Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I set out to make this an honest account of life with an elderly, demented person who comes to live with you. I am afraid that is not going to happen. However, if I could be COMPLETELY honest, I could share with you about all the other people who fit into this equation that make life equally as tough as Mildred does. But, they aren't elderly, nor demented, so to keep the peace, I'll keep that part private. But if I could share, this would be a million dollar book in the making. If you think Mildred is crazy......

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dave Thomas is a trouble maker

I remember the first frosty I ever ate. I dipped my french fries in it and it was sooooooo good. I was hooked. But as time has gone by, I recovered from that addiction. But apparently Moma has not.
Today has been a crazy day to begin with. I had to get up at 6:45 to get ready and take Brady to summer school. Moma was up piddling, so I made her ride along. Of course, we had to stop at Jack's and get breakfast. (ChaChing $7, for how dare I go home without one for the Queen and the Prince). As usual, I pulled over in a parking lot close by to let Brady eat before he went into school. Moma kept saying...."What are we waiting for?" I reminded her (several times) and her response every time was "I want to eat too!" After we dropped Brady off, we headed home. I fixed her coffee and biscuit and then she went back to bed. About an hour later, I had to take Son to meet his boss for a work-shop. I had to drive to nearly Jacksonville. I left the Princess in the Queen's charge for 30 minutes. I returned home from that to have about another hour before I had to go back and get Brady. I had promised the Queen that I would bring her lunch to her when I got him, so we headed out a little early. While in route, the Queen sent a text hinting that her usual Happy Meal would not be sufficient today. (Sigh) We picked Brady up and went off toward East Gadsden to get the Queen a salad. I decided to run by my school (which is in East Gadsden) to drop off a few things that were crowding up my back seat. On the way back, we stopped at Wendy's. This whole entire time Moma has asked a thousand questions and repeated them over and over. Lucky for me, Brady was talking and I could ignore her easily. (Here comes the kicker). I asked Moma if she wanted chicken or a cheeseburger, and she chose a cheeseburger. I pulled up to the speaker and placed our order. Both Brady and the Queen had ordered frostys. When I got our food, ($13 ChaChing), I pulled to the exit. Traffic was horrible as it was lunch time. When I finally got out into the left lane going toward City Hall, Moma looked down at the cup holders and said, "Which one of these is mine?" I shook my head...."Neither, I didn't order you one". She yelled, "Why in the shit not???? You knew I wanted one!!!" I said, "No, I didn't! (should have known better though) Moma, we have vanilla ice cream at home. I'll fix you some." She was still miffed but said nothing. As I drove, she picked up both cups several times and turned them around as if there was a novel written there. I ignored her. But after we dropped off the Queen's order at City Hall. She picked up Brady's frosty and kept messing with it, then stuck her nasty finger in it! I said, "Hey, don't put your finger in there" She said, "I orta throw it on you for not buying me one. You knew I wanted one". Rage took over. I hit the gas and said, "Let me go get you one right now! I hope you choke on it!" I flung her sandwich in her lap, and said, "Here's your sandwich". She knew I was mad, and Brady was a little shook, because "JuJu" doesn't usually get mad. My blood pressure was sky high, and I was about to have a stroke. She began to rub my arm and say, "What's wrong?" I screamed, "DON'T TOUCH ME! I am not playing your stupid game (but obviously I was and I was losing)" She said, "Well you can just KISS MY ASS! And I don't want this damn sandwich"  She threw the sandwich back at me. (All this nice behavior for my precious great nephew-mine and hers). I flew in Wendy's on 2 wheels. I handed Brady his food which I had planned to make him wait until we got home. I ordered her frosty and me a Diet Coke. Then I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot and parked and began to eat my food. She opened her frosty and started eating a little. When I unwrapped my Single with Cheese (which was pretty awesome, Dave), she said, "I thought you ordered me a sandwich" Little Brady spoke up and said, "You didn't want it Moma".  I repeated that for her. I ate and didn't give her a second thought. She said, "Well, I don't want this." and closed up her frosty. I never budged; kept eating in peace. She said, "I'd be ashamed" and turned her head away from me. The urge to throw open the door and push her out of my vehicle was so strong, I rushed to finish my sandwich and crank up before I acted on it.
Now we are home, and she has eaten her sandwich and is sleeping like a baby, while I tend to my paralysis from my stroke.

