Archive for the family battles Category

Post #160 – About The Expiration Date and the End of the Beehive Hairdo

Posted in Family, family battles, family drama, grandmothers, humor, life, memoir, Motherhood, narrative memoir, nonfiction, people, relationships, true stories, uncategoried, work, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2016 by tenaciousbitch

Knowing that each of us has an expiration date does not make it any easier when we’re told that the end is near for a family member or a friend – even if that person is 99 years old. I got that phone call earlier today from a hospice nurse about my Grandmother. She hasn’t been able to eat more than a bite or 2 of food at a time, and she’s been sleeping pretty much since Thanksgiving.

And the nurse said she was too weak to speak to me even if she brought Nana the phone. That’s when I broke down because anyone who knows Nana – knows that the only thing in this universe that would stop her from talking would be if the Grim Reaper himself was hovering about her bed.And the nurse kept using the word “declining”, which I tend to think of as a hospice buzz word synonymous with dying. I remember hearing that term a few days before my mother passed away.

I was absolutely miserable when Nana lived with us for two very long years, i.e. check out Post #1 about what she said to me when my mother was terminally ill @ https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/tenaciousbitch.com https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/tenaciousbitch.com

And/or this post about Nana’s back-handed racisim @ https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/tenaciousbitch.com.  However, I found myself sobbing on the way to the grocery store where I went to fax some paperwork to hospice in order to secure her care for however long she has left.

Ten minutes, I was told for the confirmation that the fax went through to Vitas Hospice’s office. Ten. Long. Minutes trying not to start crying again in front of total strangers. And then, a miracle happened. I decided I’d treat myself to my favorite dessert, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. On my way to the beloved freezer holding my creamy comfort in a 1/2 gallon box, I realized that God knew how sad I would be at this moment, and a miracle occurred that caused me to break into a wide smile despite my melancholy mood…

ALL OF MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM TREATS WERE ON SALE…:) november-29-2016-019   And the Skinny Cow was buy one get one FREE! I don’t think that’s every happened that I can recall. 

So, despite the fact that I started bawling again in my car on the way home, I realized life really is about the little things. The ice cream miracle. The fact that my husband does the dishes without me asking him to do so as well as watching the hilarious antics of my cats, one of whom has learned to lock herself in the bathroom when she wants some downtime from the other 2 cats (funny story for another day).

And last but not least, the incredible euphoria I experience every single time I go to the beach (any beach, Florida, California, New Jersey, doesn’t matter), and I sit staring at the vast expanse of water roaring to and fro in front of me. There’s nothing in this world that I enjoy more (as far as leisure activities, that is) than lying on the beach on a hot and sunny day…except maybe lying on the beach with a good book.

And I wondered if any of those wonderful moments that Nana has experienced over her nearly 100 years were ruminating through her mind as she drifts away from this world. I hope so. And I decided that I was going to remember Nana as the crazy redheaded woman who spoiled me rotten every time we came to visit…who so loved the hairstyle shown in the photo below…which I never really understood but Nana never really understood my love of science fiction and zombie movies either…:)nana-demonstrating-shoes That said, even though she and I are very different in a lot of ways, she taught me a very valuable life lesson – just by the way she lived her life. And I’m sure she doesn’t even realize what I’ve gleaned from her in this respect.

In that, the most important ingredient to happiness is to be true to yourself. And it’s okay if you’re not like other women, or other people in general. Nana was the FIRST woman in her family and among her friends who worked after she got married.

A year or so after my mother was born, Nana took a job at the company store. My mother grew up in the coal fields of West Virginia. And Nana got to know the manager of the company store at church, and he mentioned that he needed a part-time clerk. My grandmother eagerly took the job, not because she needed the money, but because she WANTED to work. And she eventually became the manager of the store.

She wasn’t happy sitting around the house all day cleaning and changing diapers. And this was in 1936! Such just wasn’t done, but Nana did it! She didn’t care what other people thought about it either. My grandfather was shocked and confused, but he knew Nana well enough to know that it didn’t do any good to argue with her or to try to dissuade her from whatever she wanted. She was going to do it anyway. And she worked until she was 78 years old. She retired 3 times before she finally decided it was time to give work a rest.

I hope that I’m able to see Nana again before she’s ushered from this world.  When taking care of Nana got to be too much, and she needed full-time care, she didn’t want to be in a nursing home here in Ohio where I live because she hates the weather here. She requested to move back down South where she’d lived for more than 50 years.

So, we put her in a nursing home about 5 miles from the house where she had lived from 1976 until she moved in with me and my husband in 2011. And they’ve taken very good care of her though they refer to her as “the Diva”, which is more than appropriate because I’ve never encountered anyone more spoiled than she is, God Bless Her…:) And there are quite a few posts herein that will more than quantify that nickname.

And so with that, I will say adieu so that I can make travel plans to see the crazy redhead one more time before her lights go out in Georgia for the last time.

Over and out from CASA DE CRAZY…

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

Post #152 – CLUTTER ME CRAZY!

