Me on a Monday.

The following is my advice to anyone who may be wondering how they could possibly be, as awesome as me, on a Monday:

For most accurate results, it is best to first stay awake all night long…

As many of you already know, I am currently the Care Manager for a sweet elderly lady in Seattle, named Ethel.  We have had an extremely difficult time filling a couple of the night shifts, so I have volunteered to work Sunday nights as a caregiver.  Ethel is very excited that I’m staying the night with her now, and unfortunately for both of us her excitement has translated into insomnia.

Ethel’s insomnia seems to stem from her constant need to have me to sit next to her bed and hold her hand, massage her legs, massage her arms, massage her feet, reposition her in the bed, adjust her pillows, remove her covers because she’s too hot, add more covers because she’s too cold, etc.  There were a few times last night when she felt a little guilty because she knew how tired I was, and to my relief she would say, “Oh Winnie, you really should go get some rest.  You must be so tired.  Please go get some rest Winnie…”

But as luck would have it, I would no sooner have made myself comfortable on the couch again before I would hear her call out from her bedroom, “I miss you, Winnie!  I miss you!  I miss you TOO MUCH!!”

I have experienced this many times over my 12+ years, working as a Caregiver, and I can attest that it is both a blessing and a curse to be loved so dearly and so exuberantly by an elderly person who suffers from dementia.  While on one hand they love you so much that they are concerned for your comfort and safety (“You really need your rest, Winnie…”), they soon forget (dementia) how much time has passed between them telling you to get some rest and you actually resting (approximately 30-45 seconds), and in that short span of time the anxiety that they may never see you again sets in (“I miss you too much”), and at that point nothing becomes more important than coming up with any excuse to see you once more (“legs ache, tummy aches, shoulder aches, too hot/cold”), and therefore your life becomes an exhausting/endearing sort of living hell.

Then at around 3am they look at you with so much love in their eyes that it almost makes you feel uncomfortable, and their sad eyes well up with tears, and they say, “You are so nice, Winnie.  You are the nicest person I have ever met.  You are the nicest person IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!” and then your heart melts a little, and you just smile and continue to hold their hand until they start to nod off, and then you attempt to tiptoe out of the room…

“Winnie, Winnie!  Winnie, WHERE ARE YOU?  Oh thank God!  Thank God, Winnie!  I had a dream that you left me and I never saw you again!  But you’re HERE!  God Bless You.  God Bless You, Winnie…”

After very little sleep and several cups of coffee, proceed to begin walking the first of 6 dogs…

I left Ethel’s apartment at noon so that I could begin the dog walking festivities for the day.  Since I was already on Dixie’s side of town (Dixie is a Golden-Doodle) I picked her up first, and as always she was over-the-moon-happy to see me walk through her front door.  She was briefly disappointed that her boyfriend Nash (my yellow lab) wasn’t with me today, but she still enjoyed herself immensely during our long walk around the neighborhood.  Had our walk ended without any diversions, this particular Monday may have been much like any other.  But since Dixie had been such a good girl on our walk, and since we had the north end of Madison Park to ourselves (other than the fellow mowing the lawn), and since she was missing her boyfriend Nash so much, I decided that Dixie deserved a little off-leash time at the park.

Dixie was ecstatic to be off of her leash, and she rejoiced by sprinting back and forth along the waterfront as fast as her long Golden-Doodle legs would carry her.  When she paused just long enough to hunch awkwardly over a tall patch of grass, I groaned to myself that “of course she has to poop at the very bottom of the hill ugh” and reluctantly got the poop bag ready to clean up her mess for the second time that day.

It works best if you don’t pay any attention to where you are going and just focus on the poop and the poop bag and the task at hand…

On about my second or third step, I felt the earth give way under my feet, and I realized much too late that the bright green grass covering the steep hill toward the lake was merely an optical illusion.  There was no way to know (other than the fact that it had rained all night) that beneath the springtime glow of the glistening blades of grass at Madison Park, there lived a thick basin of slick, slimy, yucky, quick-sand-like-mud.  Before I could even find time to spew out a curse word, my two feet shot out from under me and my rear end was quickly transformed into what can only be described as a butt-sled.  As I tobogganed halfway down the hill, Dixie came bounding toward me and I hollered out to her to “get out of the way!  Save yourself, Dixie!!”

