Monday, December 21, 2015

People in Hot Water

Yesterday was Sunday. Our day to visit with Uncle Bill. Our Sunday morning routine. Get there about 11 AM. See what groceries and personal items he needs for the week and George leaves to go get them. I busy myself with setting up his medications for the week so the aide can give them to him. Sometimes he is sleeping at this time. Yesterday he was awake. On the days he is awake he always starts off the same way.

UB: (stares at me) Well! You're here!
Me: Yes I am, UB.
90 seconds of silence ensue as he decides on the designated topic of the day. Today the topic will be Hot Water, and people who are in it.

UB: Well last night I was trying to sleep. A bunch of girls were in my bathroom. They were talking and laughing. My aide was in there too. They were using the hot water. You know, the hot water feels kind of good in the shower but you have to make sure you don't get it too hot. You can get burned.
Me: I know.
UB: Those guys in prison, they have to go to Joliet prison. Let me tell you, you do not want to go there. It is no time share. They don't like it in lock-up.
Me: Have you been in a jail with the prisoners?
UB: Oh no. Not me. I wouldn't like it. They give you way too hot showers. But there are a lot of innocent people in jail. For years, innocent people are stuck in lock-up.
Me: That would be a hard life.
UB: Up north, prison cells are underground. It is really bad to live underground. In Alcatraz, it was really bad but some of the prisoners escaped. They didn't want any more hot showers.
Me: Remember when we went on the tour at Alcatraz?
UB: Huh? Then they get on a boat and go to South America but they get stuck there. English prisoners also get stuck in South America. They cannot ever get out. 

(I am having guilt feelings. In one week we will be moving him to a Memory Care Unit where he lives. I know it is the right thing, but he will be giving up his large apartment and familiar way of life. It is going to be stressful for him at first. But he needs supervision at night.)

Then George gets back from the grocery store. As a surprise, he has stopped off at McDonald's and gotten UB his favorite thing, a plain cheeseburger and fries. Uncle Bill's face lights up and his day is complete. He is in Hamburger Heaven until it is time for us to go. 
Uncle Bill In Hamburger Heaven

As we leave, we say good-bye to his healthcare aide who has just arrived. I give UB a hug and notice that he was so excited about the hamburger that he forgot to go to the bathroom. Now he needs to change his clothes.

UB looks at his aide. 
UB: You know, they use way too hot water there in the prisons.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Uncle Bill in Better Days
It is hard to stay caught up with Uncle Bill. He just turned 88 a couple weeks ago but still has a few tricks up his sleeve(s). 

UB is very OCD. He has been hiding his mail so I cannot find it. Bills, checks, everything have disappeared for the last two weeks. I think he is trying to take control back of his life. He cannot handle the bills and checks so normally I do it.

I got a brilliant idea. I put a shoe box way back on the top of the fridge where he would not be likely to see it and I asked the health care aides to let him see his mail, then to quietly collect it and put it in the shoe box for me. 

On Sunday I went to get his mail. The aide said lots of mail had come during the week and she had put it in the box. But nothing was there, not even the shoe box. On a hunch, I went to the closet where the shoe box had been kept and there it was, in its usual place.

Me: Uncle Bill, what did you do with the mail in the box?
UB: Mail? I don't know. Maybe someone took it.
Me: Why did you take the shoe box down? (Stupid question, we all know shoe boxes do not belong on the top of the fridge)
UB: I don't know where the mail went. Maybe someone robbed it.
As I went about getting his medications together for the week, I found that one needed refilling. I called Walgreen's. The pharmacy tech told me it had already been delivered to the house. It appears that SOMEONE has hidden the medicine. I cannot find it anywhere.

Meanwhile, as I continue spinning my wheels looking for his non-existent mail and the medication that was delivered (meds to help his memory!) I cannot help but wonder if there is not some little joyful part of UB that is relishing seeing me zig-zagging on this unwanted scavenger hunt. My mind is all rabbitty wondering, "Did I look here? and "Could it be in the cabinet under the sink?" UB is not worried. He is talking about his self-chosen Theme of the Day, which today is getting up too early.