Posted in Family, family battles, relationships with tags , , , , , , , on July 26, 2015 by tenaciousbitch

I previously mentioned my irritation in regard to the amount of housework I do and/or about the nasty grime my son creates in this post…

https://tenaciousbitch.com/2015/03/04/post-148-the-toilet-promise-from-the-kitchen-bitch/

Well, there’s another issue that makes me wanna start throwing shit out the windows. What is that, pray tell, you ask?

The. FUCKING. CLUTTER. First of all, I know that I have a good bit of clutter too.

MY CLOSET JULY 2015

My dilapidated excuse for a closet, LOL.

But it’s not by the front door or in the living room…it’s in my office or my closet, which is a total disaster because I’ve run out of room. However, I gave six, 30-gallon trash bags full of clothes to the Volunteers of America last month. And now, I know I still have a lot of dress clothes and such to sort through, etc.

However, NO ONE ever sees my disheveled untidiness because it’s all tucked away upstairs.  You can’t even get to my office without walking through mine and Charlie’s bedroom, so…yeah, it gets pretty much 0 traffic beyond me, Charlie and Max.

MY OFFICE JULY 2015

The wall adjacent my desk in my office. Pretty, ain’t it? 🙂

And, yes, much of the mounds of God knows what in manila folders throughout my little hovel where I toil away on my writing and such – could be tossed…if I had time to clean it after vacuuming, dusting, putting away laundry and doing an ungodly amount of dishes and/or and cleaning 3 of the 4 bathrooms cuz I’ll never touch Max’s bathroom again after THIS incident –

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

While my closet and office are contained areas of chaos, the difference is the messiness of my office is from not having time to file/sort and get rid of old bills or bank statements of my Grandmother’s, receipts that I may or may not need to keep for our taxes, etc.

And the disorder of my closet is from an abundance of clothes that are too small, worn out, out of season (winter clothes), or I just decided I didn’t like them after wearing them a time or two (particularly thrift store clothes).

But Max and Charlie’s clutter is comprised of objects they use every day that they’ve just neglected to put away. And Charlie constantly buys electronics and car parts, and he’ll leave the packaging on the kitchen table for 2 weeks/a month. I hesitate to throw it out the box or whatever in case it’s under warranty, and he might want to save the packaging in case he needs to send it back for some reason. Usually, when I finally remember to ask him, he says he doesn’t need it. Then, WHY THE HELL didn’t you chuck it 3 weeks ago?

So…shall we take a walk down Max and Charlie’s CLUTTER LANE?

The photo below is from my living room, right by the front door. The rectangular item in the chair is a fan from an old server that Charlie brought home from work. They were moving their offices, and he saw it in the trash. He snapped it up, thinking it would make an interesting knick knack for the basement, but he left it sitting there in the wing chair for almost 2 weeks.

FAN FROM SERVER IN LIVING ROOM

To the right of the chair is Charlie’s bass amp, which sat there for 3 weeks after he came home from their “Word of Mouth” tour in June.

Next to the wing chair is his bass amp, which was sitting up against a marble topped linen chest for more than two weeks. I couldn’t open the linen chest that whole time to put placemats away and such and/or retrieve a clean tablecloth, and the cats LOVED trying to scratch it up, the bass amp, I mean.

I don’t know why they so love raking their nails across that hard vinyl-ish plastic, but they did.  And the sound was so pleasant late at night while doing dishes or making my lunch (to take to work) not 10 feet away in the kitchen when they suddenly began ratcheting their claws against that thing, a sound akin to fingernails on a chalkboard. I would jump and cringe every time,

OH, AND THEN, there’s the shoe farm right by the front door…yeah. I bought this really nice coat rack with a bench underneath for shoes, but they obviously don’t use it, n’est-ce pas?

SHOE FARM - BENCH

I suspect you’re starting to GET why I get so pissed off about this kind of slovenliness, and maybe some people wouldn’t be bothered by this issue. But it makes me wanna start breaking shit (namely the shit they leave all over the fucking house).

TOWEL ON THE TOILET

And this view of the toilet downstairs is another prime example. Max frequently takes a shower and just leaves his towel piled up on the Kleenex on the back of the toilet – instead of on the shower door, forgetting that I’m allergic to perfume. His towel is saturated with the pungent odor of the body wash he uses (Old Spice Matterhorn, or something like that), or it might be fumigating the tissues with the fragrance of Pantene shampoo. Any kind of perfume, good or bad, makes my sinuses swell, and I get a horrible headache, and/or I can’t breathe. So, I had to throw out that box of Kleenex. Then….there’s his clothing…MAX'S SHORTS IN THE BATHROOM

He’ll leave a filthy shirt on the kitchen table or his dirty shorts with his sweat-soaked, stanky underwear attached on the floor of the bathroom almost every time he takes a shower. Awesome…because he can’t use his own shower upstairs, but don’t even get me started on that. 

