Salty Thingamajigs.

Lois the FinNothing like spending an hour putting together healthy Greek chicken pizza for our dinner (using the supplies that I paid for myself) just so that Lois can complain that it’s “okay, but I don’t know why you had to dump so much salt on it…”

I explained to her that the kalamata olives are what makes it salty, but that I used them sparingly, and the pizza is actually very healthy.

Lois:  “You can explain that to the doctor after I’ve had my heart attack from all of this salt.”

Me:  “I can make you something else…”

Lois:  “No, no, I’ve lived long enough anyhow.  Have you fed Baby?”

Me: “Yes, I put food out on the patio for her.”

Lois:  “You didn’t put any of those thingamajigs in her food, did ya?”

Me:   “No, of course not.”

Lois:  “Are you sure? Because she’s too young for a heart attack.”

Me:  “Yes, I’m sure.  I just gave her soft food.”

Lois:  “You didn’t pour a bunch of salt all over it, did you?”

Me:  “Lois…why would I add salt to Baby’s cat food?”

Lois:  “I was just making sure.”

Me:   “There are no salty thingamajigs on Baby’s food.”

Lois:   “Maybe I should trade her then.”


Watch Me.

joe_dotWe had a late lunch today, so I planned to make dinner for Joe and Dot an hour later than usual.  While I was in the kitchen cooking, I heard the following conversation:

Joe:  “Well, I guess we’d better head out…”

Dot:  “Where do you wanna go?”

Joe:  “To the bank.”

Dot:  “What do you need to go to the bank for?”

Joe:  “We’ll need to get money if we’re gonna go out to eat.”

Dot:  “The Girl is in there cooking right now.”

Joe:  “What Girl?”

Dot:  “The Girl who takes care of us.  She’s cooking dinner and she said it would be ready in 15 minutes.”

Joe:  “Oh god, I don’t think I’ll make it ’til then!”

Dot:  “What do you mean, you don’t think you’ll make it?”

Joe:  “I might starve!”

Dot:  “Oh Joe, you’re not going to starve.”

Joe:  “I am too!  Watch me.”

Hollow Leg.

JoeAfter dinner tonight, I asked Joe if he’d had enough to eat.

Joe:  “Well…I don’t know…”

Dot:  “Oh you’ve had enough!  You ate all of your chicken and stuffing and salad and a big brownie.  You couldn’t possibly still be hungry!”

Joe:  “Well I don’t remember doing any of that.”

Dot:  “Well you did do that.”

Joe:  “Did you have enough to eat Dot?”

Dot:  “Yes!  I’m stuffed!”

Joe:  “Well I’m not sure what went wrong.  I could still eat something.”

Me:  “Wow Joe, you really must have a hollow leg tonight!”

Joe looked concerned:  “Oh god I hope not!  That sounds dangerous!”

Alcohol Content.

JoeWhile we were sitting at the table eating lunch today, I was telling Joe and Dot about meeting my friend Faith at Portland’s Bridgeport Brewery on Saturday for dinner.  Their son had brought them home some fresh crab from the Oregon Coast so Joe and Dot were both busy using a wrench to break open their crab legs while I was telling my story.

Me:  “They had the BEST beer there too!  It was called ‘Stumptown Tart’ and it’s a beer brewed with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.”

Joe:  “What the hell is this?!”

Dot:  “It’s crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Okay.”

Dot:  “Did the beer taste like fruit?”

Me:  “Well kind of.  I mean, I could taste the fruit but it wasn’t a sweet beer.”

Joe:  “Is this a rock?  Why are there rocks on my plate?!”

Dot:  “It’s not a rock.  It’s a crab.  It’s good.  Eat it.”

Joe:  “Oh crab, okay then.”

Dot:  “I’ve never had a fruity beer.”

Me:  “Oh it’s good, I’m sure you’d love it.”

Dot:  “We usually drink beer with our crab.”

Me:  “I think you’ve got some beer downstairs, would you like me to get one for you two to share?”

Dot:  “No, not now.  Maybe with dinner.”

Joe:  “Are we having rocks for dinner too?!”

Dot:  “No, we’re having beer.  And that’s not a ROCK!  It’s a crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, crab…”

Me:  “So yeah, it was pretty much the best beer I’ve ever had.”

Joe looked at me:  “What’s the alcohol content in it?”

Me:  “Alcohol content?  Oh, I think it was 7 percent or so.”

Joe:  “So like a beer then.”

Me:  “Yep, exactly like a beer.”

Joe:  “It’s easier to get drunk off of beer if you like the taste of it.”

