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Ruth loves her I ScreamDear Diary,

Me and my brilliant ideas.  As well meaning as they are.. they can at times lead to more trouble than they’re WORTH. Take today for example. I thought I was so the most awesome daughter-in-law in the world, for pulling together a day of beauty for my dear dementia ensconced Ruth.. in the midst of our unbearable heat wave. The lengths I will go—JUST to get Ruth into a cooler..more COMFORTABLE climate. I should have taken it as an early warning— when a thong wearing, ME stepped gingerly into someone’s spilled Strawberry Nirvana JAMBA JUICE in the parking lot of Club Pretencia (Ruth’s and my fav swimming hole). What? Oh I’m sorry. Why did I not see the red sea? BECAUSE I was on the phone with Happy Daze Assisted Living floor ROAM trying to gather vital information about the whereabouts of MY MIL! AAAACCCCKKKKK!

If THAT’S not a sign from the higher powers that be than I don’t know what is.

In my mind I envisioned her languidly sprawled out on her bed with her little pathetic excuse for a fan straining to put out something more effective than ME blowing air out of a straw (only cooler). PFUH. PFUH. PFUH. PFUH.

She’s lying there all sweaty in the ninety-degree heat.. compression hose rolled down to her ankles. Heaven only knows what top she’s wearing.. but I can guarantee she accessorized beautifully and capping off the look with her Anne Taylor Loft tank top draped gracefully around her waist serving as a belt. I cannot bear the thought of Ruth forgetting to drink the case of bottled un-PC water I bought for this very occasion. How will she ever drag herself from the bed in her dehydrated hallucinogenic state and make it ten steps to the “back-stock” closet to get the water! She will forget that I put the WATER in the closet. Or worse..she will go into the WRONG closet and mess it all up and put the TARGET stuff with the Juicy and destroy my color coordinated sportswear section. With wild crazed eyes in search of water she’ll strike the winter storage bags pulling out sweaters and woolens..Then in a final last-ditch effort to “freshen up” she’ll reach for the SCOPE.

NNNNOOOO. MY RUTH will never… Get. To. Water.

Ruth.. as it turns out, was on a completely unplanned bus ride with the other twenty-three residents to absolutely NOWHERE for the second time this week. Oh Boy! I know how my Ruth L-O-V-E-S her bus rides. I had no idea. OOPS I could lose my social secretary position for this slip up.

“Jerry..Jerry..can you hear me?” I’m using my strong, clear communication skills while gesticulating frantically into the cell phone. “Jerry.. Ruth has a Mani Pedi and a blowout in TEN minutes over at She-She Poo-Poo can you do a drive by and have someone bring her in?

Good Adrienne..and by “someone” did you mean Harriet? It might be a little hard for Harriet to bring Ruth in.. seeing that Harriet might feel the need to take a detour so that her little stuffed doggie “Fido” may get his much needed WALK. Perhaps you’d like BLANCHE to bring Ruth in? Ruth LIKES to travel to far off lands so THAT shouldn’t be a problem.

“Jerry..If you can’t get her here— OMG. I will D-I-E. Because once I commit to an appointment if I cancel I will lose ALL MY MONEY. Do you get that Jerry? I will be out hundreds (ever so slight exaggeration) and she will never be able to show up for a wax or brow arch (slight fib..see MOTHER PLUCKER) or anything here AGAIN. (Long pause with sigh for emphasis). Ever.”

I glanced at my watch and realized that there was no way Jerry was going to get Ruth to She-She Poo in time for her nails. That just left her trusty girl servant moi to attend to the dastardly deed herself. I was going to get a PEDICURE. WOOHOO! In I dashed to catch the last fifteen minutes of my appointment but not before stopping to give explicit instructions to the front desk to escort Ruth back when she arrives to my “suite”.

Ahhhh. This is the life. I’m laying back in the comfy recliner chair, in the dimly lit room, inhaling the sweetly perfumed air, water fountain tinkling in the backround.. listening to– the incessent chatter of manicure girl when in bursts GRANNY..

Hallelujah is all I can say. Where have you been and why did I have to get back on that bus? I THINK I remember saying that I was never going to do THAT again. What happened to you?”

Pedicure time O-V-E-R. Well that was..five minutes.

Ruth was beside herself that I gifted her with those flimsy disposable thongs. Said they would “work” with everything in her wardrobe. I’ll hide them later.

The last stop of the day was hair. I had booked two slots for us at the same time thinking it might be fun for a CHANGE to do something TOGETHER..hahahahaha. One slight obstacle did present itself quite a few times during the wetting, shampooing and repeat step..

Oh yeah.. and lot’s of wetting.

Do you think she found the water bottles? I don’t know what it was..but the minute the hair chick had my head back soaking wet..BOOM!

“I have to go to the ladies room.”

“I’ll take you!” I say in a tone that resembles some yippy skippy insufferable game show contestant.

Puh-lee-ze. As if anyone else in the place will jump up and beat me to the punch. Hey YOU! Lady under the about it?

I never know where in the “process” we are at the start of the warning bell. Does Ruth really have to go badly or.. does she feel the start of a little something that has the POTENTIAL during the six-foot jaunt to the ladies room to turn into the raging river Nile? I’m not the gambling type (anymore) so up I go..FAST.. water dripping everywhere to hustle Ruth to the “Johnnie”.

Ladies of MY SANDWICH GENERATION, what have I always told you about keeping a spare pair of Depends on your person at all times? Let’s look back on this post people, to see what cleverly hidden clues you picked up on to alert you to my impending dilemma. How’d you do?