Okay, I’m DONE. Just know that if you hear about a woman in Ohio shooting her son’s backside full of buckshot…it just might be ME if they don’t heed my warnings to put their CRAP WHERE IT BELONGS…

Over and out…:)

~TB

Post #137 – Revenge is a dish best served without Coca-Cola cake…

Posted in Family, family battles, family drama, Food and beverages, grandmothers, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

Five or six years ago when my father was still living, he and Nana Maude came to visit every fall for my son Rory and my husband Charlie’s birthdays- which are only 3 days apart. I wrote about Nana in my last post and in several earlier posts including one about issues concerning her goose down pillow at – https://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/05/25/post-61-macys-alleged-faux-paus/.

We all took a deep breath the minute Dad’s car landed in our driveway – wondering what kind of drama Nana will cultivate this time.  I was stirring my chili when Nana hobbled into the kitchen, her short white hair like a disheveled halo around her head as she leaned on her big, red walker. A  homemade cake was nestled on the shelf thingy on her walker.

I gave Nana a hug, put the cake on the counter and said, “That was so nice of you to make a Coca-Cola cake. I can’t wait to have some.”

“Well, I hope it turned out all right,” she croaked with another big smile and a twinkle in her eye. She always says that, and to date, I’ve never eaten one of Nana’s pies, cakes, cookies, biscuits or brownies that weren’t delectable.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Southern delicacy known as Coca-Cola cake, it’s a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, which has 1/4 cup of cola in the cake and about  2/3 cup in the icing, which makes both very light and fluffy, and it adds a certain zing to the chocolate flavor.

The next day, Charlie’s mother and stepfather, his grandparents, his Aunt Nancy, his sister Tally and her girlfriend, Melissa, all came down from Cleveland for a cookout/birthday party around noon. And Rory and Heather, his girlfriend at the time, were supposed to be at our house around noon as well.

Around 11:00, I was scurrying around the house – setting out the silverware and a dozen other last minute details when Nana came toddling into the kitchen. She looked at the Coca-Cola cake on the kitchen table with a stack of dessert plates beside it, and she said, “I need to put this up.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Why?”

“I made that for Rory, not for everyone.”

I was immediately annoyed but too busy to argue with her. However, Nana had other ideas. “Nana, there’s plenty of cake to go around,” I said firmly, glancing at the 9″ x 13″ sheet cake. “We won’t cut it until Rory gets here, and I can set aside some for him to take home.”

She shook her head. “No, I made it for Rory,” she said, picking up the cake and sliding it into the cabinet beside the table, “Not for all those other people,” she said as Charlie walked in the room.

“Nana, when you told me you were making a Coca-Cola cake, I didn’t make anything else. What’re we supposed to serve to Charlie’s family?”

Silence and a vacant stare from Nana, followed by a shrug.

“Rory won’t mind to share. In fact, I’m sure he’d insist on it,” I snapped.

“No, I made that cake for my great-grandson, not …” her voice trailed off when she realized Charlie was standing behind me. A glimmer of guilt wavered in her eyes, but I knew she wouldn’t change her mind.

I glared at her, wanting very much to deck the old, selfish crow who just happened to have given birth to my dearly departed mother.

“Nana, I’m getting that cake out, and we’re going to-”

“No,” Charlie sputtered angrily. “I don’t like chocolate cake anyway.”

The hurt and anger I saw pulsing in his eyes sparked a new level of rage against Nana.

“I’ll just go to Kroger and get another cake,” Charlie barked.

You’d think that would elicit a reaction from her, but it didn’t.

“Excuse me,” Nana muttered, looking down. “I’ve got to go to the restroom.” I watched her slump by us, head down, wondering how anyone could be so incredibly selfish.

The moment she left, I looked at Charlie and said, “I’m so sorry, honey. I had no idea-”

“It’s not your fault.”

I shook my head. “Don’t worry about it. As soon as everyone gets here, I’ll put the cake back on the table, and she won’t have the nerve to say one word about it.”

“No,” Charlie said, grabbing his jacket from the coat tree in the living room. “I’m going out to buy another cake, so I’ll have something for my family. I don’t want her fucking cake.”

I nodded. I thought about apologizing again, but there just aren’t enough words in the universe to erase the kind of hurt that Nana frequently bestows on people.

“I can go. It’s your birthday. Why don’t you go sit in-”

“No, I need to get out of here, away from her,” he said.

I nodded, and he turned and walked out.

A few warm tears dribbled down my face. And I grabbed a tissue from the box on the kitchen counter and sat down in a heap on the living room couch. I blew my nose, feeling so embarrassed by Nana’s rude behavior. And I just couldn’t fathom how my overly generous mother could’ve shared the same genes.

And if all that weren’t bad enough, here’s the kicker. When Rory and Heather arrived a few minutes later, I explained the whole dessert dilemma, and my handsome, 21-year-old son – shook his head and said, “I don’t really like that cake. And I’m not big on sweets in general.”

“I know,” I said. “But, I, unlike Nana, don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even hers, by revealing that info. But even if you loved that cake, you’d never want to hoard it like that.”

“Of course not,” Rory replied.

