their kids?" He said it more as a statement of fact than as a question. "Now the kids are complaining about their parents. Times they are a changing."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grave Statement

I was with Ma at her bank. The customer service rep was helping us negotiate some paperwork. Ma was extolling the virtues of both the customer service rep and myself.

"I hope you don't die before me," Ma said turning to me. "I don't know what I'd do without you."

I think I finally understand the expression "a goose just walked across my grave."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tax Season

Helping Dad fill out the tax form.

"What do you put down for your occupation?"


"And Ma?"


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charming Elderly Couple.

Saw this on a friend's Facebook page.

Elderly Couple of 62 Years

An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year.

Check out this impromptu performance. We are only as old as we feel, it's all attitude. Enjoy! They certainly do

Sadly, these are not my weebles.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stop In The Name of Love

"After we finish with the doctor, and it's not too late, can you take me to the bank?" Ma asked.

Deep sigh. I hate the location of her new bank. Right on Main Street. Angled parking that's always full, and if you're lucky enough to get a space in front of the bank building, it's always in between two giant Sooves (Dad's word for SUV) so you can't see to back out into traffic.

I made the turn onto Main St. I could see the last space in front of the bank was open. And then the @$# car in front of me, pulled neatly into that last @$@% space!

The street next to the bank is more of an alley than a street. It's so narrow, hard to believe it's a two way with parallel parking on one side. I might be able to find a space towards the back of the bank building. I made the turn and pulled next to the corner curb to let Ma out. All the while speaking in tongues.

She just wanted to find out if her pension check had been direct deposited. The pension people had "lost" the paperwork and owed her 3 months of checks. Why couldn't she just call the &$^^@! bank from the comfort and convenience of her home? No, we have to make a trip downtown. Where there's no parking. Or parallel parking. I can't parallel park to save my soul.

I was still muttering in tongues when I slammed the driver door shut and turned to walk to the passenger side of the car to let Ma out.

In front of me, a police officer pulled his enormous Soove into the opening of the alley and hit the flashing blue bar on the top of his vehicle.

For the love of $&!#* I could see the officer mouthing the words MOVE THE CAR NOW

I walked to the police vehicle, and the officer rolled down his window. He was telling me I couldn't park there and I was blocking the crosswalk.

I think I might have said to him "Give me a break" I know I was thinking it along with some other phrases. I put my hands up to him. He probably thought I was praying. I actually had my wrists together begging him in mime to arrest me. Handcuff me! Take me to jail! Do not let me pass go! Then I wouldn't have to deal with the Weebles at all.

He must have caught sight of Dad exiting the car.

"I love old people, too. Let 'em out and then MOVE your vehicle."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."

The officer disappeared as I got Ma out of the car, got her walker, and got her toddling up the sidwalk.

"Where are we supposed to go?" Dad meekly asked.

"The %#&*% BANK! It's right in front of you!"

I got back into the car, turned over the engine, and was about to pull away from the curb, when I saw Dad reaching for the passenger side back door.

Ma's ^#&!*#^ pockabook was on the back seat!

Have to say one thing about the beater of the station wagon I drive. The doors really hold up well to slamming.

With the pockabook retrieved, the Weebles heading to the bank, a quick glance in the rearview mirror to make sure the police officer hadn't circled the bank to ticket me for being too slow, I pulled out into the alley. There was an open spot right in front of the back door of the bank, but as I said I can't parallel park to save my soul. At the end of the alley at the corner were two empty parking spaces. I could just pull up to the curb. I maneuvered neatly. Put the car into park, turned off the engine, and looked in the spare change bucket for a quarter to feed the meter. I had myriad numbers of dimes, copious nickels, a few pennies, and not one @$!@$! quarter! Not one!

"^!%$@^&^", I screamed and banged the steering wheel. No good deed goes unpunished.

Once again I gave my door a solid, satisfying slam, turned the engine over, and pulled out into traffic. Behind the bank, there is a small parking lot for bank customers. It's usually full. I pulled in and started the circuit to the exit as every space I could see had a ^%@^* car in it. Late Thursday afternoon, why were these people at the bank? Doesn't everyone have their paycheck direct deposited now?

And there in front of me, a whole row of handicap spaces! A whole, empty row and I had Ma's handicap placard with me!

When Ma concluded her business, I made her walk to the back of the bank, exit the back door and walk to my car. No way was I going to drive around to the front of the bank to try to pick the Weebles up. No good deed goes unpunished.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Poor Whine, sorely neglected. Apologies. When we last met, Ma was recovering from a fall. Just before Christmas, she took another, more serious spill. To say things were at sixes and sevens would be an understatement. After another vacation in the hospital and rehab, Ma is home again and things are returning to normal. Bang head here.

I had a little list of anecdotes, but I seem to have misplaced the scrap of paper. Fallout. I'm turning into a weeble.

I have one piece of news, but you have to swear you won't say a word to the Weebles. I usually operate on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy of the military where the Weebles are concerned. And when confronted, I take my cue from Senate hearings. "I have no recollection of that at this time, Senator."

Down the road apiece, about 5 or 6 miles, a new grocery store opened up last week. Yup, you guessed it in the cheap seats, it's a brand new Mahket. Just like the one I take the Weebles to only newer, shinier and cleaner. So I'm told. Himself went shopping there on opening day. I have yet to set foot in the store, and if I play my cards right, I won't ever have to.