When my joy ride finally came to a stop, Dixie tried to resuscitate me by slobbering all over my face.  “Great, just great” was all I managed to say before I began the process of picking my aching bones off of the ground.

When you think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, think again…

Not to be deterred from the mission at hand, I found the poop bag that I’d thrown in the air during the whole hoopla, made a quick assessment as to the percentage of my body that was saturated in mud, (my butt, calves, arms, hands, shoes, and I could not help but notice that the mud had actually found its way DOWN my pants and made a home in certain crevices) before I began my descent down the hill once again.

I had no sooner taken a step forward with my right foot before, once again, I became a victim of the menacing, slippery-slope, and this time I completed my journey down the hill, entirely on the right side of my body.  I had mud in my armpit, on the side of my face, in my right ear, and all through the right side of my hair.  Dixie, being my noble companion and all, decided to come and lay down beside me (white dog laying in the mud, great, just great) and lick the mud off of the side of my face.

Between these two falls, I had actually managed to dislodge a significant portion of earth. 

Once I was able to look back at my tobogganing pathway, I was horrified to see that there was a stretch of about eight feet of exposed soil, with a large mound of grass and dandelions piled up at the end.  When I went to pull my pants back up (they had practically fallen off of me by then) I actually had to pull a bunch of grass and dandelion stems out of my crack, and that was when I said to Dixie, “Seriously?  I mean…SERIOUSLY?  F*#KINGSH*TBALLS!!!”

The lawn mowing guy (ie; Sole Witness) must have 0bserved my acrobatic skills from afar, because I noticed that I no longer heard the engine running.  I looked over at him and waved (with my clean arm) to reassure him that I was okay.  He hollered out, “Sure you’re OK, ma’am?” and I just waved him off again with my muddy arm.

By then I had practically landed on the poop-pile’s front door, and I thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t just slide right through it.  Of course, since Dixie was frightened by my elegant trip down the hill, she was unable to complete the process of pooping.  In other words the whole disastrous slip’n’sliding incident, all of which began because I was trying to be a good citizen and pick up after my dog; it all of it had happened in VAIN!  While continuing my cursing rampage under my breath, I picked up Dixie’s little tiny turd-nugget with the poop bag, tied it up, put Dixie back on her leash, and we set off for home.

Remember, I STILL HAD TO WALK FIVE MORE DOGS after this fiasco!  In PUBLIC no less…

Fortunately, since I had stayed the night with Ethel, I did have a pair of pajama bottoms that I could change into, so I quickly weighed out the pros and cons of which would be worse; to walk all around Seattle in a pair of pajama bottoms, or to walk all around Seattle looking like a swamp person who may have possibly crapped themselves?

I opted to go 90’s grunge-style and tie my raincoat around my waist for the rest of the day. 

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By the time I had finished walking all of the dogs that day, I thought that I might die from exhaustion.  I drove home as fast as I could, parked my car halfway in the yard, and plowed my way downstairs, to the coziest couch on the entire planet.  I kicked off my muddy shoes, but didn’t even bother to change clothes before I collapsed onto my favorite part of the sectional and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

My yellow lab, Nash, is not allowed to sit on the furniture, but when I looked over at him and saw his adorable brown eyes looking at me with more love than I could ever possibly deserve, I couldn’t resist him.  I said, “come on up, little buddy” and in less than a second Nash had positioned himself entirely on top of me so that he could close his eyes while he enthusiastically licked my neck and face.

My phone started ringing.  It was Ethel…

(Keep in mind that Ethel has a caregiver there with her 24/7, so she is never alone.)

Me:  “Hello?”

Ethel:  “Winnie?  Are you there, Winnie?”

Me:  “I’m here, Ethel, how are you?”

Ethel began to cry:  “Not too good.  I’m not too good at all, Winnie…”

Me:  “Uh oh, are you feeling kind of crummy again?”

