Sunday, July 31, 2011

I've Fallen and Nobody's Here to Help Me Up!

Every day I see the same commercial while I'm trying to relax with a little Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown, and it bothers me.   The ad I'm talking about is for one of those "I've fallen and can't get up" alert systems for people who live alone.

Now, I don't live alone (only in my dreams), but I can imagine the horror of being injured, or just too damned tired to get up, and needing assistance that isn't coming.  In my life (the real one), I live with my husband and two granddaughters.  I often wonder what would happen if I fell (oh wait, that already happened) and no one came to check on me (again, already happened).  I usually figure if I can just hang on until the next mealtime, somebody will come to see why the hell there isn't any food on the table.

So back to the commercial:  The lady states she lives alone and rarely has visitors.  Recently she fell and couldn't get to a phone to seek help.   She goes on to say that as she lay there for eight hours (eight hours!), she couldn't help thinking of her kids and grandkids having to go on without her. 

If I find myself on the floor alone for eight hours, I'm thinking things like: Where the hell is everybody???,  and Nobody gives a damn what happens to me!!!  I'm definitely not having delusional thoughts about how difficult life will be for my family, who are never around when I need them.

I'm a realist.  I live with the assurance that if I fall, drown or have a heart attack, everybody will go on just fine without me.  At least until dinnertime.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome Little Star

I made this card to welcome my nephew's first child.   The baby on the moon is from the Cricut Baby Steps cartridge.  I punched the stars with a Martha Stewart Punch All Over the Page, Starry Sky  (looks like I need a little practice lining that one up, or maybe the problem was that it was 2 a.m.)  Although you can't really see it in the picture, I used a shimmery cardstock underneath the patterned paper to give the effect of twinkling stars.  (Again,  photographing at 2 a.m. doesn't produce professional quality pictures.) 

Excuses, excuses.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Date Night Never Looked Like This

I thought that when I reached this age I'd be feathering my empty nest.  I fantasized that after decades of raising children and being tied down by their schedules, my husband and I could finally enjoy our freedom.  We'd travel, stroll through antique shops, and have romantic dinners by candlelight.  Didn't happen.

Tonight is date night.  But not for me and my husband.  I'm sitting at home alone, enjoying a "glass" of wine, and watching a recorded episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive (it keeps me motivated).  My almost-thirteen year old granddaughter is at the movies with her latest boyfriend, and my husband is in an adjoining theater watching a movie with the nine year old girl.

While I appreciate the peace and quiet, this isn't what I envisioned when I was making plans for our future.  But for now, I'll take what I can get.  Cheers.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bad Things Happen After Dark

At 3:30 a.m. I was jarred out of my very-brief slumber by a loud thump.  My first thought was that my 12-year-old granddaughter was up doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing at that hour (now why would I think this???)  Of course it could possibly be the eight-year-old trying to squeeze in a few extra hours of playtime (she's been studying at the foot of the master).  I stumbled down the hallway, tripping over one piece of crap after another, and started the bed check.  Eight-year-old appeared to be asleep; of course that was questionable.  But no dressers were overturned, so I backed out slowly.  Twelve-year-old's light was out, but I heard the TV...stepped inside to find her lying on her bed, eyes closed, but quite possibly faking.  I called out her name.  No answer.  But everything appeared to be in place so I left.  Of course my husband slept through it all. 

My next step was to see if we had burglars.  A rational woman might get her husband to go along for protection, but that doesn't fly in my house.  A few nights earlier I had experienced a similar situation; as I was walking down the dark hallway to investigate the noise, I tripped over an open suitcase from my granddaughter's trip to camp the previous week.  I tumbled across it, certain I was going down face-first and would probably break a few bones in the process (the last three I broke still haven't quite healed).  Yes, I used a few profane words.  In a loud voice.  Intended to wake the dead.  Did my "loving" spouse come to check on me?  Don't make me laugh.  So being the caring spouse I am, and thinking maybe he really was dead and I hadn't been loud enough to wake him, I went to check on him.  Like this:  HEY!!!  Didn't you hear me?  I nearly broke my neck on that damn suitcase!  He barely moved.  As he rolled over to go back to sleep, I took one departing shot.  Thanks for all your concern, Jacka$$!!!!!!!!   With that, I slammed the bedroom door just for the fun of it.

So I went to check for prowlers on my own.  I crept around the corner of the basement stairs, hoping desperately not to see the flicker of a flashlight.  Nothing.  Either no one was there or they were way better at stumbling around in the dark than I am.
In the morning my husband informed me that he couldn't "rouse" the 12-year-old for church.  This is getting tiresome.  Somewhere along the way she has developed this notion that she can refuse to open her eyes, pretend to be dead to the world, and the big bad boogey man will go away.  I assure you, she didn't get this idea from me.  When it's time to get out of bed (especially if it's something that gets the kids out of the house), I don't tiptoe in the dark and I don't whisper gently in their ears.  Anyway, around lunchtime, sick of watching her spend her days in bed sleeping and her nights up doing God-knows-what while my husband sleeps soundly, I went to her room to "convince" her to get her butt out of bed. 

There was no bed.

Now I know without a doubt there was a bed at 3:30 this morning.  I saw it.  I'm not crazy.  Working on it, but not there yet.

"Get up!"  I said (rather calmly I thought, under the circumstances).  "What happened to your bed???"

I think I had to repeat myself a few times, but I don't quite remember, being in shock and all.  Finally, she mumbled something about "It's a long story.  Ask Grandpa."  Silly me, thinking he had grown a pair, I had the fleeting idea that he had taken the bed away in an effort to teach her that sleeping all day won't be tolerated.  No such luck.  According to him, when he went to wake her up that morning the bed had already been dismantled.  Seems it wasn't comfortable enough for the princess.

Princess needs a new bed.
Well, at least I now have a good idea what woke me up.  The good news is that burglars don't seem to be my problem.  The bad news?  A 12-year-old up at 3:30 in the a.m. with nothing better to do than dismantle furniture.  It's going to be six long sleepless years until I'm no longer legally responsible for her actions.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Little Blessings Disguised as Big Trouble

If you've ever stumbled upon my blog before, you know I like to complain.  And there seems to be an endless variety of topics that inspire me.  Aging.  Raising my granddaughters.  Aging caused by raising my granddaughters.  But hopefully you've visited here often enough to know I love my granddaughters with all my heart... and then some.

Tonight I was looking through a few scrapbook pages I've been working on.  (Yes, I do occasionally craft.  I just try not to make a habit of it.)  My current project is from a family vacation to the Caribbean in 2009.  Maybe it was those soothing pictures of the clear turquoise water.  Or the memories of the warm sand beneath my feet.  Could it be the bottle of wine I just consumed?  (Just kidding--I'm stone-cold sober.  I only sound like I've been drinking.)  All I know is: I had an epiphany.

Yes, I complain about giving up the dreams I had for my golden years.  And I certainly don't have the energy required to clean up or chase after two kids for ten more years.  Just the thought of arranging another playdate or birthday party, attending another school open house or PTA meeting, or God forbid hosting another sleepover, sends my blood pressure to a level never-before recorded in the history of mankind.  But these girls bring true joy into my life.  Not the joy I was looking for at this age.  Joy I wasn't expecting.  And it feels good.

For now.  I might have a different story to tell after they wake up in the morning.