Posts Tagged ‘ sisters ’

Grandma’s Bad Bath Behavior

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

My Mother’s Old Chinese Doctor..I Don’t Think Dr. Ron Would Like His Picture Here!

“Oh, you girls, bathing Grandma can’t be all that difficult.”

This is my brother in law, Dr. Ron speaking. My mother and my 3 sisters and I are sitting at my mother’s kitchen table, discussing how it’s time to Bathe Grandma, Again.

This is a long time ago. My mother’s mother is in her late 80’s and has had dementia for as long as I have known her. She and my grandfather live in a cottage on my parent’s property.

My grandmother is the funniest woman I know. People tell me she had a terrific sense of humor before her strokes, but stroking hasn’t seemed to have taken away her zany and outspoken world view.

Hot weather or cold, Grandma always wears her heavy, hairy red coat that hangs below her knees with a lop-sided drag. She has long white hair that sweeps to her waist, hair that she brushes, puts into 2 two fat braids and loops over her head and pins.

She’s got the black grandma shoes and the nylons rolled right above her ankles. She wears gold wire-rimmed glasses over her nose, glasses that accent her heavily wrinkled face.

She’s healthy and strong and sinewy and likes to take a boxing stance. When she walks she lists to the right like a ship ready to roll over and go down in the roiling sea.

She doesn’t like to bathe and we don’t like to bathe her, but it becomes an absolute  necessity when we can smell her as she rocks her way towards us or sits at our conference table for dinner with all 10 of us every night. The 10 of us are my father, mother, 6 kids, Lancaster (our grandfather) and Grandma.

Then, of course, in this room we need to count the big, smelly dogs, the cats, a few chickens that like to come in the house and visit and sometimes my brother’s mean, wild raccoon that rummages through all the pots and pans in the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen, while we eat.

But, that’s another story for another day.

We’re talking about my grandmother and once again it’s Bath Day. We girls all hate this day because it takes all 5 of us to get her in the tub and hold her in the tub and get her washed. She screams at us, yells and slaps us soundly with wet wash rags. By the time the wash is over, the small bathroom in her cottage is wet, floor, walls and ceiling, soaked with water and we are all drenched with our clothes stuck to us and our hair in runny clumps with knots of soap and water.

Dr. Ron is sitting in Grandma’s small living room which is actually part of the kitchen, as we girls and Mom at the kitchen table discuss The Bath, which we are gathered to here to accomplish. We’re having green tea, getting fortified. Grandma is sitting with us, nodding and smiling sweetly, not having a care or trouble in what is left of her former mind.

Ron repeats himself, “You girls are all making too big a deal of this. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do these things. You’re obviously not approaching Grandma in the right manner.”

We all turn our heads to look at him and somebody says mildly, “Well gee…why don’t you show us how to do it,then?”

Maybe it was me?

Dr. Ron says, “Ok. I will.” (more…)

What Happened At Venus’ Laughing Club Party!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

 

Everyone's backends. Mom has the white hair. My sister Barbara is in front of the girl in the green t-shirt.

Everyone's backends. Mom has the white hair. My sister Barbara is in front of the girl in the green t-shirt.

My Cousin Laura stands up and says she wants to talk. My Cousin Laura? The ‘quiet’ cousin?

 

This happens after all twenty-five of us ladies have had lots of outstandingly good home-made food and high alcohol percentage wine.

 

My Cousin Laura is in the dark pink shirt and jeans.

My Cousin Laura is in the dark pink shirt and jeans.

 

 

We expected forty people for the party but lots of ladies have suddenly gone down with the Big Flu and they are all livid about missing The Big Event.

My daughter Summer makes each person a name tag as they arrive. They have to identify themselves on the tag. For example, “Betty, Venus’s art friend #1.” “Judy, Venus’ tall friend.” “Nina, I don’t know Venus but I heard about the party.”

The phone rings. It’s Isabel. “Where is your house! I have been driving around for an hour and a half!”

We determine that her husband gave her directions and said I live 6 miles down my road and not the .6 that I put on the invitation. Isabel arrives shortly and she arrives mad. We give her a big glass of red wine.

My Cousin Laura now picks up a big cardboard box and hauls it to the center of what I call My Great Room, which includes the kitchen, sitting room, dining room and living room. 

Laura drops the box on the wooden floor with a thud.

“Well,” she says, “I’m going to show you what my family gets me for Christmas every year. I am very particular and they are afraid of me and my reactions to Christmas presents. They know I like a certain kind of bathrobe. It must have a high collar, and have a belt that is sewn into the back as part of the robe.”

She hauls a light pink robe out of the cardboard box and puts it on, to demonstrate.

“Now, this is my favorite robe and it is just to my specifications. It has the high color, the built in tie and it is the right length and it fits. It’s also the right material.”

Laura turns in a circle to give us the full view. 