1.    WATER
2.    BUS
3.    BUS
4.    BUS
5.    Running water
6.    Tinkling water fountain

RUTH: These are WET what do YOU have for me to put on?


Paper towels?

We went back to our separate sinks. little Ruthie Wettie and myself. I think we hit the little girls room about five times total. Thinking a re-check on the UTI results (Urinary Tract Infection for my MALE readers) is very necessary.

When it rains, it pours
and then— it tinkles.

Enjoy the Heat!


Posted 12 years, 7 months ago at 11:20 pm.



Ruth on HER bus trip
Dear Diary,

Oh my gosh.. Tremendous excitement over at Happy Daze Assisted Living. Today the air has a certain QUALITY to it which is hard to put my finger on exactly…No. It’s not THAT kind of air quality conundrum. THIS TIME. It’s a buzz; an excited chatter amongst the group that something DIFFERENT is about to happen. I learn from Selma that they have been “sitting around for HOURS.. waiting in great a-n-t-i-c-i-p-a-t-i-o-n” for the up and coming Le Tour de I-90/405 2009.

“Who’s got constipation?” Quips my MIL Ruth with a little snarky grin on her face. Feh. It’s MY fault. Ever since I shared the story of Granny Marnie and her little “issue” to you know who..she has been keenly aware of anyone who should suffer from the same malady. I don’t know why I ever brought it up. How did I know that it would find it’s way into Ruth’s long-term memory bank? Such a crapshoot..this DEMENTIA.

This prestigious tour— done on BUS rather than the better known bike.. will begin in the front parking spots of Happy Daze and continues in a mystery direction that will only thrill and fire the imagination of the twenty-three riders including Ruth. Once en route, the residents of the ROAM (dementia) floor will enjoy Le Tour de I-90 on a course that provides:

A. Varied terrain- providing a mixed level of comfort and tactile experience (because when those bumps come and you hit your head on the passenger to your right.. you’re going to feel it.
B.    Aesthetics-Stimulates interest (and bladder) as the riders enjoy the natural beauty of the man made ponds and Mountains (excavation sites) along the I-90 corridor.
C.    Suspense- Highly piqued curiosity as to the envisaged route that lay ahead— ads a bit more confusion excitement to an otherwise mundane predictable..HA HA HA yeah right. Day.

The riders were getting a tad anxious sitting shoulder to shoulder on the couch in the living room just starring at each other doing annoying things. Really. How long CAN you watch Shirley search for her car keys in her “bag”? Listen to Greta tell you that her “mother” is picking her up for lunch. Or tune out Faye talking trash about her mean card game and how she’s going to whip your sorry..

ME: Come on Faye. Give me a break. I put up a darn good fight. Let’s set something up for tomorrow— I need to redeem myself.

Umm. Just a side note here. Yes, Faye is good at cards but..she does the old COUGH COUGH COUGH something is in my throat routine and when I race over to get her a drink of scotch water she’s always “rearranging” my pile.

Ruth was fed up with ALL of us and while Faye and I were still going at it Ruth stormed out.. mumbling under her breath (minty fresh clean breath.. thanks to my SCOPE run) “They’re crazy. They’re all just NUTS. They just have us sitting here like a bunch of dummies. How long do we have to wait for this thing anyway?”

We all cue up at the faux keypad bookcase dressed in our best riding attire and begin our descent downstairs towards the bus. If you ask me we already look slightly road weary and beat up. We have, after all— been sitting for a good hour in preparation for the journey. I think we’re ready for lunch and a nap.

We choose our seats and seat mates very carefully on this Tour for a few very good reasons:

Some of the twist and turns along the course can be very harry and you will undoubtedly end up in the lap of your neighbor so it’s best to sit with someone you like.

You may want to enjoy the scenery in SILENCE so you need to find someone who will fall asleep within the first five minutes otherwise you will be stuck with someone who asks every thirty seconds “When are we heading back? I need to use the bathroom?”

RUTH: When are we heading back? I need to use the bathroom?

ME: You just went..TEN minutes ago. Now you’re going to need to HOLD it.

RUTH: What if I can’t?

ME: Well then I guess we’re SCREWED aren’t we?

Good thing the cutest bus driver in the whole wide world is driving this rig. I decided to play the AHBAD card (Alzheimer’s Halted by Adorable Dude) with Ruth to see if I could take her mind off of one thing and onto ANOTHER. Well. Well. Would you look at that? Ruth’s mind is already on OTHER things. While she was checking out the bus driver.. I was finding it difficult to take my eyes off the most amazing scenery outside..

“Ladies and Gentlemen.. Please see on your right– A cop that has pulled over some young long haired punks driving a (pause) what appears to be a 2009 Lexus GS 450h.”


“And on your left..the merging of I-90 with the famous I-5. Keep looking because soon we will be passing overhead 405 NORTH.”


I don’t know how they do it at the Tour de France. They bike all that way..Up hill and down hill. Across mountains and deserts. Then they drink some lousy cup of water handed off to them mid ride and a shot of power Gu and they’re off. We on the “love bus” need to take a full lunch (and potty) break about three miles into our ride.

Ruth had a great time. If you ask her about it she’ll tell you they drove through spectacular countryside and saw all kinds of farms. Maybe she’ll throw in a few details for effect “The children running around outside with their Scottish kilts on were adorable and the village was as quaint as can be.” I have no idea were she’s pulling this scene from. Maybe some past trip.

Nothing like a change of scenery to perk you up. Eh? My Sandwich Generation BFF’s. If you ever get the opportunity to go with your senior family member on le Tour de I-90/405 South/I-5 I would JUMP at the chance. It’s a really great way to see the world.



Posted 12 years, 8 months ago at 11:27 pm.

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