Ethel:  (sobbing) “I feel so BAD, and I MISS YOU SO MUCH, WINNIE!”

Me:  “I’m sorry that you’re missing me so much.  I’m sure that you caregiver is taking excellent care of you though, right?”

Ethel:  “Well…I suppose.”

Me:  “Maybe she needs to give you some medicine to help you feel better?”

Ethel:  (sobbing again) “I don’t need medicine, I need YOU!  The only thing that will make me feel better is YOU, WINNIE!”

Me:  “Well I’m not able to come and visit you tonight Ethel, because I am really tired, but I can talk to you on the phone for a little while.  Do you think that might help?”

Ethel:  “I guess so…but it’s NOT THE SAME!”

Me:  “Hey, guess what, Ethel?  Guess who is sitting on my lap right now?”

Ethel:  (sobbing sounds)

Me:  “Nash was so happy to see me when I came home, that he just had to lay on top of me and lick my whole neck and face!”

Ethel:  “Oh…WINNIE!  (whimpering sounds) I WISH I COULD DO THAT!”

Oh boy…

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There is Still at Least One use for a Landline.

IMG_1453My Mom told me that the other day she couldn’t find her cell phone, so she used her land-line phone to call Auntie Verna.

Auntie V:  “Hello?”

Mom:  “Yeah, I can’t find my cell phone, so I was wondering if you could call me so I can hear it ringing?”

Auntie V:  “Which phone are you calling me from?”

Mom:  “The one in the kitchen…”

Auntie V:  “Why didn’t you just call your cell phone with that phone then, dumbass?”

Mom:  “Oh. I hadn’t even thought of that…”

After she told me the story, I shook my head and asked her, “Mom, do you sometimes even amaze yourself?”

Mom grinned and said, “Yeah.”

The Impromtu Family Reunion at Subway.