Happy Birthday Sherry and a Post Retraction

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. She is 59!! (a good 7 years older than me) I knew there would be no bells and whistles awaiting her at work or at home, so I planned a "cocktail party" for her. It was a great excuse to make party food, and my family was all about having it for supper. The little princess nearly drove me crazy wanting to "mess" in everything I was doing. I caught  her about to stick her finger in the dip for a taste. She is so nasty. She begged for a bite of everything we had. I finally had to say that I would go ahead and fix her a plate if she couldn't wait for Sherry to get there. I guess that shamed her because she opted to wait.
Sherry finally arrived and we were about to dig in. I went to get Moma out of the bed so she wouldn't feel as if she'd been an afterthought. I set about fixing her plate when she announced "I guess we are just supposed to help ourselves!" Patience is not one of her gifts. "I am fixing your plate. SIT DOWN!" I barked. Sherry and I got our plates and proceeded to talk and visit like we always do, and of course, the princess felt left out. She would interrupt, cough, hack, spit, stomp her feet, etc. to get our attention. She offered everyone the food left on her plate (because we want her sloppy seconds?). Then she began her act of Iamgoingtofeedthedogwhilesheain'tlooking! I was ahead of the game. I took her plate and napkins (that were full of tidbits) and put them on the counter by the sink. I cut her a nice large slice of birthday cake with tons of icing. I have become pro at diversion tactics. She ate, and all but licked her plate. Within 5 minutes, she asked "Ain't you got nothing sweet?" We reminded her that she had just had cake. "Aww, that ain't sweet!" So, I reached up on top of the refrigerator and got her 2 pieces of her coconut candy. Thinking she would be satisfied, I turned to Sherry and continued our chat. I heard something and saw the dogs (who were trapped in the den by a dog gate) eating. She was tossing pieces of her candy into the den for them. I snatched what was left and the bag and threw it away. I was screaming at her and stomping around the kitchen. I wanted to kill her and it was quite plain to everyone in the room. She tried that innocent "I didn't know" routine, but then referred to the "stupid" sign that I have posted about not feeding the "damn" dogs. I said, "That's fine. You just spited yourself! You won't get any more". She was turning red and screamed, "You won't get no more!" lol She was so mad she couldn't think straight.  When I settled down and began putting things up, she said, "Give me some of that watermelon". (Pardon my French) I said, "HELL NO!!!!! You are not getting anything else this night! Go to bed!" She got up and started out of the room, and turned back to say, "You cram ever-bit of that watermelon up your ass!" Good Lord.....................
***Post Retraction***
Apparently, I heard my precious husband's comment wrong the other night, and he is demanding a retraction. His version: "If you don't slow down, you are going to be wanting lap band surgery, and you can't have that and go to school too" Any mention of lap band surgery to a menopausal overweight woman is the same to me. But that is okay, I love you anyway!  All kidding aside, I could not make it without him and my kids! We are all suffering through this journey with Mildred together. In my book, Kerry Payne is awesome!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Still on the Healthy list.....

Moma is still "healthy". She did have a headache today at lunch but not bad enough to keep her from hiding food and sneaking the cat a bite. She snatched it when I tried to throw away her paper plate. Nothing like an old woman with attitude. The urge to kill her today hasn't been all that great, but I feel a real "mess" coming on!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Miraculous Healing

I am not sleeping these days (or nights). There is something that just simply is making me crazy when I lie down. It could be the chlorine from the pool drying out my skin (or maybe I'm allergic to it). It could also be my age (yeah yeah). Then again maybe it has to do with the fact that I am at least 45 pounds overweight. And after my precious husband's comment last night about my needing lapband surgery, there is that  self esteem thing I've been fighting for 52 years. The minute I lie down, I begin to itch and have a general feeling of restlessness. I toss and turn. My mind races and I begin making lists mentally. And the cover is too much, but I need it, so I throw covers back and forth. It sucks. My friend gave me a funny quote yesterday that goes like this, "Embrace the suck". I DON'T WANT TO. I want to sleep. I have NEVER had trouble sleeping. I hate this. So, I say all this to say that last night I finally got up to allow Kerry a good night's sleep (why?) because he had to get to an event early this morning. I read for about an hour, then tried to relax. My mind was shutting off, but my body was still fidgeting. I went to the couch and laid down. I finally drifted off to sleep. So this morning, bright and early, Moma who was miraculously healed of her dying state woke me up with a rap on the ankles (using her bionic arm a.k.a her can) to let me know that it was time to get up. Then she proceeded to order her breakfast. I did not sign up for this.......

