Archive for July, 2014

Post #140 – No, I don’t drink wine – I drink Merlot, and what’s that in your hand, Nana?

Posted in beer, Family, family drama, Food and beverages, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

While visiting Nana Maude down South last week, I took her to Olive Garden, one of her favorite restaurants. I’m not a huge fan of the Garden, but their spaghetti and meatballs are okay.

However, every single time we go there, Nana scowls at the server whenever he or she asks if we’d like a glass of wine because Nana grew up Pentecostal. If you’re unfamiliar with this fundamentalist religion, Pentecostal folks do not partake of spirits.  Additionally, many members of the Pentecostal church equate alcohol with crack, heroin or crystal meth.

And just for the record, I grew up Catholic, and I have nothing against the Pentecostal religion. I just happened to believe in – live and let live. I never preached to Nana about going to confession or praying on a rosary, but, unfortunately, she’s bitched and whined about various tenets of the Catholic church my entire life while I sat silently gritting my teeth and waiting for her to take a breath, so I could change the subject or excuse myself from the room. My Catholicism has been in remission, LOL, for a couple decades now, but I still have to endure her temperance lectures. So, I couldn’t help but pull a bait a switch of sorts to shake Nana up when things went a little sideways at Olive Garden.

“Hi, I’m Jenny,” the waitress said with a warm smile. “I’ll be your server today. Would you ladies like to start off with a glass of wine?”

“I’ll have you know that I do not drink, nor have I ever, and my Granddaughter doesn’t drink wine either!” Nana grumbled emphatically in a rather rankled tone, nodding toward me.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to squelch my laughter, which did nothing to ease the suffering of the poor server, a lovely, 22-ish blonde, who reacted with the horrified expression of one who had just been beamed with a  2′ x 4′.

“What’s so funny?” Nana asked, her sharp blue eyes targeting me.

I shook my head at the freaked out waitress with a button-lipped smile hoping to convey the idea that my Grandmother was a cranky old coot, but Jenny was still wide-eyed and petrified.

“It’s okay. You’ll have to excuse my Grandmother,” I said smiling, and finally, Jenny the waitress began to breathe again.

“Excuse me from what?” Nana snapped.

I grinned again, relishing what was about to transpire. “Nana, do you remember those pictures I showed you the other day?”

“What pictures?”

I began digging in my purse for an envelope full of pictures that I’d brought to show Nana as the harried waitress started to get really antsy. I started stacking the photos of my husband’s new truck, one of my cats, whom she loves, and such on the table until I came to a photo of the flowers my husband had given me for Valentine’s Day because Nana loves that sort of thing.

“See? Remember this picture?”

valentine's photo

“I remember the flowers, but what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?” Nana asked.

“Take a closer look. See that bottle next to the flowers?”

Nana eyes cut from the photo to giving me the stink eye instantly recognizing the bottle of wine, but I just smiled.

“That’s a bottle of Merlot. That was my other gift from Charlie.”

Nana sighed and said, “I didn’t notice anything but the flowers,” she said in an annoyed tone. “And I remember you asking Charlie to buy you some Merlot when I lived with you, but I just thought it was some kind of juice or something,” she mumbled.

I winked at the waitress who finally smiled nervously and said, “So, today we have a seafood linguine with…”

But Nana dismissed the spiel regarding the specials that day by interjecting with…”I’d like a glass of ice water, please, with lemon,” … in Nana’s foolproof method of trying to act as though nothing unpleasant had occurred by creating a diversion…:) in this case, a request for water.

I ordered a Diet Coke, and the waitress replied, “Coming up,” as she disappeared while most likely heaving a big sigh of relief that Nana’s little tantrum was over.

The rest of our lunch was pleasant and unremarkable. Nana ate most of her chicken and gnocchi soup only complaining a couple of times about the “green stuff” otherwise known as spinach in the soup.

I don’t know if she was incensed by the glass of wine question on this particular day because she’s frequented Olive Garden for more than 20 years and just got fed up, or she was in a bad mood because they lost another pair of her pajamas at the nursing home, or what…but if I wanted to be a real BITCH, I’d send her a copy of this photo below…which has graced the pages of my blog previously…

MIMI JUDY CIRCA 63 - JUDY SMOKING

The lady on the left is my Aunt Shirley (my Mom’s youngest sister), and the redhead is none other than Nana Maude holding a cocktail! And I would imagine the martini glass close to Aunt Shirley’s hand was her drink as well.  I love the fact that Aunt Shirley is smoking because Nana loves to say that when she saw Shirley walking out of community college smoking a cigarette, that she threatened to “Yank her out of college right now if I ever caught her smoking again.”