But at this point, it was too late. Nana had poisoned the Coca-Cola cake, so to speak.

Charlie arrived a few minutes later with a white cake with vanilla icing, which was delicious, btw. And  just to piss Nana off, I didn’t eat one single bite of her damned cake. When she asked why I was eating the store bought cake, I just shrugged. She got the hint, but that wasn’t good enough for me…

Three years later after my dad died, she moved in with us. And she constantly asked me to make a Coca Cola cake since wasn’t able to bake anymore, but I never did except one time when I hosted my Writer’s Club meeting last year. I gave everyone generous portions after dinner and huge blocks of cake to take home. And then, I hid the rest in a cabinet that Nana couldn’t reach.

Later, when I was loading the dishwasher, I heard Nana’s walker bumbling down the hallway, and I smiled.

“Well, hello, there, got any cake left?” Nana asked, smiling.

“No, I’m sorry, it’s all gone.”

“You didn’t save me any?” she grumbled, in wide-eyed shock.

“The people in my group had never had it before, so I gave them all some to take home, and Charlie had a piece. Besides, I didn’t make it for you. I made it for my friends.”

Her watery blue eyes turned cold, and tears of anger crested upon her thin, blonde lashes. She turned and stomped out – as best a 95-year-old woman can stomp anyway :).

I slept very well that night. And the words Coca-Cola cake have never graced her dry old lips again.

Over and out from the bitchy baker and her truth-spouting hippies…

TenaciousBitch

TB/ks

 

 

#134 – Time to Go To Prison~Again!

Posted in college, Family, family battles, family drama, friends, marriage, memoir, Motherhood, nonfiction, parenting, relationships, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

My son Rory’s first DUI occurred when he was 21, not long after he got married. He was working at Chase bank, and he’d been partying with some friends one night and fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree. No one was injured, thank God. All of which happened in Upper Arlington, a very ritzy, old money suburb not far from Ohio State University.

He couldn’t remember who was in the vehicle with him. However, his unnamed drinking buddies were seen scattering into the darkness when the police arrived.

Apparently, not only had he thrown back quite a few cocktails, he’d probably taken double the recommended dosage of Dexedrine, his ADD medication, and he’d been awake for around 36 hours straight. So, yeah, he was a mess. And he shouldn’t have been anywhere near a car.

Long story short, he was shuffled off to the drunk tank downtown and was later sentenced to six months probation and attending some sort of group therapy. Rory hadn’t augmented his Dexedrine intake to get high. He did it to increase his productivity and stay awake longer in order to get more accomplished – because he’s always been an overachiever.

Besides his job at Chase, he started moonlighting at Victory’s bar and restaurant downtown after Lacey lost her full-time job at a bakery. They had accumulated a massive credit card debt, and he was attempting to stave off foreclosure on their house. Lacey was unemployed for six months and had just started working part-time as a receptionist at Mt. Carmel hospital when he’d gotten the first DUI.

Three or four months later, he was out drinking and decided to give Kim, a co-worker at Victory’s, a ride home.  According to his friends, she was rather inebriated.

Kim didn’t doze off en route to her apartment as expected. No, she attempted to seduce him. Fending off her her advances caused him to swerve into the opposite lane where, thank heaven, there wasn’t an oncoming car. But a cop just happened to be right behind him.

Yeah, he was totally fucked.

On the advice of a friend/attorney who handles a lot of DUI’s, Rory refused the breathalyzer. But, apparently, when he passed the field sobriety test, the cop didn’t believe he was sober. So, the officer snuck up behind him, popped the breathalyzer in his mouth and told him to “blow”.

His blood-alcohol level was high enough for an arrest, but if I’d known how the cop had obtained his probable cause, I would’ve helped Rory prepare a Motion to Dismiss since all the evidence against him was fruit of the poisoned tree nullifying the policeman’s probable cause.

It might not’ve have been a Supreme Court-worthy document, but having been a paralegal for almost 7 years, I think it would’ve sufficed for a Pro Se defendant.

It might’ve eliminated or at least truncated Rory’s 2nd turn in County. Either way, worst case scenario – the judge could’ve denied the Motion to Dismiss. No harm. No foul. But I didn’t know what the police officer had done until a few days ago when I asked Rory about the specifics of his arrests to confirm all the details.

He pled guilty to the 2nd DUI because he couldn’t afford an attorney. He was sentenced to 5 days in lockup for violating his probation in the Upper Arlington case, and 5 days for the 2nd DUI.

Additionally, he lost his driver’s license for 2 years. However, at least the judge was kind enough to allow Rory to serve his time on his days’ off so that he wouldn’t lose his job. And since he was on flex time, his days’ off varied.

Rory’s 2nd prison term began in mid-summer. He had moved back home temporarily because he and Lacey were separated. (They divorced about a year later).  Since he didn’t have a driver’s license, I drove him to the corrections facility, which was only 4 miles away from our house.

I didn’t mind providing transportation. Plus, I could make sure he clocked in at at 9 a.m. sharp as required by his sentencing agreement. I was concerned he’d be late or not show up at all because he’d started drinking even more after he and Lacey split up. I knew that if he was a no-show, he could get thrown in the clink for 3 months to a year.