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Odd Irony

Today, I helped Bek write a paper for her Am. Lit class. It was a compare and contrast of 2 story characters to today. They had experienced (or suffered, choose your word) role reversals much like mine and Moma's. As we worked on this paper, I began to see the big picture. I've heard all my life that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. I am much stronger than I was 21 years ago, when my precious Daddy was killed in a car wreck. I am stronger than I was 16 years ago, when my sweet Mother lost her battle with cancer. God has been doing a work in my life (which kind of scares me for what he has in store after Moma passes). One of the statements we made in the paper about the story characters was that being responsible for a family is stressful enough without having a disabled spouse (from the story) or aging parent put on you. It made me realize that I am not just whiny and weak. I have been called to do a GREAT job which is burdensome in more ways than one. I am climbing Mt. Everest. I am swimming the Atlantic. This is my task. MINE! And I'll see it through.....if it kills me.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I haven't posted any of the practical stuff I have learned through this. And this is supposed to help those who might face this plight one day. So here are just a few things I have learned.

  • Keep a bicycle lock for the refrigerator. Standing with the door open, looking and prodding becomes habit. 
  • Lock all medicines in a container stored out of reach.
  • If you value your personal grooming items, lock them in your bathroom closet lest you come in and find your granny lathering up with your Bath and Bodyworks lotion.
  • By placing a bell on doors, you can keep up with when they try to go out. I have one on my refrigerator and on the bathroom closet, just in case someone forgets to lock it back.
  • Keep doors closed to areas you do not want them in. Sometimes it is a deterrent.
  • Keep a night light somewhere close outside their bedroom door. Mainly so they are not afraid when they look out in the middle of the night.
  • Close air-conditioning vents close to their bed. I found magnetic covers at Wal-Mart. I just put it up during the winter.
  • Child proof your home as if you had an autistic 4 year old set of twins living with you.
  • Put up family pictures or any other memorabilia that will cause confusion. You can't imagine how valuable this piece of information will be to you. Dementia causes them to get very confused over family things.
  • NEVER NEVER let your loved one stay alone while you "run a quick errand". I came home from Dollar General (less than 2 miles away) to find Moma had let the dogs out and she was roaming the yard. Thank God for Chris Haney, who kept her at bay until I got back.
  • This is something I still struggle with: Do not let little things make you crazy!!!
  • Keep a bottle of Valium or a 5th of Vodka handy, you will need it! LOL
It is not an easy road. Many times it is nasty, smelly, and just plain awful. But, it is also rewarding. I don't recommend this, but if you choose to do it, pray a lot, and stick with it to the end. The worst part of it is that my time is NEVER my own. I have NO freedom. But with God's blessings, I am sure that I will reap the gift of time soon. The best piece of advice I can offer is LAUGH.... a lot.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Yesterday, the sitter came so that I could take Rebekah to have some oral surgery in Anniston. When we returned home, I was struggling with Rebekah, a semi-conscious, drugged up body. As I was leading her to her room, I heard all this screaming and yelling. After getting Bek settled, I went into the kitchen to hear Moma say, "If you lay yore hands on me one more time, I'll knock yore damn head off". Moma was holding a styrofoam container that we brought home from her  birthday supper with a half of a BBQ sandwich in it. It appears that Connie warmed it up for Moma's lunch, and while she was in the bathroom, Moma was distributing it to the animals. Connie came in and caught her and tried to wrestle it out of her hands. When I walked into the room, Moma said, "Julie....(points at Connie) that is the hatefulest old womern. I just hate her! She is mean and treats me like a dog! (Connie in background arguing with her) I'd rather stay with the blackest, blackest, blackest person than her. Don't NEVER call her again." Connie spoke up to say to Moma that she was just mad because Connie would not let her feed the dogs. "YOU'RE A DAMN LIAR!!!!!" Moma screeched at her. My reply to Moma was that I couldn't find anyone to stay with her because she was so hateful. Then I said, "Well I hope God will forgive you for this tirade. You aren't supposed to hate anyone." She said, "He will.....He hates her too!" Nice......do you people see what I live with??????????????