Funny thing, Aunt Shirley obviously didn’t quit, and she obtained an associates degree in legal studies in 1970. However, I don’t remember ever seeing Aunt Shirley light up a cigarette. So, she must’ve quit before I was born, or shortly thereafter unlike my mother who, sadly, was sucking on cigarettes until she died of lung cancer in 2007.

So, there you have it. Yet another day of conflicting realities in the life of Nana Maude…:), and I must go for now because my Merlot is singing MY NAME…:)

And for my wonderful fans who keep emailing me about my memoir, I’m getting close to finite! 🙂

~Over and out from Tenacious B’s Bar and Grill

TenaciousBitch/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

 

 

Post #139 – An Addendum to the day I performed sink surgery…

Posted in Family, family drama, friends, nonfiction, parenting, relationships, true stories with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

While I was rather livid when my son, Max, took off and didn’t clean his bathroom as requested, which is the subject of Post #138 –

https://tenaciousbitch.com/2014/07/08/post-138-wish-i-could-boil-my-fingers-an-adventure-in-sink-surgery/

– I have to say he made up for it later on that weekend when we put a new roof on the house. My husband, Charlie, didn’t want to shell out $15-$20K to replace our 25-year-old roof (understandably), so he and his friend, Alex, my mother-in-law Susan, and Max were up on the roof in 90-95-degree heat tearing off the old roof and installing the new shingles, etc. for 3 days straight. And they finished right before a torrential downpour commenced.

Alex was a roofer for more than 20 years, and, thank God for his expertise because they spent the entire first day correcting all the mistakes of the jack ass (or asses as the case may be) who built the addition on our house 10 years or so before we bought it in late 2001. There was no tar paper underneath the old roof as required by law (or local construction standards, whichever), and there was one section where there’s no siding where the roof of the new addition meets the original house that was built in 1962. And these are only a few of their screw-ups.

That said, my son, Max, was a lot of help that day.  He carried almost all of the 70-pound bundles of roofing materials up to the roof as depicted in the photo below –

BAXTER CARRYING BUNDLE JUNE 2014 3

He looks really pissed off in this photo, but he’s not. He hates having his picture taken anyway, and I snapped this one late on the 2nd day when it was 94 degrees in the shade, so he was a tad worn out! I think there were 23 bundles, seems like? And I think Charlie and Alex carried up 3 or 4 bundles, maybe. So, Max kinda redeemed himself after shirking his other domestic duties. Charlie did pay him to help with the roof, but he really earned his paycheck that weekend, and it would’ve cost a helluva more to hire someone to haul all of those shingles up to the roof.

Just thought I’d mention it since he was such a dick about scrubbing his toilet, etc. But he’s a guy, and as my husband says, “All guys are dicks occasionally…” 🙂

Now, that the roof is done, I wouldn’t mind if Mother Nature decided to throw some more of that hot weather our way. Since I returned from visiting Nana Maude and my son, Rory, on July 22nd, the temps since –  topped out at 85 yesterday. Otherwise, it’s been in the 70s during the day and 50 at night as is the forecast for today and tomorrow. And last I looked, it’s NOT September!

I know. I know. I shouldn’t complain, but it was difficult enough to leave the beautiful sunshine in Florida and Georgia without Summer going AWOL here in Ohio, ya know? It’s often brutally cold in the Buckeye state from October to April, so I’m not happy that we’re getting cheated out of our normally sizzling summer – even if it’s only for a few days.

And on that thought, I shall bid everyone adieu.

THANKS for reading my blog, and if you’re looking for a good book to take on vacation or whatever, check out my list of favorite books at   https://tenaciousbitch.com/my-favorite-books/

Peace out from TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

~TB/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

 

 

Post #138 – Wish I Could Boil My Fingers…an Adventure in Sink Surgery

Posted in college, Family, family drama, humor, memoir, Motherhood, mysteries, nonfiction, parenting, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

One Saturday, a couple of weeks ago, Susan, my mother-in-law, came down to visit from Cleveland. On the Monday prior, I asked Max, my 22-year-old, to clean his bathroom by Thursday, so she wouldn’t have to either traipse through mine and my husband’s bedroom to the master bath (which she’d never do) or trek downstairs to the half bath in the wee hours.

I gave him until Thursday so that if it wasn’t sanitary, which is usually the case, I could kick his ass back in there to clean it again on Friday. WARNING – if you have a weak stomach, turn away now! Go back to the pristine premises from which you hail because the images below ain’t pretty or for the faint of heart. No, they’re not as disturbing as, perhaps, the latrine at a concentration camp but probably not a whole lot better.

On Thursday afternoon around 4:00, I was in my office down the hall working, and I heard him shuffling around in in his sorry excuse for a loo. After about 15 minutes, I heard the unmistakable sound of an explosion in the vicinity of his room, and I heard him shout, “Dammit! What the fuck?”

Not to worry. It was a fake bomb, accompanied by rather impressive graphics – all courtesy of his XBox.