1979680_10152227791645862_1644103267_nMom and I ran into my Dad at the Subway on Cook Road yesterday.  We had stopped there for dinner on the way to a play in Bellingham, and while we were eating, low and behold, in walks Dave Button!
Mom gave him the other half of her sandwich, but she complained about it later when she didn’t have anything to snack on.  Dad tried to steal half of my sandwich as well, but I called him out on it as he was trying to shove it in his pocket.
Me:  “What if Mom and I weren’t here tonight?  Would you have starved?”
Dad:  “No, I would’ve taken a bite of someone else’s sandwich…”
Me:  “That’s not even funny, because you probably would!”
Dad:  “You wouldn’t believe how much food people waste!  I’m just doing my part to help the environment.”
Of course I also teased him about his hair hat that makes him look like he has doll hair on the top of his head.  I asked him why he even bought such a hideous hat, and he said, “What do you mean, ‘why’?  I’m losing my hair and I have a snaggle tooth.  When you get to be my age and start losing your teeth and your hair, then you will understand.  The top of my head gets cold!”
Me:  “First of all, most women don’t get bald spots on top of their heads, and even if I ever do, I still would never wear a hat with doll-hair on it!  I would wear my Seahawks beanie to cover my bald spot, and to keep my head warm, and where is your Seahawks beanie by the way?  I would also purchase dentures that fit my mouth; if and when I begin to lose my teeth.  I wouldn’t be like George Washington and carve a new tooth out of wood.”
As if on cue, Dad took his partial denture out of his mouth at the table, in order to remove a piece of lettuce.  With one of his front teeth missing out of his mouth he said, “I don’t wear dentures; I wear a partial and it fits my mouth fine…”
Mom and I cracked up.
Me:  “Dad, you just said yourself that you have a ‘snaggle-tooth’ and the one tooth that is a snaggle-tooth, is the only tooth in your mouth that isn’t real.  It’s bigger than your other teeth!  Did you get it in Mexico or something?  Did you steal it off of a horse?”
Dad, still missing one of his front teeth, replied, “Jeesh!  We’ve got a feisty one here tonight, Margaret…”
Mom:  “You have to be careful with what you say to Whitney, because everything you say can and will be used against you on her blog.”
Dad:  “I’ve seen some of the blogs that she’s written about you, and they’re not very flattering.  They’re not all true, are they…?”
Mom grinned sheepishly:  “Well…yes.”
Dad laughed:  “I guess you can’t blame her for writing about it then, huh?”
Mom shrugged and smiled.
Me:  “Mom you secretly love it.  I’ve practically made you famous!”
Mom:  “Yeah, famous for farting.”
Dad:  “Ladies don’t pass gas.  You don’t really pass gas that much, do you Margaret.?”
Again Mom grinned sheepishly:  “Well…yes.”
Dad and I cracked up.
When I showed Mom and Dad the pictures on my phone, Mom said, “Oh god, why didn’t you tell me how awful my hair looked!”
Dad said, “My hair looks GREAT!”
Me:  “Dad, seriously?  It looks like Davy Crocket made a coonskin cap out of possum roadkill, and now you are proudly displaying it on top of your head.”
Dad:  “My customers love it!  They say that it gives me character.”
Me:  “Dad, you ARE a Character!  You don’t need anything to give you MORE character.”
Dad:  “Well that’s about the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!”
Me:  “Do your cats get frightened when they see you wearing your hair-hat?  They might think that you will make a hat out of them next…”
Dad:  “Have you met our new cat, Sammy?  She’s so cute!”
Me:  “You mean the one that you make me talk to over the phone?  The one that you spayed twice?”
Mom:  “You spayed her twice?!  How in the world did that happen?!”
Dad:  “Well I didn’t do it on purpose.  We adopted her, and we didn’t know that she was already spayed, so she ended up getting spay-ded twice.  Poor little thing.  She was so upset about it.”
Me:  “Of course she was upset!  She got spay-ded twice!  How would you feel if you got spay-ded twice, huh?  Never mind, don’t answer that question…”
Dad:  “Since I am a male I would have gotten neutered, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it one bit!  You should be glad I wasn’t neutered, because where would you be right now if I had been neutered, huh?”
Me:  “…and that’s the part of the conversation that I was hoping to avoid.”
Dad:  “You should be nice to your Mom and I, because without us, where would you be…?  Also, don’t forget that you still break the record for being the youngest person to ever float down the river.  How old was she, Margaret?”
Mom:  “6 weeks.”
Dad:  “Wow, 6 weeks old.  How did you grow up so fast, Whit?”
Me:  “It’s amazing that I grew up at all, considering that you dangled me over the side of the raft when I was 6 weeks old, just like how the Crocodile Hunter dangled his baby over a giant crocodile and made everyone get all up in an uproar!”
Dad:  “I never dangled you over the side of the raft, and I sure as heck never dangled you over a crocodile!  I held you in one of those backpacks on my chest, and everyone just couldn’t believe how cute you were!  Margaret, do you remember when you were pregnant with Whitney and we all got hit by a semi truck…?”
Mom:  “How could I ever forget that?  My water broke just a few days later and I almost lost her!”
Me:  “Dad, I heard that after the crash, you got out of the Checker and your shoulder was obviously dislocated, and even though Mom kept asking you if you were okay, you just kept insisting that you were just fine.  Then you walked a couple of steps and fainted right into the ditch.”
Dad:  “I never fainted; I’m a man!  Besides, I don’t remember fainting…”
Me:  “Of course you don’t remember it; you were passed out!”
Dad:  “Well if I remember right, the semi truck had actually crashed into the side of the Checker, and parked itself on top of my mother-in-law’s feet.  You would pass out too if you saw your mother-in-law stuck under a semi truck!”
Me:  “I’m sure that you’re right about that.”
In the end, it was a very sweet little visit, and it was nice to see my Mom and Dad together and enjoying each others company.  I have absolutely no photos of the 3 of us together, and now (thanks to one of the Subway employees who was nice enough to snap a few pics for us) I have a photo that sums the 3 of us up pretty perfectly:
Dad giving the ‘thumbs up’ in his crazy hat with doll hair sticking out of the top.  Mom sporting a sweet smile while proudly wearing her Native sweatshirt.  And me, standing between the two of them, looking a little bit like both of them, with a smile that says, “I still don’t understand how the 2 of these people ever got together and made a baby, but they did, and now that I’m a (somewhat normal) grownup I get to tease the crap out of both of them, and it’s glorious!”
And that, my friends, is called Sweet Revenge…
(Go ahead and try dangling me over the side of the raft now, Dave Button!)
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The Evolution of Men.

