Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What pill?

"Hey Bets, what's going on?" I plop on the sofa and smile at my mother in law. She's been in unassisted-living for nearly a month.

Last week she encouraged fellow residents to rise up against the administration. Rob got lots of phone calls. His sister got lots of phone calls.

I ignored a lot of messages.

"Ready to go to lunch?" I ask. Betsy is dolled up and I can't help but glance down at my jeans.

"We could go shopping." She say's and laughs when I roll my eyes.

"Wouldn't help," I say, "Do you have the medications you need?"

She rummages in her purse, pulls out a cookie wrapped in kleenex, a half eaten apple and a stale cupcake, then spots her pill box.

"Keys?" I ask.

This time she fishes out a small plastic container and shakes it at me. "This," she whispers, "is where I hide those 'other' pills they try to feed me."

Oh lord, so that's what's happened to the anti-depressants. She rolls a pill into her palm. The tip has been chewed off and Betsy is so smug I bite my lip. "Better not offer anyone a Tic Tac." I say.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oranges and Apples

"Something to drink?" I ask, flipping plastic glasses to the edge of the beverage cart.

Nose buried in the Sunday Times, 9C mumbles. "Apple."

The women in the row smile and chat as they make their choices. I nod and start to pour. Early morning flights are easy, sleepy affairs.

"Apple," roars 9c, snapping his paper, and breaking the silence, "apple, apple, apple."

My chin whips around and I goggle at 9c. His face is blotched with angry streaks of red and his paper crinkles in his clenched fists. He's kidding, right? I snap my mouth shut and look at the women. They stare back with wide troubled eyes. I shrug and offer a smile.

9c levitates in his seat. "A.P.P.L.E."

Heads are snapping all over the cabin and I can't help it, I start to laugh. When I can breath, I prop a hand on my hip and give him the stink eye. "Yes," I say, "You can spell, but the ladies are still having orange."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beer Caps, Bathtubs and Bottle Rockets

"Don't get me started on beer."

"Oh," I set the brake on the beverage cart and glance at my co-worker, "why's that?"

"Well," he says, "I got a call from my best friend. He said his wife wasn't happy with him and she really wasn't happy with me, and maybe I shouldn't come to their house for awhile."

"Uh huh." His expression is so comical, I start to snicker. "So, what'd you do?"

"Well, we made beer, and we figured if we we're going to all the trouble to make beer, that we should up the alcohol content." He locks the last galley compartment and settles into his jumpseat.

I've read about hops and oast houses, but never about the actual process. "So ... how?" I ask.

"Basically," he claps a hand under his chin and rolls his eyes toward the overhead, "basically, you add more yeast. Lots of yeast."

"Uh oh."

"Yep. We stored dozens of bottles in my friend's spare bathroom." He bobs his head. "Thing is, the bathtub wasn't as safe as we'd thought. When the beer exploded, beer caps shot into the ceiling drywall and beer pretty much flooded every surface in the room." His eyes close and he smiles.

When I stop laughing, he continues. "Ever try to get the smell of beer out of drywall?" I snort and shake my head. "How about, grout, ceramic tile or backer board?"

"Stay away from my husband." I splutter, making a mental note to scratch the beer kit from my holiday shopping list.

"My buddy worked for a paint supplier, but he had to ask the experts in the industrial side of operations for help." His lips twitch. "We had to coat the entire bathroom in industral grade sealant." He snorts and gets to his feet.

Wait, that's not always compatable. "But, what if ?"

"Yep," he sighs, "normal house paint is no longer an option."

Normality, I think, is just wishful thinking for women.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Okay, I'll play along, mostly because the last avatar to join my blog was so darn cute and left by Masked Mom. You can find her at  Thanks MM

"Liebster" is a German word meaning dearest and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.
Here's how it works:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your Top 5 blogs (with under 200 followers) and let them know by leaving comments on their blogs.

3. Post the Award on your blog.

4. Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people on the Internet.
So, here are five to enjoy.  WilyBCool, who, was kind enough to leave a little gift. So, in the spirit of the season, here we go ...


The premise of  the One Lovely Blog Award is simple. Take a second to thank the blogger who bestowed the award and link back to their site. So Thank you WilyBCool @

Then list a few of your favorite blogs, visit them and leave a comment. Be brave - admit what you've done. They'll play if they wish, or bow out. Hey we're busy, right? Well, I'm procrastinating so here's mine.