So, I’m sure you can guess what happened next. One particular morning in August, I got  up to take Rory to serve his time, and he wasn’t sleeping peacefully in his room. He wasn’t steeped in Jameson, dead to the world, on our couch downstairs in front of the TV. He was nowhere to be found.

I called and texted him a dozen times, but all I got was his voicemail and no reply to my texts. I texted every single friend of his whose contact info was on my cellular Rolodex. No one had heard from him, and none of his friends had a reason to lie, especially given the severity of the situation.

Finally at 9:45, I decided to toss out a Hail Mary. I suspected Rory might’ve spent the night with Lacey because he’d been talking to her a lot on the phone lately. She and I have a rocky history because I never wanted Rory to marry her. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a beautiful girl, and she can be extremely sweet when she wants to be. But I just didn’t think either of them was ready for marriage since he was barely 21 and she 22.

I also didn’t think they were a good match. He’s very serious and intellectual, and Lacey is not. And as I feared, they split up eight months into their marriage.

Therefore, it was a delicate proposition to contact Lacey. God forbid, I didn’t wanna call and wake her up unnecessarily since she works night or embarrass her if she happened to be with another guy. So, I chose a different route.

I called Rory’s friend, Nelson, who is probably Rory’s most responsible friend. By the time Nelson was 21, he’d already completed his BA in automotive technology from Ohio State. He works at a local Chevy dealership, and he’s got his own side business repairing/restoring old muscle cars. Yeah, I like Nelson. He’s a good egg.

So, I explained Rory’s incarceration dilemma and asked Nelson to contact Lacey. Not ten minutes later, he texted me confirming that Rory was at Lacey’s apartment somewhere downtown. I took a deep breath and dialed Lacey’s number.

“He got another DUI?” Lacey gasped.

Score another fuck up for me. Sorry, Dude, I thought to myself, didn’t mean to turn up the temp on the hot water you’re swimming in, Rory, but it ain’t my fault.

“Yeah, right after my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Rory, got a DUI downtown,” I explained. “Is he with you?”

Long pause.

“Look, Lacey…” I began in an apologetic tone while looking at my watch. “He was supposed to be at the jail an hour ago. Is he there?”

“I see,” Lacey sputtered. “Thanks for letting me know.” And she hung up.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

***

The conclusion to this story will be in my upcoming book – Tales From the Lunatic Lounge – which I hope to finish in a couple of months wherein you can read all the dirt on Rory’s last stint in the pokey! 🙂

And if you’re searching for some summer reads, check out my list of favorite books at:

https://tenaciousbitch.com/my-favorite-books/

Over and out-

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

Tenacious Bitch © 2014

 

Post 124 – Never say DISABLED…and the acquisition of the Silver Bullet! :)

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

Three years ago today, I wrecked my beloved Escalade, which is the subject of this post – https://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/12/not-arriving-at-my-destination/.

For those who are new to my Crazytown, my younger brother, Danny is a drug addict who stole between $40K and $50K from our Grandmother (Nana Maude) during 2010 when he lived with Nana in Georgia. She was 92/93 at the time, and the day I almost totaled the Escalade, I was on my way to get a Restraining Order against Danny.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Danny was at Nana’s house the day of the crash. Nana was in a rehab hospital, and Danny was at her house using my computer to do some sort of paperwork to apply for Foodstamps. I found the fax cover sheet dated for that very day (Jan. 16, 2011) on his desk the next day.

If I hadn’t spent an hour waiting on a policeman to take the statements of everyone involved in the crash (where, luckily, no one was injured), I would’ve been at Nana’s and had to deal with Danny’s temper. He was furious at me because I’d kicked him out of Nana’s house, and I was trying to sell my Dad’s BMW (that Danny had been driving) to pay 3 or 4 months’ worth of Nana’s bills that Danny hadn’t paid while he was living with her because he’d liquidated and spent all of her equity on liquor, strippers and drugs. So, I have to wonder if there was some sort of divine intervention there, maybe, as far as my accident? 🙂

Unfortunately, Nana lost her house to foreclosure because of Danny’s thievery, and she lived with me, my husband, and my son, Max, for almost 3 years afterward, which was one of the dreariest and most stressful times in my life.

As to WHY I was none too thrilled to be Nana’s maid/cook/personal assistant/laundress/nurse, etc., check out this post:

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/

Thankfully, she is now in a nursing home, which is the subject of this post:

https://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/

Unfortunately, after the accident in 2011, the Escalade was never the same. The last six months we had around $1,200 in repairs. At one point, the electrical systems went haywire. All the warning lights were blazing as if everything needed to be replaced: the battery/change the oil/replace the air bags/the brakes/the blinkers, etc., and we’d just bought a new battery.