UB: I woke up and it was still dark. About 3:00. I walked down to the dining room and there was no one there. The police wanted to know why I was not sleeping. When I came back to my apartment, the mailman followed me into my room and wanted to know why I was up. Then I got a long distance call (he never answers the phone because he cannot hear it and he cannot work the phone.) They were calling for a bar on the beach. Someone sounded kind of drunk. I told them that they were calling too early in the morning. They should have some breakfast and then call back.

Of course, none of this happened. Maybe this is the place to be, in the world of Uncle Bill, instead of the real world where bad things happen more often than not.  Love my uncle!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Man Buns

So I am sitting in the back of my son’s car. My daughter-in-law, Shannon is riding with me and our husbands have taken on the driving and navigating challenges from the front seat. It allows Shannon and I to reflect on the world situation, such as it is.

Shannon: You know what a man bun is, right?
Me: (snorting derisively) Of course. Who doesn’t? Why?
Shannon: So what do you think of them?
Low "Pony Bun"

Librarian Man Bun

George Bush Man Bun

Athlete Man Bun

Man and Dog Buns

Top Knot Man Bun

I reflect on the Man Bun images that have crossed my path since they became "Official" in 2013. I feel I can adequately give my opinion based on the thoughtful survey I have just completed.
Me: Well, it’s like this. If a guy does not look good without a Man Bun, he is not going to look any better in a Man Bun. However, a really hot guy could continue to look really hot in a Man Bun.
This conversation, short as it was, sparked food for thought about ManBunDom in general. George even got interested. He photographed a man at Publix in a Man Bun. We eyeballed one from the window at Friday’s as we ate lunch. No Man Bun escaped our notice. (Disclaimer: I do not want George to EVER put a Man Bun on his head.)
My Internet research has proved there is a whole Man Bun World out there I was totally unaware of.
You can buy a ready-made Man Bun on Amazon for only 24.95. “Get the look without damaging your hair or spending years growing it out…Get the Man Bun look without the hassle.” It is described as a attachable hairpiece which comes in a variety of colors, made of artificial hair. The Man Bun is 3 in (diameter) x 1in (height). They do recommend pinning the Man Buns with a bobby pin with some of your hair layered to achieve the natural look.
And, guess what? There is an official Man Bun website complete with a definition of the Man Bun and the types of Man Buns there are. 
The Man Bun is a type of long hairstyle that involves tying one’s hair into a single bun to be placed upon the crown area of the head, or the vertex. The Man Bun may also be referred to as the Bro Bun, Hipster Bun, Mun, Dude Bun.
There is even a FAQ page with questions such as “How do I keep women from touching my Man Bun?” and “Can I grow a beard with my Man Bun?”
Leave it to my daughter-in-law, Shannon, to provide me with a topic that will keep me busy for hours on end. Thanks, Shannon, I am on my way to do some Man Bun scouting!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Being Thankful

As usual we went to a favorite restaurant on the beach to have Thanksgiving dinner. The food was excellent. We noticed that there were so many elderly people there, that it seemed like a nursing home Thanksgiving.  Walkers, wheelchairs and canes clogged up the aisles. Heaven help us if we should have to evacuate for a storm, the medical equipment alone would have caused us to trample each other in our quest to escape.
George is the Camera Dude.
It was a very windy day. We looked out the window toward the beach. There were a couple of kite things in the air, bouncing around in the wind. A man in a lawn chair was airlifted for a few moments, until he crashed back down to the sand. That was interesting.

What Thanksgiving Day is complete without getting beat in Scrabble by your oldest son? And having him play the ukulele for you? Life is complete.
Abbey watched with interest.
Telephone call from youngest son and wife and all is well with the world. Thanksgiving is all about the food and the feelings but most of all about the people you are with.

Abbey moved in closer.