Enjoy the blogs and have a happy holiday season. -Kelly

Sunday, November 20, 2011

That's My Car Dammit

"P.S.I. Honey," I stab a green bean and wave the fork in Rob's face, "means pounds per square inch, and you follow the guidelines on the sticker in the door frame."

"No," he says, equally intense, "I bought bigger tires for your car, so you go by the PSI rating on the tire."

The tic is back, I've eaten the green bean and I'm thinking of pricking his fingers with the fork. "No Rob, you don't, you go by the sticker." He opens his mouth, but I cut him off. "Thirty two pounds, Rob. Thirty. Two. Pounds."

"Bigger tires, more air." He shovels in a bite of bar-b-que pork and grins.

"Uh huh," I glare, "You do remember, what happened, when you used the high pressure washer to clean the inside of my last car?" I flashback to Rob standing in the back of the van, water cascading out the open doors and wince.

He watches my expression and shrugs. "The interior was filthy."

"You ruined the electrical system." Aware my voice is rising, I grab for the glass of ice tea and take a sip. I glance up and catch Rob smiling.

"So," he chuckles, "want me to check your tires?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good News Will Find You.

Bad news can wait.

"Honey, just tell her, you're at work."

"I can't do that." Frustrated Rob ignores the phone and stares at me. "I can't lie to my Mom."

"Uh huh," I swipe a cloth through the dust on the end table. "How many messages has she left?"

I get the stink eye, but after a minute, he scrolls through his messages and then glances up. I raise my brows.

"Seventeen." He says.

"And from your sister?" I ask.

He shrugs.

"Honestly, Honey, she's probably calling about a light bulb, or she wants a ride to Walmart." I toss the rag aside and slide a hand across his shoulder. "Go in the back bedroom and call her. Tell her, you're in Dallas, find out what she wants and then decide what to do next."

"I can't," Rob collapses on the couch, "but you can."

His expression is so conflicted that after a serious eye roll, I relent. "Fine, hand me the phone."

After a minute, Betsy answers and I go into stealth mode. "Hi Betsy, I'm in the Dallas airport, how are you?"

"Why hello Dear, how's Dallas?"

We chit chat for a moment or two and then I ask what's she been up to. Turns out she wanted a picture hung. Before help could arrive from the ground floor, she'd left countless messages with her children and the front desk.

"And you like where they hung the picture?" I grin at Rob, but his expression is closed, intense. "So what else is happening?"

"Well," she say's on a breathless sigh, "I went to an epiphany in downtown Detroit."

Okie doke. We chatter a bit and then make plans for dinner. I hang up the phone.


"Well," I plop down beside Rob, "I think your mother went to the symphony at the college in Ft. Myers."

He doesn't respond, he plucks his lower lip and studies me. "What," I ask, "you want to know if I lie to you?"

"Well, yeah."

"No honey," I start to laugh, "I tell you too much."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Favorite Veteran

Dad's a lucky man.

He came home to all the ordinary struggles of life. He came home without physical or emotional scars. He came home with his body intact.

He built a life, raised a family, befriended the world. Go Dad.

His brother wasn't so lucky. His test plane crashed in the English Channel.

So many men and women lost.

So many wounded.

Today, there are over sixteen hundred amputees. More than forty have lost three or four limbs.
Listen to Gary.  Enjoy Purple Haze.  Say thank you.

The Gary Sinese Foundation


Thank You

CSI New York, Second Generation

"Want to come to a mid season bash for
 CSI NY?" Asks Brat. "It'll be fun."

Really? Is there someone Brat doesn't know?

I give her a look. I've worked back to back trips, landed in Miami and caught a flight to New York only to discover she isn't packed, her tires are cracked and she has an agenda that makes my eye balls roll back in their sockets.

"Excellent," she crows, "Beamer is bringing the kids and maybe we can tour the set before the concert."

"Maybe," I manage a civil tone, "you could finish packing so we can get to California on time." Brat is set to photograph the Lt. Dan band as they perform an outdoor concert behind the set of CSI NY. I know Brat. Brat will not travel a straight line from point to logical point. She will hop from friend to friend, regardless of time constraints.

We breezed into Studio City a little after two in the morning.

By three that afternoon, Niece was posing with Jeff Vezain, Vocals and Acoustic Guitar

Nephew had taken over Mac's desk.

Met his demise and wound up in the hands of his sister. I can sympathize. I've been in the hands of my sister for a week. Don't tell her, but I've had a blast.