I crept into his bathroom for a peek at his progress, and I was bitterly disappointed. Check out his sink…

BAX'S SINK JUNE 2014

And, then, there was the toilet…

BAX'S NASTY TOILET - FLOOR

I marched down the hall to his room and beat my fist against his door rapidly, which I’m sure sounded like machine gunfire from outside, LOL.

“What?” he asked in a rather annoyed tone.

I opened the door to find him lounging on his bed, his Xbox controller in his hand, but luckily, his game was paused, so he was at least listening to me.

“You can’t possibly think your bathroom is clean?” I snapped.

“Well, what’s wrong with picking up all the trash first?” He whined in a defensive tone.

“Nothing, but you were supposed to be finished by now. Please get back in there and scrub your sink, the tub and your toilet, and I’ll do the floor to make sure it’s clean.”

Yes, I know, he should’ve done it all himself, but I knew such was asking too much of the universe that he do a decent job on the floor as well because his idea of cleansing the tile was swooshing a mop around for 3o seconds, paying no attention to the grime on the floor around his toilet or the weird crud huddled up under the canopy of the cabinet under the sink.

“Okay. Okay.”

“Now, please. I’ve got enough to do before she gets here.”

He frowned, and I slammed out of the room.

The next day around 3 p.m, I went downstairs to get a glass of water, and he was in his bathroom again. And this time, I could smell the effervescent perfume of SCRUBBING BUBBLES. My relief was tempered by my skepticism that his toilet would be hygienic enough for any woman to park her behind upon it.

Unfortunately, while I was eyeball deep in work, he managed to slip out of the house before I could inspect his janitorial efforts. And goddamit – his toilet was still filthy. The counter was clean, but everything else was still dirty, and he hadn’t even touched his bathtub, which had a smattering of dead bugs layering the bottom. Awesome!

He’d been showering in the guest bathroom downstairs (at the back of the house) because his tub wasn’t draining properly. No wonder. There’s probably a family of insects clogging up the pipes or something.

I left several vitriolic messages on his phone and a few angry texts to boot, but I knew I wouldn’t hear from him. And I didn’t. He said his phone died. WHATEVER…DICKHEAD!

Funny thing though, he hadn’t mentioned his sink wasn’t draining either…didn’t take a genius to figure out why…

BAX'S SINKThere was something stuck in the drain.And he might not show up until 2:00 the next afternoon, and Susan was supposed to arrive around 11 a.m., so, of course, it was all on me.

I donned my hazmat gear, an old t-shirt, ratty shorts and a pair of vinyl gloves. I stuck my finger down inside the sink, but I couldn’t seem to get a hold of the object. It was about the size of a quarter, and it kept flipping around between my gloved fingers.

First, I tried a pair of tweezers, but they weren’t long enough. Next, I grabbed a pair of salad tongs, but they were too wide.

I finally realized, the only way I was going to fish this thing out was to use my fingers – sans the protective vinyl. I ripped off the gloves and stuck my fingers into the drain, and I managed to pluck it out on the first try. It was, in fact, a very hairy and grimy quarter…but, alas, there was something else wedged in the sink.

After a momentary bout of cursing, I took the plunge again, and this time I snatched a penny from the bowels of the sink.

COINS FROM BAX'S SINK

You’d think my time playing sink surgeon was over, right? Oh, but, of course, you’d be dead wrong because there was still something else stuck in the curve of the pipe.

“Holy fuck balls, Max!” I shouted.

The last tidbit appeared to be a tiny bottle of some sort. I tried several times to pull it out, but it was plastic, and it kept slithering out of my grasp. At which point, I went into my bedroom, grabbed a sewing machine needle from my chest full of sewing junk. And I stuck the needle into the teeny, tiny bottle…and voila…

THING IN BAX'S SINK 2

It’s a little bottle of eye drops, a sample from the eye doctor, perhaps?

We had a robust shouting match about him shirking his responsibilities when he returned very late that night. And I told him that he’d have to clean his bathroom once/week from now on because I was not going to spend another two hours on my hands and knees scouring his bathroom floor ever again. And for chrissakes, if you drop something in the sink, remove it before it turns into a waterlogged bit of rusty goo!

He apologized later, but the damage was done. And the worst part was – though I washed my hands repeatedly, I couldn’t shake the phantom slime lingering upon my skin after my dissection of his sink.

Yeah, wish I could’ve boiled my fingers!

And I seem to be cursed by nasty plumbing mishaps, i.e., https://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/05/16/like-a-really-bad-sit-com/   …when Nana’s toilet imploded…:)

Hope all is better in your world than that auspicious day was for me!!!

Over and out from insanity central…

And for my wonderful fans who keep emailing me about my memoir, I’m getting close to finite! 🙂

TenaciousB and her band of truth-spouting hippies~

TB/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014