Me:  “That’s very true, Joe.”

Joe:  “I mean, you can get drunk off of regular beer too, but it’s more fun to get drunk off of beer that tastes good.”

Dot:  “Joe!  Eat your crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, crab…”

Chocolate Pudding.

Dot has been saying that no one makes their own pudding anymore, and she insists that the kind that you mix up yourself is so much better than the kind in the “tiny” containers at the grocery store, so I decided to whip up some do-it-yourself chocolate pudding last night for dessert.

If I had known how excited Joe and Dot would be when I put a big bowl of chocolate pudding in front of each of them, I would have started making pudding a long time ago!  You would’ve thought it was Christmas morning if you could have seen the looks on their faces when I put a dollop of whipped cream on the top.  They both grabbed their spoons and dove right it.

Dot:  “Isn’t this the BEST PUDDING YOU’VE EVER HAD, Joe?”

When Joe looked up at her, his mouth and chin were covered in chocolate pudding.

Joe shrugged:  “Yeah, it’s alright.”

Dot:  “Did you make this yourself?”

I nodded.

Dot:  “I just can’t even believe that people are too lazy to even make their own pudding these days, because it’s SO MUCH better this way!”

Me:  “I’m glad you’re enjoying it.”

Dot noticed that I wasn’t eating any pudding, so she said, “Aren’t you going to have any?”

Me:  “No, I cheated on my diet during Thanksgiving, so now I’m back on track and trying to be good, so I’d better not.”

Dot shook her head:  “Well that’s just no way to live.”

Joe looked up at me with big eyes and a chocolate-covered face:  “You can’t have pudding after Thanksgiving?  Is that kind of like how you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day…?”

I laughed:  “Yeah, something like that Joe.”


Lois and I often sit at the kitchen table for an hour or more after dinner, just chatting and telling funny stories.  She asked me a great question last night; one that I hadn’t really thought about too deeply.

Lois:  “When did you realize that you liked old people?”

I teased her and winked:  “How do you know that I like old people?”

Lois:  “Well, I just assumed since you spend so much time with us old farts…”

I laughed:  “Good point.”

I thought about it for a moment, and then I told her a bit about my childhood.

Me:  “When I was a little girl and my parents were still together, I would go on bus trips all the time.  My parents had a tourist business where they would take groups of old people on bus trips to Reno and all over the place.”

Lois was intrigued:  “Oh really?!”

Me:  “Yeah, it was really fun!  I hung out with the senior citizens all the time.  I remember one time I was so embarrassed because when I was around 4 years old, I fell asleep on one of the old lady’s laps.”

Lois:  “What was so embarrassing about that?”

I laughed:  “Well, the falling asleep part wasn’t embarrassing, but it was sure embarrassing when I woke up and quickly realized that I’d wet my pants all over that poor lady!”

Lois just about fell out of her chair she was laughing so hard:  “What did she do?!”

Me:  “Well she was so sweet to me.  I remember that I started crying and telling her that I was sorry and she just patted my arm, smiled and said, ‘Oh it’s okay sweetie.  You’ll stop wetting your pants one day soon, but then when you get to be my age you’ll start wetting your pants all over again…'”

Lois was laughing so hard she had tears rolling down her face:  “Well isn’t that the TRUTH!”

Tater Tot Casserole.

I made tater tot casserole for dinner tonight and it was a big hit.  Dot acted like I was the best cook in the entire land, and I told her that it was a really simple recipe.  Dot asked Joe if he liked the casserole.

Joe:  “What casserole?”

Dot:  “The casserole that’s on your plate.  Do you like it?  It’s good isn’t it?”

Joe:  “Well I ate all of it, didn’t I?”

Dot:  “I’m just asking you if you like it.  It wouldn’t kill you to give a compliment once in a while…”

Joe:  “It’s a compliment that I sat here and cleaned my plate.”

Dot thought about it for a second:  “I guess that’s true.  Do you want a cookie?”

Joe:  “Sure, I’ll take a cookie.”

I gave each of them a cookie.  Dot ate her cookie and left the table to go watch the news in the living room.  Joe just sat there looking at me.

Me:  “What’s new Joe?”

Joe:  “I don’t know…nothin’.”

Me:  “Did you get enough to eat?”

Joe:  “Not really…”

Me:  “Would you like more casserole?”

Joe:  “What casserole?  That stuff with the taters on it?”

Me:  “Yep, that.”

Joe:  “No, I’m full of that…”

I got him another cookie:  “Will this help?”

Joe grinned:  “Yep.  That’s more like it.”

Joe and Dot’s daughter, Shelly, drove here to take Dot to church tonight, and when she walked into the kitchen she said, “Ooohhh.  You guys had tater tot casserole for dinner!  Wow, that brings back a lot of memories…”

Me:  “You’ve had tater tot casserole before?  Your mom said she’s never had it…”

Shelly grinned:  “Mom made that casserole at least once a week when I was growing up.”

Me:  “Well no wonder they both loved it so much.”

Shelly:  “Oh yeah.  It’s one of their favorites.”

Joe:  “What are you ladies talking about?”

Shelly:  “That casserole that Mom used to make when I was growing up.  You had it for dinner tonight…”

Joe:  “Oh yeah.  Well anyway, the cookies are better.”


Dot told Joe this morning that he doesn’t need to go to church anymore.

Joe: “Who says?”

Dot: “Father John said so. He said that you’re old enough now and that God doesn’t require you to go to services anymore.”

Joe: “I’m not that old…”

Dot: “You’re 92 now Joe. You’re too old to sin…”

Joe laughed:  “Too old to sin? How can someone be too old to sin?”

Dot: “Well, anyhow we’re not going to church anymore. The Father will give us Communion at home from now on.”

Joe: “I’ll give you ‘too old to sin’…goddamn, jesus christ, sonofabitch…”

Dot: “Are you finished?”

Joe grinned:  “I guess so…”

Dot: “Are you sorry for saying those things?”

Joe still grinning: “No, not one bit…”

Dot: “Well, maybe we should continue going to church then…”

Joe: “That’s what I thought…”

Strange Bedfellows.

It was a rough night last night with Joe.  He’s usually a good sleeper, but for some reason he just kept waking up every 15 minutes, between the hours of 1am to 3am.  The caregivers sleep upstairs and we keep a baby monitor in his room so that we can hear him if he gets up during the night.  So at 1 in the morning, this is what I hear:

Joe:  (shuffle, shuffle, shuffle)

Dot:  “Where are you going, George?”

Joe:  “I’ve gotta find my horse.  He ran off!”

Dot:  “You were just dreaming.  Go back to bed…”

Joe:  “You want me to just let my horse run away?”

Dot:  “There’s no horse, George.”

Joe sees me walking down the stairs:  “Here comes that lady.  Maybe SHE will help me find my HORSE!”

Me:  “Hi Joe.  It’s the middle of the night.  Let me help you back to bed…”

Joe:  “I can’t go back to bed without my horse!”

Me:  “I think I saw your horse go into your bed…”

Joe:  “The horse is in my BED?  How the hell did I not notice that?”

Me:  “Yep.  Here he is, let me show you…”  I lead Joe back to his bedroom.  “See?”

Joe:  (giggles) “Well by-golly, you were right!”

Me:  “Here, let me help you get out of your wet clothes before you get back into bed…”

Joe:  (noticing how wet he was) “Well, how the HELL did I get so wet??”  Joe looked at the bed and said, “Did that damned horse climb into my bed after he was running around outside in the rain again?”

Me:  “It sure looks like he did…”

Joe:  “Oh well.  It’ll dry.”

I changed his pajamas and sheets, tucked him in and went back upstairs.

15 minutes later…

Joe:  “Well old boy, you ready to go for a ride?  Just wipe your feet off before you get back into bed this time…”

(shuffle, shuffle, shuffle)


While making conversation with Joe and Dot tonight at dinner, I told them that my little cousin was elected Prom Queen.

They seemed impressed, so I had to add to my bragging rights to tell them that my nieces, Claire and Dana, and my nephew, Todd, were all nominated to be in their Royalty Courts as well.

Everyone went back to eating their dinner in silence, so I figured that the conversation was over.

Until Joe said: “Isn’t there a rule that says that you’re supposed to have sex on prom night?”

Dot and I both just about choked on our Rice-a-Roni.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I asked, “What’s that you said, Joe?”

Joe: “I was saying that most folks have SEX on PROM NIGHT!”

Dot: “No they don’t!”

Joe: “Yeah they do. It’s a rule.”

Dot: “Whose rule?”

Joe: “I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it’s in the Bible or something.”

Dot: “Joe!”

Joe added sheepishly: “Well, I’m just saying…”

Dot: “So who was your date to the prom, Joe?”

Joe: “It was you, wasn’t it?”

Dot: Silence.

Joe: “Weren’t you my date, Dot?”

Dot glared at him.

Joe grinned at me and then looked down at his plate: “Whoops.”