Monday, May 21, 2018

From the Archives: Ssssssh, We're in a Hospital

Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm reaching into my archives for a couple more days so I can play catch up around the house. "I'll do it tomorrow." has finally reared itself into today.  Such is retirement. :-) Have fun out there.

Today's post (edited) was first published on August 30, 2012. It was originally titled "Quiet. Hospital."

The Mama may be coming home from the hospital today. The ambulance took her there on Monday afternoon. All of a sudden the Mama could not move her legs or arms, no matter how hard she tried. She caught the nasty bug from the Husband who has had it for a few days. On her, it turned into pneumonia. What made it worse was that she was dehydrated. Stay hydrated, folks!

Hydration, however, is not what today's post is about. Nope.

After two nights alone in her hospital room, the Mama got a "roommate" with a loving extended family to visit her. The Mama, in contrast, has just loving me. The husband is sick so cannot visit and Molly the Cat is not allowed in the hospital. The Mama forbade me from telling her friends where she was.

Before I go any further, let me say this: I have nothing against visitors in hospital rooms. But, I expect visitors to act appropriately—talk quietly, be considerate of other patients, and recognize that a hospital is not a place to party hearty. 

Back to the story. Yesterday when I left the Mama after lunch, her "roommate" had four relatives visiting her. When I returned just before dinner, the "roommate" had three different relatives around her. The hospital room is small, so without even trying you can overhear each side's conversation. The "roommate" and her relatives  were very chatty. Because my mom has poor hearing, I sat on her bed as near as possible to her so I wouldn't TALK LOUDLY or even talk at my normal pitch.

The Mama did not look rested at all. "Did you sleep today?" I asked. She shook her head. "How come?" I asked. "I don't know," she replied. I had a feeling the "roommate" and her visitors were chatty all afternoon.

The Mama is very good about sucking it up. Not me. Hello, we're in a hospital. There's a sign in the hallway that says QUIET. I did my best to not pay attention to nor get annoyed at the now four people talking loudly on the other side of the thin curtain that separated the patients. I did my best for 45 minutes. That's when I heard a fifth voice at the door.

I walked over to the curtain, pulled it aside, and glanced around. They looked at me in surprise. I didn't say a thing. One woman asked, "Are we too loud?"

"Yes. You are."

"Sorry. We'll try to be quiet."

"Thank you," I said, "This is a small room."

The not TALKING LOUDLY lasted about 10 minutes. I was no longer concerned about that anymore. Mama was feeling cold even with 5 blankets on her. The air conditioning was on and seemed to be directed at her  head. I pressed the red call button and told the nurse who answered that the Mama was feeling cold and could she please put the heat on her side of the room. Within a few seconds, a nurse stood by the bed. She said, "There's no way to regulate the room so that one side gets heat."

"My mom is cold," I said. "She already has five blankets on her."

The nurse closed the curtain, talked with the other side, and came back. "The other patient feels hot," she said.

"My mom is cold," I repeated.

"Right," said the nurse.

The woman who asked me if they were too loud called from the other side of the curtain, "My aunt is hot."

"My mom is cold," I said.

"You've told us we're too loud. You've got to give us something. You've got to work with us."

"I'm trying," I said when I really wanted to say: You knew you were loud without me even saying so. You weren't even trying to be considerate to my mom just because she is quiet. And, I don't have to give you anything. This is a hospital. My mom is mending from pneumonia. She is cold. Why should she feel miserable? And why was your aunt put in this room anyway. Hers is a physical problem. She could catch whatever my mom has.

Fortunately, the nurse came up with a solution. I heard her ask, "Would you mind moving to another room? We have a few empty rooms."

"Fine," said the woman who asked me if they were too loud.

For the next 10 minutes, a lot of movement took place on the other side of the curtain. They TALKED LOUDLY. They called me names in their language, which obviously they didn't think I understood. I felt like responding, but like the Mama, I can suck it up when it's better to do so.

"Is she going home?" asked the Mama groggily.

"No, she's being moved to another room."


"Because you feel cold and she feels hot."

"I don't have to have the heater."

"Yes, you do. You're cold."

I went over and tapped the shoulder of the woman who asked me if they were too loud. "I'm sorry," I said.

"It's fine," she said, huffily. "Now you can have your privacy."

"As you can, too," I said. Not adding what I felt like saying, Now you can talk as LOUD  and as much as you want and have as many people as you want in the room.

The nurse came back. "Do you still want the room warmer?"

"Yes," I said. "My mom is cold."

"I'll put it up."

"Thank you." I had to know, so I asked, "By the way, how many visitors can a patient have?"

"Three," the nurse mumbled. She turned to another nurse who was at the door. "Isn't it?"

"Two," that nurse said, almost under her breath.

It wasn't my intention to get the other patient and her family moved to another room. But, I am glad it happened.

When I left the sleeping Mama an hour later, the hospital room was quiet and warm as it ought to be.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

From the Archives: Molly's Great Adventure

Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm reaching into my archives for the next several days so I can play catch up around the house. "I'll do it tomorrow." has finally reared itself into today.  Such is retirement. :-) Have fun out there.

Today's post (edited) was first published on April 26, 2012.  It's narrated by Molly the Cat, who had been living with us for over two months when she had her adventure.

"Hey, Kid, your people are looking for you," said Lickity Split, as he speeds by me. I barely get onto the sidewalk when he turns the corner at the end of the street. There is no use following him. All afternoon I was following him. Just as I catch up to him, he jumps onto a fence and climbs over it into the unknown.

I scoot back into my hiding place. Everything was fine and dandy when I first got outside, but it's now dark and cold. I have no idea where I live.

If I was home right now I would be playing with the orange string that the tall hairy human likes to dangle in my face. After awhile the short plump human would put a bowl of food on my tray.  Sigh. Lickity Split said he would show me where to find food if I don't go home tonight. But, will he come back?

"You've got it made, Kid," he said to me when we first met that afternoon. He was the reason I wanted to come out. I wanted to let him know I lived in the house and to ask him what it was like to live outside. I've always lived indoors.

"I don't think you'd like my kind of life," Lickity Split said. "You snooze, you lose." What did he mean?

It's nice living in a house where I'm the only beast. I like being the center of the humans' world. Those three humans are nice, even that tiny one who smells like cigarettes. They pet me. They play with me. They give me water and yummy food. They let me sleep on their beds and couches. They say nice things to me, not like that horrible couple where brother and I lived a few months ago. Sigh.

I wish I was home. I wish Lickity Split hadn't come by the house. I wish I hadn't pushed on the window screen. I wish I didn't jump out of the window. I wish I had thought to mark my path home.

What's that? It sounds like the rattle of the yellow box with my dry food.

"Molly! Molly!" That sounds like the human who feeds me.

"Molly is that you?" Is that really one of my humans?

"Come on, Molly. Let's go home." She puts her hand on me. I resist. She pulls me towards her, dragging part of my body on the ground. Grrrr. That hurts. She's got me. I try to squirm out of her arms, but she holds tighter. She walks quickly across the lawn, calling out, "Hurry, hurry, open the door!"

The door to the house opens. I jump out of her arms and run into a lit room where the TV is blaring. The tiny human sits on the couch while the tall hairy human stands behind me. "Molly! You're home!" They sound very happy.

I am ever so glad  to be home.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

From the Archives: Going to Church with the Daddy

Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm reaching into my archives for the next several days so I can play catch up around the house. "I'll do it tomorrow." has finally reared itself into today.  Such is retirement. :-) Have fun out there.

Today's post (edited) was first published on February 13, 2013. Warning: Cursing ahead.

One of the last times I went to church with the Daddy was a Good Friday. The Mama scored big that day as she got both the Daddy and me to go with her. I don't know how she did it. I did daydream through the service. That is, until the Daddy caught my attention.

It was a struggle for his old cartilage to do all the physical activity that takes place during a Catholic mass, especially at the much longer Good Friday service. You stand, sit, and kneel a lot.  I don't think the Daddy realized he was protesting out loud. I still wonder if God and I were the only ones who heard him. 



"God damn."

"Shit. Fuck. God damn."

The Husband loves this story. After all, what's not to like: An old man swears in church.

How I miss the Daddy. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

From the Archives: The Solicitation

Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm reaching into my archives for the next several days so I can play catch up around the house. "I'll do it tomorrow." has finally reared itself into today.  Such is retirement. :-) Have fun out there.

Today's post (edited) was first published on May 13, 2010.  Yes,  this really did happen.
Ding dong.

"Who can that be?" asked the husband, not getting up from his desk.

I scrambled up from mine and down the stairs.  Not another salesperson from the carpet cleaning or bug zapping service, I hoped. I also didn't want to find someone clutching slick campaign material. Most likely no religious people; they rarely show up around dinner time. Aw, gee. What if it was a friend? The husband and I bought hot dogs at the Farmers Market for dinner, only enough for the Mama and us.

Our front door was open, but the security door was locked. "Hello," I called from the bottom of the stairs to a young man on the porch.

"Hello," he said, pressing his face into the grated door. I love that security door. I can see the people on the other side of it, but they can't see me. I'm just a voice behind it.

"What do you want?"

He stepped back quickly. "I couldn't tell where you were," he said, sounding embarrassed.

I laughed. I almost opened the door. Less gruffly, I asked again, "What do you want?"

"I'm not selling anything."

"Okay. What do you want?"

"Uhm, my name is Danny. I live down the street," he said, pointing to the north. I didn't recognize him from any of the houses on my block.

"This is going to sound odd, but I need an ingredient." I finally noticed an empty glass jar in his hand. "I'm cooking a special meal for my mom's birthday and I ran out of an ingredient."

He paused. Okay, I was willing to bite the line. I asked, "What do you need?"

"Would you happen to have some vodka or gin?"

Now I paused. Do I really want to give someone I don't know some liquor? "Sorry. Can't help you."

"Thanks anyway." Off he went.

Upstairs, the husband asked, "What did he want?"

After repeating the tale, the husband asked, "Why can't he go to the liquor store?"

We heard our next door neighbor saying, "Sorry, we don't have any."

"I've never heard of a neighbor asking for an ingredient," said the husband. "What's he going to make anyway? A martini?"

I wonder if the dude ever got his jar filled with vodka or gin.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Post Flashback: The Utensil Choir

I'm reaching into my archives for today's post. It was originally published on April 24, 2015. See ya tomorrow.
Earlier this month, the Husband and I entertained ourselves while he washed dishes and I dried them. The result was a rundown of the utensil choir. This is the make up of the choir, according to the Husband, a musician at heart.
The soup spoon sings bass.  
The special spoon, which is a Korean soup spoon, sings baritone. 
Teaspoons sing soprano, while tablespoons sing alto or tenor. 
Forks sing four-part harmony, of course.
Salad forks? Three-part harmony!
Knives are tone deaf. When they sing, the sound cuts to the heart.
I didn't want the knives to feel left out, so I let them hold the music sheet for everyone.