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Birthday Reflections

No matter how SICK I am of hearing about her birthday, we are still discussing it. She looked at the date on our board today and said, "Well, yesterday was my birthday. I don't guess anybody gives a damn. Nobody did anything!" (eye roll) After trying to convince her for 3 separate comments about it, I just quit. We did nothing, as far as I am concerned at this juncture.
At lunch, I offered her a piece of her birthday cake. She ate about 1/2 of it, and then said, "Now leave this right here, and I'll finish it in a minute!" She seemed really defensive. I watched her. In a minute, she put cake icing on her fork and held it down for the dogs to lick. I just got up and removed her cake and dumped it in the trash. She said, "You are acting really smart today!" I got in her face and said, "Stop. Feeding. My. Dog!!!!!" through gritted teeth. As I turned away from her, she stuck out her tongue at me. I said, "Stop being stupid" (I know, but I'm only 12). She said, "Julie....I used to love and appreciate you." USED TO????????????  What you trying to say old woman????

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Update

I brought in the mail. Moma had a card from her sweet niece who is the ONLY one who ever sends her a card for birthdays, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc. I handed it to her with a big smile and said, "Look! You got a birthday card!!" I left her to open it, and heard her say "Shit! There ain't no damn money in this!" She handed it back to me as if to say, try again. It's going to be a long night.

Weekend Catch Up, and then there's Today.....

So much to write! She has been in rare form! Buckle up....this may be a long ride.
Friday night, the kids were gone and Kerry had to be somewhere so Moma and I were "home alone". She was pretty good, but she was needy. "Will you take care of me?" "Will you check on me?" but like I said, not too bad. My friend, Kelli, came by to see her. She began to rag her about her clothes (as usual). It was a spectacle that I was embarrassed about. She finally told Kelli to get rid of her dress. She is not, by any means, an authority on style. There is a video that I am uploading to youtube. Will post as soon as I get it uploaded.
Saturday was the same song  but a totally different verse. NEEDY doesn't describe her good enough. She was "a-dyin'" at breakfast. And it was something every 15 minutes all day long. Now, there is nothing I hate worse than that victim mentality, but I had it Saturday. I was itching to get in the pool (the Wal-Mart pool that I lovingly refer to as Payne's Pool and Patio Party). I would get her settled in bed, and she would be asleep, but the very minute (and I am NOT exaggerating) that I put one toe in that water, she'd bellow my name! I keep the monitor outside when I am in the pool. It's like she knew, but she couldn't have. I was ready to kill her and drink martinis over her dead body by late afternoon. Then, because of a misunderstanding, my trip to Riverfest was canceled. And I found myself at home alone again with the Princess. I made her a steak sandwich and ordered me up a Hawaiian pizza from Dominoes with an order of cheesy bread to serve at my pity party. She hates pizza and was in bed when it came so forget trying to make me feel guilty. She hollered in her sleep, and cussed some people, and then welcomed someone in (all in her sleep). She also sang and begged God to let her live to be 100. You should assume that she was still throwing birthday hints all weekend, because it is so redundant, I am tired of talking about it.
But Sunday (SUNDAY! as Al Roker would say), she was really a pistol ball! She sang at the breakfast table so loud I thought surely the neighbors would hear. She made up songs. She sang to Jesus that it was her birthday. She sang praises to him, but also reminded him it was her birthday. She shouted, lifted her hands and spoke a little "foreign tongue". She stomped her feet and clapped her hands. It was truly a sight to behold and I didn't video it because I was afraid I'd miss something. This was an event that my friend Cheryl would have delighted to be a part of. Moma and Cheryl have that COG thing together. After lunch, I took a dear friend to a funeral, and left her with Christo. He said she was fine. But of course, when I came in....she  was up and at 'em. She followed me around. She kept asking if nobody was going to swim. So I put on my bathing suit and went out there. For some reason, she is content to sit on the deck and watch me in the pool. Mr. Payne was cutting grass and it was all over the surface of the water, so I went to work skimming. Then he skimmed when he got through. Moma kept asking him what was in the water that he was getting out. He ignored her. Finally, she said, "I guess it's full of shit". Of course, being the 12 year old that I am, I fell out laughing. When the pool was clear, we got on our big "rocker" floats. She stood at the door, and begged me to dump him over. Then she begged us both to dump the other one. We call that "instigating" in middle school. The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful. She did talk just about all night in her sleep.
Then this morning, she got up and ate, and began her dying act. Got her back in the bed, did my walking, and got in the pool. She got up! (never fails) So I sat on the deck with her awhile. She eyed Rebekah's pants I had hanging to dry and asked whose they were. I told her and her reply? "She must have a big ass". Nice. Then the hospice aid came to give her a bath and she referred to her as "that black bitch". The urge to kill was so strong at that point. Today is her birthday, and she is 98, but she may not live much longer if she doesn't level off soon! Will post pictures from the "party" tonight later.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