“The problem is, it is very old and it’s falling apart. So,” she says, “here is what my husband and two daughters do every year. They try and find me the perfect new robe.”

She leans over and pulls another robe from the box. She puts it on. 

“You see,” she says, “the collar is wrong. It lies flat. And the belt isn’t part of the material. It just won’t do.”

Laura pulls the robe off and hauls another from the box. She puts it on and demonstrates it’s defects. It’s too short, the color is poor and it’s not well made. She throws it back and pulls out another. And another. She puts every robe on that date from at least six or seven Christmases.

“Ah ha,” she finally says, “now look at this one they got me this year. It’s almost right.”

Laura puts on the latest robe. It’s a light pink, it’s the ‘right’ material, the belt is sewn in as part of the robe and the collar stands up around her neck.

“But look!” she says with exasperation. “It hits just below my knees and it zips up from the bottom!”

She zips it up to demonstrate. 

“I hate it!” she says.

Summer shouts, “I’ll take it!”

And another woman hollers, “I bid higher!”

Laura looks at both women with disgust. 

“Watch this,” she says. She starts to walk. The robe is too narrow when it is zipped and she has to take mincing steps like a geisha.

The women roar with laughter.

Laura thrusts all the defective robes back in the box and leaves the ‘stage.’

My sister Candy stands up. “OK, she says, “Venus wants me to tell some Grandma Stories. This is our mother’s mother.” She points to our Mom sitting as close as she can to the center of all of us. She can’t hear much, so she tries to read all our lips.

 

Candy is in pink on the left.

Candy is in pink on the left.

 

 

“I never knew Grandma when she was alright. The entire time I knew her, she was basically out of her mind. She had had many strokes. But she was the sweetest, funniest woman. She was very thin and had long white hair that she kept braided into two long braids and then wrapped over her head. She had a ton of wrinkles because she had lived in the desert most of her life. She was in her 80’s when I was a teenager and she and our grandfather, Lancaster lived on the property with our folks. They had their own little cottage, with a porch, right next door to us.”

Candy pauses and looks at our mother.

“Well, Mom was always saying to my brother Art and me, ‘It’s time for you and Art to go over and check on Grandma and Lancaster.’

“Venus started calling our grandfather Lancaster because they lived in lancaster California when Venus was little.”

“We checked on those two in the morning, late morning, afternoon and evening and in between because you never knew what they might be up to. Grandma thought Lancaster had a girlfriend named Billie Jo! She thought that because she found a nightgown of “Billie Jo’s” hanging in their closet. Of course, it was Grandma’s nightgown! But, one night when we went to check on them she had Lancaster cornered in the closet and she was menacing him with a butcher knife because of his relationship with that woman. So you can see why we had to watch things.”

Everybody gasps.

“So, OK, this one time, Art and I go over to see how the old folks are doing. It’s close to noon and Lancaster is sitting on the porch smoking marijuana and watching the cars drive by on the road. Oh, I guess you want to know why he was smoking grass in his 80’s? Because of my brothers, of course. One Christmas they gave him some. They said it would help relax him, which he needed because he lived with Grandma. You see he didn’t realize she wasn’t alright in the head. He just thought she was difficult. Anyway, so we go over to the cottage and we say, ‘Hi Lancaster, where’s Grandma?’

“He says, ‘Oh leave ‘er alone!’  ‘Well, where is she?’ we say. Lancaster says “She’s fine. leave her be!’

“OK, so Art and I look at each other and take two seats on the porch. Art lights up some grass with Lancaster. About 15 minutes go by. I say, 

‘I think I should go check on Grandma.’ Lancaster gets irate. ‘Leave her be!!’ ‘No, really,’ I say, ‘ I think I better go see what she’s up to.’

Lancaster snorts.

“Lancaster is a great guy. A lovely man. He was a handsome marine when Grandma met him and he’s still handsome, but gnarled up and stiff with arthritis from a bad car accident a few years back. When referring to his condition he always says, ‘I’m all stove up.’ He and Grandma have had a long and love filled relationship that has lasted well into her dementia, but lately, it is becoming just too much for the man to deal with.

“I get up off the chair and go looking for Grandma. 

“She’s not in the house. That’s odd. 

“I walk out the back door and into Lancaster’s tomato patch and a plot of grass.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe it. There’s a lawn chair, one of those long chaise lounge kind of things, the ones strung with plastic ribbon type bands …and Grandma is FOLDED UP IN IT. It has totally collapsed and all I can see are her two little legs sticking out through the top of it, with those black old lady shoes with laces, her legs and shoes pointing to the sky and waving in the air!

“Lancaster must have seen it happen and he chose to let her hang out here while he took a little rest from her, out on the porch, smoking a doobie.”

The group of women go crazy with laughter, especially after Candy assures them that she unfolded Grandma from the chaise lounge and Grandma had just said, “Well, hello my darling,” with a big smile. 