Click on the following link to watch the video that this conversation refers to:  Man Humor

I just watched this with (an unnamed) friend, and we both agreed that this video most completely and accurately narrates the Evolution of Men, better than anything we’ve ever seen.

Maybe even better than “Men are from Venis and Mars”…

Me:  “Wait…did I just write ‘Venis’?”

My unnamed friend laughed and said, “Why didn’t you just say ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’?”

My reply was, “Because I meant to say ‘VENUS’…”

UFO:  “Oh…okay, you absolutely cannot post that on your blog…”

Me:  “What about if we have someone else read it first, and then we have a vote to decide whether or not it should go on my blog?”

UFO:  “But will it actually contain the word ‘penis’?”

Me:  “Of course it would!”

UFO:  “Then, NO.”

Bunny Owners.

IMG_1468I have recently added Dog Walking to my professional resume. It has been a wonderful tool for getting me up earlier in the morning, you know, since I actually get paid to play with dogs and get exercise! I currently walk 4 different dogs for a total of 2 hours of walking each day, 5 days a week. That’s some great exercise!You would think that it would be pretty difficult to embarrass myself in this line of work, but rest assured; I have found a way…

Today I was walking Copper (the sweetest Labradoodle in the entire world) around her neighborhood. I always take her to this house that’s about 6 blocks away, because her favorite thing in the world is to go and visit the bunnies.

There are 4 bunnies who live in a really large, fenced, outdoor kennel, and Copper just loves to sit there and watch them for a few minutes. She doesn’t bark, or growl at all; she is just saying hello to her little Bunny Friends.

Well today, as we were walking up the hill, after visiting Copper’s Bunny Friends, we ran into 2 elderly men who were standing on the sidewalk chatting. One of the men tipped his hat to me (because he was such a gentleman) and said, “Well Hello, Copper! Is that Copper?!”

Copper got all excited, so I smiled and said, “Yes, this is Copper. And you must be one of the Boners…!”

Both men appeared stunned, and a good 3 seconds before I registered what I had just said…

Me: “I’m so sorry! I meant to say Bunny Owners! You must be one of the Bunny Owners!”

The other man completely avoided eye contact with me, and the Bunny Owner gave me a stiff smile and said, “Yes, they are my bunnies…”

Me: “Copper just LOVES to visit your bunnies! But I guess you already knew that…umm, yeah….
…nice weather we’re having today, huh?”

Both men appeared relieved and smiled as Copper and I hurriedly walked away. They both agreed, “Yeah it’s a beautiful day!”

Oh.

My.

Gargoyle.

Boners.

I called an old man a “Boner” today.

Bunny. Owner. BUNNY OWNER.

Bunny Owner!!!

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Loretta Lynn.

Me:   “I bought us tickets to see Loretta Lynn in October at the Emerald Queen Casino!  Now we can brag to our grand-kids someday that we saw Loretta Lynn in real life!!”

Rea:  “Yeah, so you can hear them say ‘who is Loretta Lynn?'”

Me:  “Any grand-kid of mine is going to know who Loretta Lynn is; I can guarantee you that much.”

So Sweet of You to Notice.

Me:  “Jeez Rose! You didn’t even notice that I got my hair cut today.  What kind of a friend are you?!”

Rose:  “You didn’t notice that I got my hair cut AND colored today!”

Me:  “You did not.”

Rose:  “Yes I did too!”

Me:  “How much did they even cut off…?”

Rose:  “How much did they even cut off of yours??”

Me:  “A lot actually.  Like, I can make a faux-hawk again.”

Rose:  “Well…that really backfired on ya, didn’t it?”

Me:  “Yes I suppose it did.  Let’s try this again…Hey Rose!  Nice haircut!!  Did you get it colored too??”

Rose:  “Why yes, I did!  I like your haircut too!”

Me:  “Why, thank you!   So sweet of you to notice!”