T-4 and counting.....

Moma is still counting down the days until her birthday, but for some reason she tells other people that she will be 90 years old, but she tells us she is almost 100. I guess at that age, who cares how close you get? She is kind of confused and slow today, but yesterday she was in rare form. I got her up early to get ready for the beauty shop, and she kept telling me she couldn't go. I said, "You'll feel better after you eat", but she didn't. I let her go back and lie down for a few minutes. When she got up, she wanted ANOTHER breakfast. In fact, she demanded one and called me a damn liar when I told her she had already eaten. I fixed it and she ate every bite! We rushed to get ready, and out the door. She was late to the beauty shop, but they don't care. And I had a chiropractor appointment. When I went back to pick her up, they could NOT believe her cussing and bossing. It was so funny to see their faces when they told me how ugly she talked. I just welcomed them to my world. lol But when I got her up to take her out, she went by their "goody counter", and began grabbing up some "take home". Dinah got her a bag, but she was grabbing napkins to wrap stuff up. It was like watching a beggar at the soup kitchen. I finally had to pull her hands away from the containers. Then on the way out, she tried to get her a jar of home canned pickles someone had brought Dinah. She is AWFUL to take out in public. You'd think we were poor and destitute. She acts like she never gets to eat. Then she brought that sassiness home. I was ready to kill her by the time I left for Bible School!
But then today, she is slow, and confused, and wobbly. She complains that she "don't feel too good". She has been in the bed a good bit. Tomorrow I get to sleep in....well, we'll see.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Random Question of the week

"Julie, was there a black man that went in my room?" Really?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

T-8 and counting

She should be tired from throwing so many hints about her birthday, but today's was a CLASSIC! It will go down in the record books! At lunch, she said in her high pitched sarcastic voice, "What you gettin' for Christmas?" Surprised, I said, "Christmas? Moma that is 6 months away!" She said, "What is this?" I said, "JUNE" She said, "Oh my birthday hasn't even come yet has it?" Nice one. And I thought she was the slow one.....no, that would be me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When's my birthday?

This little woman has ALWAYS known when her birthday is, but lately that is her favorite question. Why? Because she wants to make sure WE know when it is. She loves her birthday more than Dawn Beavers does hers. I have never seen anything like it. Well, I like mine too but I.....well, okay, I USED to leave hints and make promotions but I stopped doing that when 40 crept up (I remember 40, wasn't half bad). About that time in my life, I decided that I did not want ANY attention EVER. But the older Moma gets, the worse she is.
I can remember my poor mother grieving over what to give her. She would even ask Moma. Even if Moma told her specifically what to buy, and Mother did, Moma would take it back. For? Cash!!! That is her favorite gift. So, my Daddy told Mother to only give her cash for Christmas, Mother's Day, and her birthday. And she lived (and still is) happily ever after. So what will I do for her birthday? I'll buy the token gift but put money in a card, as well. Oh, and don't forget the card. She expects one (for the money)! So just to update you, the birthday countdown has begun! T-11 and counting.

*BTW, all you readers who never comment...the comments keep me writing! ha ha!