That repair cost over $300. But a month or so after that, it quit on me, about half a mile from my part-time job at Ann Taylor Corporate. Everything died. The engine. The lights, the brakes, the power steering, etc., right in the middle of a busy intersection between a Kroger and a McDonald’s during rush hour prime time around 4:45 PM…

I managed to get it started, but it died again about 30 feet or so later. I coasted into a parking space in front of the office and had it towed home after work that night. The next day, Charlie walked in from work and said, “Well, you better start looking for a new car.”

I’d been researching various cars online for a year, and I’d tried to get him to trade in the Escalade and his truck last fall, but he wasn’t interested. We’d planned on trading in the Escalade in the spring, but turned out, it most likely needed a new transmission, which would’ve cost, $1500, at least, I would think.

And we didn’t get nearly as much for it as we should have because the State Trooper who completed the accident report in Georgia, stated the Escalade was “disabled”, which devalued my SUV to about 1/3 of what it was worth according to KBB.com. It wasn’t actually disabled. It was driveable, but my insurance agency told me to have it towed, which I was more than happy to do because I was a little shaken up after plowing into a Chevy Tahoe.  They were towing the car away just as the State Trooper arrived, so he probably assumed it was disabled.

LESSON LEARNED: if you’re ever in a car crash, don’t let the cops label your car as DISABLED, unless, it is totally incapacitated and/or not driveable because that pretty much puts your car in the junkyard category.

However, there is a SILVER lining/a.k.a. THE SILVER BULLET.

When most people go through a mid-life crisis, they buy a Porsche. And I actually found a used Porsche or two I could’ve managed to squeeze into our budget, but that would’ve meant no new clothes for 2/3 years, and Ramen noodles and PB&J would’ve been on a frequent dinner rotation, which didn’t interest me.

That said, I’m such a nerd, I bought a 2014 FORD FIESTA…

RICART PHOTO 3

in garage 3

PIC ONE IN GARAGE

Isn’t it pretty? I love it!!! It’s a five speed/manual transmission. It has a twin-cam engine, so it’s not like the scooter on a Ford frame like the old Fiesta, and it has heated seats. And despite the lower trade-in value of the Escalade, the new car payment is $30 less/month, and the difference in the gas mileage is staggering. I did a comparison on a commuter’s website, which summed it up like this:

Cost of gas for the Escalade – driving to work: 

  Daily Monthly Yearly
Drive Alone *

$15.17

$242.65

$2,911.74

Carpool with 1 other person

$7.58

$121.32

$1,455.87

Cost of driving the Fiesta:

  Daily Monthly Yearly
Drive Alone *

$5.77

$92.37

$1,108.42

Carpool with 1 other person

$2.89

$46.18

$554.21

So, the new vehicle costs about $150 less a month in petrol than the SUV…:), and the Fiesta is REALLY fun to drive.  Additionally, it’s the newest vehicle I’ve ever bought. It had 8 MILES on it when I drove it home a month ago.

That said, though I do miss the spacious interior of the Escalade somewhat, the Fiesta is a bit like the Tardis. It’s a lot bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside.

Ta for now…wishing you all shiny new chariots in the new year! 🙂

TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

Post #122 – Words of Wisdom from the WEE ones…

Posted in art, BOOKS, Family, family battles, friends, humor, memoir, Motherhood, nonfiction, parenting, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

My cousin recently posted a conversation on Facebook that she’d had with her 4-year-old after telling her son that she had to punish him so that he would learn how to be a good human being.

His reply was, “You need to try something else because this isn’t working.”  TOO FUNNY, right? These days my conversations with Max, my 21-year-old, are all too often merely my asking questions, and his grunts, shrugs, and/or one-word replies.

So, I long for the days of dazzling and thought-provoking conversations between me and my children like one particular day when Max was eight. His homework was to write a one-page essay on someone from a different culture or a different religion. Max was hell bent on making his best friend, Alex, the subject of his paper. But Alex, who lived across the street, was also in third grade, was born in America, and his family is Protestant.

“You can’t do a paper on Alex because he was born in America,” I replied.

“So was Oscar.”

“Yes, but Oscar [another 8-year-old friend] is Mexican, and his family moved here when his mom was pregnant with him. They’re Catholic, which is not like our Presbyterian church, and the Mexican culture is very different as well.”

“But Oscar doesn’t have a moped, and Alex does. And he’s the only kid on the street who has a moped.”

I smiled. I could see his point if the inventory of one’s toys was considered one of the factors for his homework, but such was not the case.

“That doesn’t matter. His moped was a birthday gift. Where you were born, the language you speak, the way you dress, your religion, that’s what matters when defining someone’s culture.”

Max frowned. “Oscar doesn’t wear jeans, and Alex does.”

I shook my head, trying not to laugh because I knew that Max didn’t give a rat’s ass what the cultural differences were. He wanted to write about Alex’s moped, and he wanted to turn in photos of the moped also (because you got extra credit for photos). You see, Max was in love with that moped. He’d been begging for one since the moment he caught a glimpse of Alex tooling around on it in front of his house. But at the same time, he obviously didn’t understand the difference between one culture and another.

“Yes, he does. Don’t be silly. All your friends wear jeans.”