The next day,  we spend time with Jeff at our current favorite place to eat. Tijuana Flats, which was originated by a UCF alumnus (where Jeff went to school.) Jeff lined up his hot sauce, prepared to dig in.
Loved this time together. Wish Cory and Ashlee had been here also but another time....

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Visit With Uncle Bill

A Day With Uncle Bill

So when we got to Uncle Bill's, he was sound asleep. We used to take him to church on Sundays but he decided he did not want to go any more. I think it was because he likes to sleep late. He does not wake up till 1:00 PM or later.
Today the aide arrived and got him up. He is always confused when he wakes up and today was no different.
UB: Hey, did you hear what happened? The girl, the aide that was here the other night, got a call from the office. When she got there, a football player, a linebacker, threw her through a window. Broke both her legs."
I knew better than to get all upset. 
UB: Did you hear that the roads are all washed out up by Lake Okeechobee? It is flooding and is heading here next.
Me: I think we are safe.
UB: That is what everyone thinks. But it is coming soon and we are going to have to stay put in our homes with our storm windows up. It is going to be really bad. The mayor of Illinois came out and looked at the mess and said it was terribly bad. And he knows his stuff.
Me: (trying to change subject) Did you know that tomorrow is Cory's birthday?
UB: No, really? Where does he live?
Me: Texas.
UB: Oh, yeah. Well, tell him to stay away from the floodwaters heading their way. The water in Okeechobee is going to fill up the Mississippi and it will travel down to the Gulf and they are going to see more water than they ever have.
Me: Well, it is time for us to go. We will come by and visit you Tuesday.
UB: Well be careful and don't go to the Mississippi. Stay inland to be safe. Quite a ways inland.
Me: We will.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Vacationing with George

It has been a while since I have posted anything on my blog. Now that I am newly retired, I have more time for such things. Hopefully there will be someone to read my posts besides myself.

Our latest adventure was in going to Cedar Key, Florida. It is about 5-6 hours north of us (south of Gainesville). Unfortunately, using our GPS to get there caused us to add on over an hour to our journey. Evidently there is only one entrance to Cedar Key (it is an island, of course) and the roads that our GPS staunchly recommended took us in a circle around Cedar Key, but never closer. We had to get on the phone with my oldest son who became my human GPS and my hero.

Picture this scenario. The driver, George, is getting a bit surly. He is annoyed at the GPS, he is worried because we are out in the middle of nowhere, with no civilization in sight and we have less than a quarter tank of gas. There is no one around to ask for directions.

We pull into a wildlife sanctuary to look for the office. Closed on Fridays. (Guess what day it was.)
I decide to call my son for help. There is no cell reception in the useless wildlife sanctuary. We use a bit more of our valuable gasoline to travel back to the highway. So now we have no phone, no help, almost no gas and not much of a sense of humor for that matter.

Once we got a hold of Jeff, things started looking up. We were not that far from Cedar Key. And then when we found the only gas station near Cedar Key, we were ready for our weekend adventure.

Somewhere between the wildlife sanctuary and Cedar Key, the cares started dropping off our shoulders. We traveled on 4 bridges over water and then arrived on Cedar Key, a tiny spot of color and character amidst the tranquil blue of the Gulf of Mexico. We had the first good luck of the day and found a parking place right in front of our hotel. Lunch was first on the agenda. As we sat outside on the deck with seafood platters, we had no cares in the world.

Our second problem was that we had not prepared for cold weather. We could see the sunrise over the water right from our suite. Unfortunately it was freakin cold and we did not have the outerwear for it. Not even long pants, just shorts. I found George outside at sunrise, wrapped in a blanket and my sweatshirt which was way too small for his body, taking pictures of the sunrise. I spared you a picture of George but the sunrise was worth posting.

The rest of our trip was awesome. Cedar Key is unique...unless you fish, boat, or drink, there is not much else to do there. Our favorite thing was to talk to local people, who were interesting, kind and lots of fun. We would definitely go back.
Right outside our suite at the Harbour Master.
We met many doggies.