Kimo Williams, Electric guitar-vocals                                                 Gary Sinise, Electric Bass

Glad to know there aren't any wall flowers in our family. Hey wait, what about me?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Snot Bubble Stunts Social Development

"I haven't been popular since I blew a snot bubble in first grade." I state.

"Oh that isn't true." Says Mom, angry on my behalf.

"No really," I scratch my head, "The last time I hung out with the cool kids, I was arrested for shop lifting."

"Oh," Mom laughs, "That doesn't count."

"Why," I muse, "because I was on a girl scout trip when I stole a Mickey Mouse ring at Disneyland?"

"Maybe not your finest moment."

I don't mention the coffee cup I lifted from Braniff airlines on my way to Mexico for a USGS wider opportunity, or how adept I was at forging her signature on a credit card.

"You were popular in high school."

I don't miss that her comment is more question than statement. "Maybe for a day and a half."

"Band?" She queries.

"I faked it, so I didn't realize the body of my sax was caved in." I grin at her. "And don't forget the tuba player who use to clean his mouth piece on my jeans."

"Grade school, you loved grade school."

Mom is adament, but no. "Nope," I say, "did you know I wrapped Dad's old rubber boot in casting material, swiped the crutches from the hall closet and faked a broken leg?"

"No." She splutters.

"Yep, the coolest skiers had the best casts." I grin, at what used to be a horrific memory. "I faked a broken leg on thursday, played hooky on friday and on monday, I was completely healed."

"Well," she say's, "I love you."

Huh, turns out I'm popular after all.

All Quack, No Heart

"Hi Hon," Stacking groceries on the counter I grab the carton of Cherry Garcia, "Want ice cream?"

Rob's face creases with worry. "I might need a heart valve transplant."

"Oh really, and the quack told you this?"

"He did a test."

"Of course he did a test. He's run off most of his patients. He's a quack." My voice rises so the dog crawls onto Rob's lap to lick his chin. I ignore the muscle twitching beneath my left eye and calm my voice. "Okay, tell me about your appointment."

"Well, I went in to have my blood work done and he said he'd like to do a stress test."

Rob is a stress test, but I bite my lip. "Was the office busy?"

"No, that's why he suggested I have a stress test."

"Uh huh," I grunt, "and you're worried?"

"Well, yeah."

And he is worried. "Listen Honey," I say as patiently as I can, "the man is a quack." Rob opens his mouth, but I plow on. "He showed me his brand new sonagram, swiped the wand over my abdomen and decided I had bladder cancer." I stab a finger against the tic. "I had to see a Urologist who told me I was fine, go home."

"But ..."

"No buts Rob, the man is a quack."

"But I have to see a specialist."

"Good," I wrench the lid off the carton and shove a spoon into the melting ice cream. "Someone needs to tell you that you're going to live."

"We'll, are you going to live?"

His face falls, "They didn't tell me."

"But you did a stress test?" He nods. "Okay, I close the laptap and give Rob my attention. "Tell me everything."

"Well, they put me on the treadmill."

"And?" I prompt.

"Well, they kept increasing the speed and then the elevation and after twenty minutes, a doctor came out and asked if I was a marathon runner. I told him no, but I walk my seventeen year old dog around the block everyday."

"So," I say, "that's good." But Rob doesn't look convinced. I heave a sigh. "You're fine."

He shakes his head. "They didn't tell me the results."

"Uh huh," the tic is back.

Parking my rollerboard by the front door I turn to give Rob a hug, and stop. "What the hell is that?"

The worried look is back as Rob fingers the blue box hanging over his chest. "A heart monitor."


He opens his mouth, but I start to quack and after a moment he laughs.

"So, do you think you'll live?" I ask, as I uncork a bottle of Merlot. Usually I peel off the uniform two seconds after I cross the threshold, but I'm distracted by Rob and his damned blue box.

"I have to wear this for twenty four hours, so I've decided to sleep on the couch where I won't bother you."

"Good idea."

"Hi Honey," I greet Rob at the door, "how was your appointment."

"I'm fine." He shrugs, but the sheepish expression gives him away.

"And?" I ask.

"Well," he says, "there were seven of us in the waiting room and we all wore heart monitors."

We laugh for a moment and then I point a finger in his face. "The day you have a serious problem, is the day you go to my physician."

"But I like this guy."

"I'm just sayin."