“Nuh, uh, he does not,” he sputtered, his lower lip puffing out in disappointment.

I smiled. “Try again, Sport. How about doing your paper on your friend, Kareem?”

Another frown. “Why?” He retorted angrily. “Does he speak Martian or something?”

I laughed, and Max smiled, knowing he was just being goofy.

“No, people from South Africa speak English and Farsi, I think. But Kareem doesn’t speak another language, right?”

“No,” Max said grumpily.

“And he’s Muslim, so that’s very different, and–”

“So, what? Who cares if Oscar is Mexican, and they go to another church, and Karim was born in another country and isn’t a Christian. We’re all Americans, right, Mom?”

“Yes.”

“Well, my teacher said because of your culture, your family is different – like some people in Africa sometimes all live together with their moms and dads and grandmothers and cousins and uncles, all in one house. Most people in America don’t do that.”

“Right.”

“So, Alex is the only one who lives with his dad and his Dad’s girlfriend,  instead of his mom and Dad. And he’s the only one who doesn’t have any brothers or sisters, and I’ve got four brothers. And Oscar has two brothers and a sister, and Kareem has a sister and a baby brother, right?”

“Right.”

“And if we’re all Americans, we’re all the same, doesn’t matter where you go to church or what language you speak you’re still an American, but Alex’s family is different, and he’s the only one of my friends with blue eyes, and my teacher said that sometimes the way you look makes a difference. So, I don’t see why I can’t do my paper on Alex.”

Man, it was hard to argue with that logic…if only most Americans felt that way, it’d be a better place, would it not?” 🙂

Max ended up writing his paper on Oscar-albeit begrudgingly. As I recall, he got a B- on it, and then, he ripped it up and threw it in the trashcan. I didn’t say anything. I just let that go, but, apparently, Max could not let this issue fade into the night. Finally, when I thought Max had forgotten all about it, his teacher, Mrs. Childers, called about the other paper Max wrote.

“What other paper?” I asked.

“Another essay about someone named Alex. He handed it to me saying all that culture stuff is a bunch of ca ca, and this the one he should’ve done and that it was an A+ paper!” Mrs. Childers explained cheerily. “Afterward, he stomped over to his desk, crossed his arms, and fumed until recess. He didn’t do any work, but he didn’t bother anyone, so I just let him be. Eventually, he started drawing pictures of  Alex’s Moped. After lunch, he was fine on the playground and very attentive all afternoon.”

“I’m sorry to hear that he blew up like that,” I replied, trying not to laugh. “Is he in trouble? Did he say or do anything else?”

“No, I just wanted you to know how much this unit on culture upset him, but I think he vented his frustration in a very positive manner.”

“Well, thank you,” I said with relief because too often Max expelled his aggravation by screaming at people, breaking things, kicking his desk, or unfortunately, slugging a classmate, on occasion. “That was very nice of you to call and let me know.”

And…as they say…was that…

Over and out from CRAZYTOWN – where the CRAZY store never closes…:)

Tenacious BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies

Kennedy/tb

Post # 118 – Will you PLEASE stop trying to give me CAKE!!!

Posted in Family, family battles, Food and beverages, friends, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

In April of 2002, my doctor  told me that he wanted to prescribe medication for high blood pressure. I was only 36 at the time, and I asked him if losing weight would help. He looked at me like I had a couple antennae sprouting atop my head, but he agreed to let me try and asked me to come back in three months. If I didn’t lost any weight, I’d have to take something to reduce my blood pressure, or I was risking a heart attack. A couple days later, I saw a pop-up online for E-Diets.com. I decided to check it out, and I input my height and weight in their BMI calculator, and I was shocked to see the word OBESE glaring at me from cyberspace. I decided at that very moment, that I was tired of being fat, and that I was REALLY going to do something about it.

Up until my son, Max, was born in ’92, I’d always been relatively thin. And though I gained weight from that pregnancy, the real problem was eating all the wrong food. Max’s Dad (Ashe) and I were separated, so I was a single Mom with two kids, who was up at 3 a.m. every morning giving Max a bottle until he was 15 months. I always made sure the boys had healthy food, but I was frequently grabbing fast food for lunch because I didn’t have time to pack anything – and forget about exercising. It didn’t even enter into the equation.