Then Candy launches into the time when she was a teenager, and so easily embarrassed, when she took Grandma for a little drive. She stopped up town at our local gas station, and you have to remember that our town had maybe 3500 people then and we all knew each other.

“I told Grandma I had to go to the phone booth and make a call and...not… to… get… out.. of… the.. car!

 “After a few minutes on the phone I turned around and there was Grandma, out of the car and wandering off to somewhere. I dropped the phone and ran after her yelling, ‘Get back in the car! Get back in the car!’ and she started screaming, ‘She’s kidnapping me! Oh, help! She’s kidnapping me!’ and the young guy that pumped the gas was just looking at me and I shouted at him to never mind her, just never mind!!

“I had to drag the woman back to the car and she kicked her heels into the pavement and yelled and made me drag her by the arms and her big old red coat kept falling off and and it was so humiliating for a teenager to have to do this in front of a young good looking guy!”

“I finally got her in the car and locked all the doors and I said, ‘I am never taking you for a drive, again!’ and Grandma looked at me with love and said sweetly, “Where are we going now my darling?”

Everybody is hysterically at the party. Candy tells a few more Grandma stories but than she has to give the floor to Lu.

Lu is in her 70’s. She has white hair that merges abruptly into red. She’s dressed today in a Charger’s football outfit and looks three times bigger than she really is. She lives down the road from me. She says, “Well, I like to do my chores naked. So, this one time I was riding the tractor, naked. I had just finished digging a long deep trench when what do I see but a service man driving up my road in his big truck. He musta’ seen me naked on the tractor..well, I know he did, because all of a sudden he lost control of the truck and drove it right inta’ the ditch! And he couldn’t get it out.”

We are all screaming with delight at this picture, which encourages Lu.

“Another time, I was building a stone wall, and I was naked of course. I like to do all my chores naked. So, I look behind me and here is my neighbor, a man, coming up the drive in his big truck and by golly…he drove into that same ditch and he couldn’t get his truck out either…you know…that neighbor man never comes over anymore.”

Lu looks very satisfied.

A woman named Sally leans over to me and nods her head toward a woman named Diane. Diane lives way down the road from me. She comes from Europe where she was a journalist at the United Nations. She is a big name in our area now as she works for Good Causes. 

Sally whispers, “Did you know that Diane often goes out and moons the marines when they fly over her house in their helicopters? She doesn’t like them coming over her house way out there in nowhere.”

Another friend says, “What is it with you women on this street? You all go naked so much!” She looks pointedly at me.

“Well,” I say, “that is odd isn’t it? And did you know that there used to be a nudist colony right down the road around the bend? It was here when I was a kid and one day they had a big fire over there and the fire planes dropped pink fire retardant and for weeks you could tell who the nudists were!”

The party keeps going like this. One lady tells an awful story about a dead cat and she is shouted down and sent back to her seat.

Finally, late in the afternoon, we seem to be all worn out. Lots of food, lots of wine and lots of laughter and it’s all been done for our good health, of course.

So, we are exhausted but stunningly healthy and we all go home, stuffed with cookies and lasagna and wine and laughter.

 

Venus' art room, where I broadcast my radio shows.

Venus' art room, where I broadcast my radio shows.

 

 

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Remember this SATURDAY’S TELE-CLASS ON VALENTINE’S DAY. I will be working on your WISHES for LOVE  and will send you MY MOTHER’S LOVE MOJO which packs a heavy punch, and sometimes a surprising one! Summer will put you INTO THE FLOW FOR LOVE. There are a few ‘seats’ left. Please go to  www.flowdreaming.com to read about the class Feb 14th 2009 and how you can join us. 

*March 7th 2009 we have another Flow Tele-Class for Money, Prosperity and All Good Things.

Some of my art.

Some of my art.

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Just a reminder, I do PRIVATE PHONE SESSIONS. I am telepathic, clairsentient, clairaudient and clairvoyant and I am an empath. I also work with with Good Energies, sent to you from what I call the High Beings…Please go to www.godisalwayshappy.com and look under ‘sessions with venus’ to read about what I do and my rates.

*You can also listen to part of a CD on my site, where I transcribe some of what The High Beings have told me. www.godialwayshappy.com

My bedroom.

My bedroom.

****2 WINNERS: *I am now drawing TWO NAMES for free 15 minute sessions, during each Radio Show.  Listen to “Dear Venus”at  Hayhouseradio.com every other Weds 9AM Pacific/12 noon Eastern. The shows are archived and you have one week to find your name  and contact me at

The sitting room in my bedroom.

The sitting room in my bedroom.


****2 MORE WINNERS: *I am now drawing TWO NAMES  from your email addresses, each time I write a blog. The winners this time are:

Sandy Flowers and Anita Mutz. This offer is valid through Feb 18th, 2009. After that, offer is null and void. 

One of my paintings: Blueberry Pie.

One of my paintings: Blueberry Pie.


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