Stick a fork in me, I’m done. Been a busy, busy month or two and my mind and body are both loudly complaining in my ear. My feet are saying, “sit down” and my mind has simply quit functioning at an optimum level and is mucking about like a bowl of warm Jello. Today, for example, I realized I’ve booked two appointments at the same time. Unless my muddled mind has perfected cloning something has got to go. On top of this yesterday I woke Rick up bright and early so he could make a 9:00 doctor appointment. He made it all right, unfortunately, the only one in the office was the bookkeeper as his appointment is next week. Sigh.
Characteristically it is hard for me to admit I can’t do everything. I don’t know where that comes from but it seems to be built into my basic makeup. Like an octopus I can fold laundry, carry on a phone conversation, bathe the cat (ach, not really), and install a carbeurator without breaking a sweat. However, and I loathe these words, as one gets older things that came easily when young sometimes take a little more effort. Whew, there I said it.
Last week we drove down to visit my mom. When asked what she would like for Mother’s Day, it turned out to be me. With a lot on my calendar it was not the best week for me to travel. Juggling things around I moved this appointment to that, and the one over there to the following week, and voila a four day travel window opened up. By the time we arrived Rick wasn’t feeling well. Something had upset his stomach. I suggested he lie down and got him some reliable pink elixer and he was off to dreamland. Somehow this set the tone for our visit. By the time we were heading home I was drinking the peppermint pink liquid out of the bottle with a straw.
I can’t prove it but I suspect my mother stores up “honey-do’s” for me between visits. Miraculously her coffee pot’s clean me light commences blinking when I pull up in the driveway and a stack of papers paper clipped with questions needing answering usually awaits my attention on her desk. No complaints here. I’m so thankful my mother is fully functioning and I am glad to help wherever I can. I know so many people who are dealing with aging parents who require so much more personal care, so realize how very fortunate she is, as well as I am myself.
Before I set down my purse, she let me know the television in the kitchen wasn’t getting cable reception. This tv has been around since Lucy was on prime time so I’m amazed it’s still working at all much less hooked up to a cable box. That said, I dialed the number given and went through the usual dog and pony show to get to a customer service person. Mother, speaking loudly in my ear, was telling me to advise them her cleaning lady probably unplugged one of the cables when trying to clean around it. Looking at the mishmash of colored connectors in the back I began to plug and unplug them as instructed concurrently pushing buttons on the remote when prompted. Finally, we recessitated the poor old thing and breathed into life into it once again. I resisted the urge to yell, “it’s alive, it’s alive”. We were, after all, in a retirement community, no matter how lovely the surroundings.
Mother has hearing issues. This is downplaying the situation on a large scale. Our standard mantra in the family is speak, repeat, repeat. Usually by the end of a day with her I find myself hoarse from speaking loud enough to be heard. I believe the suitable decibel for words to get through hovers somewhere around elephant trumpet. Not that she doesn’t have hearing aids, she does. They cost her a pretty penny and spend most of their time hearing only what goes on inside the box they came in. Whether it is vanity or not, I’m not sure, but while there I try to encourage her to use them so people don’t get frustrated trying to carry on a conversation. Recently we got her a phone that is captioned. What a great device. Everything said appears on a large screen making it easier on both parties to communicate. Unfortunately it is a wireless device dependent on the computer modem to perform. The modem, probably produced not long after the kitchen television, also decided to go south right after the coffee pot clean light began blinking. On calling her telephone service provider, I was informed the modem was no longer supported, and after some troubleshooting also no longer working. Goodie.
Further instructions from the customer service rep included going to one of their retail stores in the area to pick up the correct device to replace the old modem. I wrote down the number, grabbed my purse and my mother and drove the twenty-five minutes to the nearest store. Inside I was pointed in the right direction by a helpful sales person and with a swipe of a credit card we were on our way. Back at my mothers I spent two hours trying to get the modem to work before I hoisted a white flag and called the retail store to ask what was wrong. I got a man on the phone who informed me although his job was selling such devices, he had no knowledge about how they worked whatsoever. Really? Is it just me?
Hanging up, I called the phone company back and after circling the wagons in their phone system was once again hooked up with a real person. Explaining the situation I was told the modem I was given wasn’t going to work. Hmmmmm. Okay, so what’s the plan? After some discussion I was told to take this modem back and given the model numbers for two other modems that would work. Fry’s or Best Buy I was assured would carry either one or the other. Okay.
Back in the car we drove the twenty-five minutes to return the modem. Next we went to both stores suggested where the salespeople were unsuccessful in locating either item I was looking for. We were now about five hours into the program and Susie was fraying around the edges.
At the house I once again dialed the phone company. Again I spoke to a representative and explained I would be leaving for home on Sunday and couldn’t find the needed item to install to get my mother’s phone up and running. In the end they have to send an installer out this week with the appropriate modem. I suggested that since the situation wasn’t an error on my end perhaps they should foot the installation cost. They suggested where that foot should be placed. Sooooo, $100 for the modem and $100 for the installation later my mom will once again have a phone. Amazing.
My rant for today. We ate out so much during our trip when we got home I wanted something light. This delicious salad is so refreshingly good. Yum.
Melony Spinach Salad with Ginger Lime Vinaigarette
3 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups cubed watermelon (seedless)
1 1/2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
1/2 cup blueberries
2 radishes, sliced very thin
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients. Toss with dressing.
Ginger Lime Vinaigarette
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. Key lime juice
2 Tbsp. Canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Whisk together ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hr. prior to serving.