I modeled in high school and started modeling again in 2005 after I lost 60 pounds. The first photo below was taken in high school.  I weighed 119 pounds in the second photo, taken in college circa 1984…

JUST ME - SUMMER 82

JUST ME- FALL 1983 -DORM RM rev

I’m 5′ 7″ tall, and I weighed around 189 pounds in this lovely pic below before I started dieting in 2002:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anywho, I did Weight Watchers for a year, and my only exercise was walking. I dropped 25 pounds in three months. My doctor was shocked, and my blood pressure has been normal ever since. In 2003, I hit a plateau at 150 pounds. So, I switched to the South Beach Diet, and I joined a gym. I started working out with weights, taking kickboxing, and various fitness classes. Later that year, my husband bought me a treadmill for Christmas, and I managed to get down to 125 pounds by the spring of 2004. I never thought I’d ever be that small again, but I wore a size 4 in the photo below, taken in 2005 by Steve Crompton – one of the many modeling photos I have from that time period…I’d gain a little back now and then, but I averaged around 135-140 pounds and wore between a size 6 to an 8 until 2009 when my

2552_hi

Dad died. I gained 10 pounds. No big deal, right? But it doesn’t end there. With all the turmoil that happened after he died (i.e. see https://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/05/26/and-along-came-an-urn/), it was very difficult to maintain my good habits, and I’ll be honest. I drank like a damned fish. The grief kind of swallowed me. And I was depressed and terrified I’d end up having to take care of my Grandmother, which, of course, happened (see

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/    or

https://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/

…if you’re wondering why I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of living with my Grandmother).

And, then, from February of 2011 when Nana moved in with us and June 2013 when she went into a nursing home, I gained 18 pounds. Because she’s so damned picky, we couldn’t eat a lot of the healthy food we normally eat – like baked/grilled chicken or fish with brown rice and veggies. We were relegated to meat and potatoes because that’s all she would eat.

However, regardless of how many times I explained to Nana that I DO NOT WANT to eat cake/cookies/pie – which I’m not a big fan of anyway – or donuts, etc., she was constantly trying to get me to eat what she ate. She was like this alcoholic who didn’t wanna eat her sugar fest alone. However, at 96, it’s very difficult for her to gain weight, so she can eat anything she wants.

Now, of course, she has dementia, so I tried not to get irritated with her the last six months or so. But she didn’t when she first moved in with us, and if I had a dime for every time I had to say, “No, thank you, I don’t want half your candy bar (or whatever)”. I could’ve bought a Porsche or two by now.

And then, there’s my friend, Ruth, who I’ve known for 15+ years who stopped by yesterday. She bought 2 pudding cakes because they were on sale and realized she and her husband wouldn’t eat both and did I want one? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! But she foisted it on my husband while I was in the bathroom, and then, she left. So now there’s pudding cake to tempt me too! GODDAMIT! She was around when I porked up to 190 pounds and saw me shrink to a size 6 and how deliriously happy I was when I was thinner.

And, unfortunately, I sprained my foot in the St. Paul airport running to catch my connecting flight to L.A. a couple of weeks ago because my flight from Ohio was late, and I haven’t been able to exercise since.  And despite everything, I’ve been exercising 5 days/week since June, but now I can’t until my foot heals.

And I don’t have any photos of what I look like now because I won’t let anyone take my picture. That’s how bad I look. Even still, since 2002, I’ve done EVERYTHING in my power to avoid eating sugar, by politely refusing all the cake/cookies/brownies, etc.  Why is it so hard for people to understand – if I don’t lose some weight, I’m going to have to buy a whole new wardrobe, and I’ll be UNHEALTHY AGAIN? And it’s not like this is NEWS to anyone. I’m constantly bitching about my weight.

So, NO, I DO NOT WANT ANY F’ING CANDY or CAKE, OR DONUTS OR the COOKIES YOU OFFER EVERY SINGLE TIME I COME TO YOUR HOUSE, Ruth!! And I’ve been saying NO, THANK YOU for almost 12 FUCKING YEARS. Just because Ruth can eat all that and not gain weight – doesn’t mean that I can, obviously!!! And I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s really nice that Ruth and my husband’s relatives and other folks offer such delicious fare all the time, but PLEASE STOP.

Did you not hear me bitching the day I left for vacation, dear Ruth, when I was packing because so few of my clothes fit? She was standing right there. And don’t get me wrong, I love Ruth dearly, but she, along with most of the world just don’t get it. No, I’m not obese yet, but I’m pretty close. I am teetering on a size 16! My 14’s are tight!! I had to buy a pair of pants in Vegas when it turned cooler because I accidentally brought 3 pair of jeans that are all size 12 because so many of my jeans look alike. And I had a flat tire that day, which seriously shrunk the time I needed to finish packing, so I was rather rushed.

Yes, I realize there are a lot of women who’d be THRILLED to wear a size 14 or a 16. But I am a small-boned person who wore a SIX for five years, and I will DIE trying to get there again – or at least back to an 8/10, and it would help if the entire FUCKING WORLD would stop offering me shit full of sugar and corn syrup. And I don’t care what the media says. Read Jorge Cruise’s new book – The 100 Diet. It spells out very clearly that excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup is linked to several cancers, and often leads to fatty liver syndrome, which my husband had at one time and probably has again, but he hasn’t been tested lately. And, most everyone I know thinks I look fine. But I HATE THE WAY I LOOK, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the only opinion that matters.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting now. I feel much better :)…and, yes, I’m braced for the hate mail for those who think I’m just being vein…but I don’t care. Whatever your feeling about diet/exercise, etc., eating Ho Ho’s, etc., every day isn’t good for anyone.

Peace out from FATTY CENTRAL…

TENACIOUSbitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies…