The Cherry Tree.

joe_dotWe were sitting at the table eating breakfast, when I felt Joe’s eyes on me.  I looked over at him and he was just grinning ear to ear.

Me:  “You look like you’re in a pretty good mood today, Joe!”

Joe:  “Yep, I guess so.”

Me:  “I bet it’s because you’re wearing your red shirt.  You look really handsome in red.”

Dot:  “Red has always been a good color on him.”

Joe:  “What’s so good about it?”

Me:  “It brightens up your cheeks.”

Joe:  “What good does that do me?”

Dot:  “We’re the ones who have to look at you, and you look good in RED!  Now, eat your breakfast.”

Joe:  “Does it make me look taller?”

Dot:  “Huh?”

Joe:  “Does my red shirt make me look taller?”

Dot:  “Oh for heaven’s sake…”

Me:  “I think it makes you look taller, Joe.”

Joe’s eyes lit up:  “Well if it makes me look taller, then maybe I’ll have a better chance of picking a cherry from the cherry tree!”

Dot:  “We don’t have a cherry tree.”

Joe:  “But if we DID have a cherry tree; when I wear this red shirt then I’ll be taller, and I can pick cherries.”

Me:  “You’re right, Joe.  You’d be tall enough to pick the cherries AND you’d look very handsome while doing so.”

Joe beamed:  “See Dot, I told you so.”

Dot:  “I think maybe you’d better not wear red anymore.  It gives you a big head…”

Joe:  “No Dot, see my head only looks bigger because my red shirt makes me look so much taller.”


JoeAfter eating a big lunch this afternoon, including dessert, I asked Joe if he’d had enough to eat.

Joe:   “I ate enough to survive.”

Dot:   “Aren’t you full? You should be full!”

Joe:   “I wouldn’t say I’m full so much as…I’m still alive.”

Okay 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!”

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.”

Practical Joke.

I woke up at 2am this morning, because I could hear Lois rummaging through the kitchen cabinets.  Quickly, I put on my slippers and stumbled toward her with my eyes only half open.

Me:  “What are you doing, Lois?”

Lois was full of energy:  “Well Good Morning!  How are you today?”

Me, rubbing my eyes:  “Lois, it’s only 2 in the morning, what are you doing up?”

Lois:  “Oh, I just needed a little snack.”

And that was when I fully became aware of what was happening.  There was Lois,  clothed only in a white tank top, a pair of Depends, and slippers.  But that wasn’t the strange part.  The strange part was that she had her face and her head completely wrapped up with one of her sweaters, and all I could see were the whites of her eyes.

Me:  “Um, Lois…?  Is your head cold?”

Lois:  “Well it was…but it isn’t anymore.”

Me:  “Lois, you’re going to catch a cold if you stand in front of the refrigerator in your underwear.  Can I help you with something?  What kind of a snack do you want?”

Lois:  “Oh, I don’t know…anything…PUMPKIN PIE!”

She shouted so suddenly that I jumped.

Lois laughed:  “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Me:  “That’s okay.  Would you like whipped cream on it?”

Lois:  “Well of course whipped cream.  You can’t have pumpkin pie without whipped cream!”

Me:  “Of course not.”  I pulled everything that I needed out of the fridge, when Lois decided that she needed her pie to be heated up.  (Lois does not have a microwave, so heating anything up takes FOREVER.)

Me:  “Lois, since it’s 2 in the morning, would you mind just eating your pie cold?  Midnight snacks are always cold.”

Lois:  “But this pie is so OLD!  I could get sick if I eat it before it’s warmed up!”

Me:  “I bought the pie from Fred Meyer yesterday.  It’s not too old.  Plus, just so you know, I would give my left foot to be able to eat a cold piece of pumpkin pie right now, but I can’t since I’m on a ‘no-sugar’ diet, so I will just have to live vicariously through you.”

Lois:  “You like COLD pumpkin pie?”

Me:  “Yes I do.  It’s my absolute favorite.  Well, next to cold pizza.”

Lois looked a bit suspicious, but after she thought about it for a minute she smiled:  “Well, okay then.  For you…”

Me:  “Thank you, Lois.  One thing though…”

Lois:  “What’s that?”

Me:  “You’re going to have to uncover your mouth if you’re going to eat your snack.”

Lois laughed:  “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that!”  I helped her to unwrap her head.

I laughed:  “You know, I didn’t want to say anything, but you should see yourself right now. (This may seem unusual, but Lois is still at a stage in her dementia where she can snap out of it with the right cues.)  You have your entire head wrapped up in your sweater, but you’re practically naked everywhere else!”

Lois felt around for her bare arms and legs and then she cracked up:  “Boy, I must be quite a sight!  You know…Sometimes I think that old age is just God playing a practical joke on us.”

Me:  “You think so, huh?”

Lois:  “Well yeah, I mean the urine alone would be enough to keep Him entertained!”

The Priest and the Acorn.

Father John delivers Communion to Joe and Dot’s house on Saturdays since it is becoming too difficult for them to go to church on a regular basis.  Now that my schedule has changed, and I no longer work on the weekends, Dot enjoys keeping me in the loop about anything funny that happens during Saturday Communion.

This week, Dot met me at the door because she was so excited to tell me about Father’s latest visit.

Dot:  “You’re never going to believe what happened to Father!”

Me:  “Oh no…what is it this time?”

Dot:  “Well, he got out of his car and started walking toward the house, and a nut fell from the tree and hit him right on the top of his head!”

I cracked up laughing because I could just picture the whole scene taking place.

Dot continued:  “It just about scared him half to death because he didn’t know what it was that hit him at first.  He thought that some kids were throwing rocks at him, so he held his Bible above his head and started running!”

Dot and I both just about fell out of our chairs laughing at that point.

Joe walked into the kitchen, grinning:  “What are you ladies laughing about?”

Me:  “Dot just told me about the acorn hitting Father on the top of his head!”

Joe laughed:  “I don’t remember hearing about that?”

Dot:  “Yeah, it happened this Saturday.  Father was scared because he thought that someone was throwing rocks at him.”

Joe did a deep belly laugh:  “So the nut clocked him right on the top of his head?!  What are the chances of something like that happening?”

Me:  “Well it’s never happened to me.”

Dot:  “Me either.”

Joe:  “Well he’ll probably never come back here again!”

Dot:  “Of course he’ll come back, Joe!  It was only a little old acorn that hit him.”

Joe:  “Yeah, but he might have thought it was the Devil!”

Dot:  “Oh Joe, he doesn’t think it was the devil.”

Joe:  “How do you know?  Priests only think about 2 things:  God and the Devil.  So if he doesn’t think that God threw the nut at his head, then who does that leave…?”

We all cracked up.

Me:  “That’s a good point, Joe.”

Joe laughed:  “Well, if nothing else it will help him to remember to put on his hat before he leaves his house in the morning!”



156156_10151211092605862_32259767_nYou know that movie where Billy Bob Thornton plays that guy who growls, “MmmmHmmm” all the time?  Sling Blade I think it’s called.  Well, I swear to you that Lois sounds just like him when she gets really into a conversation.  It cracks me up so bad when she does it.

For instance, after dinner the other night we began to talk about the different kinds of foods that people eat around the world.  Lois loves to ask me questions about all of the places that I’ve traveled, so I told her a few stories about the cuisine in Thailand and Nepal, and to make the conversation even more interesting, I asked her if she’s ever heard of Andrew Zimmern.  Of course she’d never heard of him, so I began to tell her about how he has this show where all he does is travel all over the world and eat the craziest foods that he can find.

Me:  “I saw this one episode where he went into this candy store, but it wasn’t regular candy, it was like candied bugs and stuff.  Like, chocolate covered grasshoppers and cinnamon cockroaches…”

Lois:  “MmmHmm.”

Me:  “And I saw this other episode where he was eating rotten tofu…”

Lois:  “MmmHmm.”

Then out of the blue she asked:  “Does he ever eat crabs?”

Me:  “Well, yeah he eats crab.  But crab isn’t exactly a strange food…”

Lois suddenly got very serious:  “Didn’t your mom ever tell you about CRAB?!”

I was a bit started at her change in volume:  “No, I can’t say that she ever did…”

Lois:  “Well just think about it!  If somebody dies and ends up in the water somehow, their bodies just float to the bottom of the sea and then those crabs crawl all over them and EAT THEIR GUTS OUT!”

That was not at all what I was expecting to hear, so I just looked at her; totally shocked.

Lois nodded her head:  “MmmmHmm.”

Me:  “Wow…well, I guess I’d never actually thought of that…”

Lois:  “So when you eat crab, you’re actually eating PEOPLE!”

Me:  “So if people eat crab then they’re almost like….”

Lois:  “Cannibals.  MmmHmm.”

Me:  “Wow.  I have to say, I may never eat crabs again!”

Lois crossed her arms:  “MmmHmm.”

Later in the day, Lois got to talking about all of the blackberry bushes in her backyard.  She told me that she used to make cobblers and pies, but now that she’s gotten older she doesn’t bother with them anymore.

Lois:  “Well see, I’d be afraid that I might go back there to pick berries and then…well what if I fell down?!”

Me:  “Yeah, that wouldn’t be good if you fell down back there.”

Lois:  “No one would even hear me all the way back there!  And I’d get all tangled up in the blackberry bushes…”

Me:  “And you know the worst part?”

Lois was intrigued.

Me:  “Well see, you could fall down back there, and then you would get all tangled up in the blackberries, and then a bunch of crabs could come along…”

Lois just about died laughing.

Me:  “…and then they would…EAT YOUR GUTS OUT!”

Lois just about fell out of her chair at that point.  After we’d laughed about it for a few minutes she got all serious again.

Lois:  “And that is why it is too dangerous for me to pick those blackberries out there in my backyard.”

Me:  “I see.”

Lois:  “MmmHmm.”


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!”

The Seafood Diet.

Dot was asking me about my diet this morning because she’s impressed with the results that I’ve achieved so far.  I explained to her that I’m not allowed to eat carbohydrates.  She had a puzzled look on her face so I said that I just don’t eat any sugar or flour; so no bread, rice, pasta or desserts for me.

Dot:  “Well I think that I’d like to go on that diet with you.”

Dot probably weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, so I told her that she didn’t need to go on any diets.

Dot looked at Joe’s expanding belly:  “Well then we should put Joe on that diet with you.”

Joe looked shocked:  “ME?!  I’m not going on any goddamned diet!”

Dot:  “Well, you should go on a diet!  Besides, this one sounds perfect for you…”

Joe:  “The only way that any diet will be perfect for me is if I can eat as much ice cream and as many cookies that I want!”

Dot:  “See?  This will work out perfectly!”

I stopped their argument to interject:  “Actually Dot, this diet is not perfect for either of you.”

Dot looked confused:  “But I thought that you said that all you can eat is sugar and bread…?”

I laughed, “No it’s the opposite.  The only thing that I CAN’T have is sugar and bread.”

Joe crossed his arms and gave Dot a look that said, “I told you so!”

Dot:  “Well that just doesn’t seem right not being able to have desserts…”

Me:  “I actually don’t know of any diets where desserts are permissible, Dot.”  I thought back and suddenly remembered a joke from grade school, and with a straight face I said, “Well, except of course the Seafood Diet…”

Dot looked intrigued:  “What do you get to eat on that diet?  Just fish and shrimp and stuff?”

I winked at Joe:  “Well it’s a simple diet.  Basically how it works is when you SEE food, you get to EAT it!”

Joe busted out laughing at that point.  “Ok, you’ve talked me into it.  I’ll go on THAT diet!”

Dot laughed too:  “Oh just never you mind about diets, Joe.”

Joe:  “Yeah, but now I WANT to go on a diet.”

I laughed and said, “Well it’s pretty much the diet you’re already on, Joe.”

Joe:  “Is that right?!  Well all right then.  That sounds alright.”  Then he went back to reading his newspaper.