Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grand Theft Auto

As you know, Grandma is always accusing Aunt Dee of stealing worthless crap. She works herself into a venomous state until I locate the clothespins or whatever has been "stolen." However, Aunt Dee has one item that my grandma could actually make a legitimate claim of thievery on, and yet Grandma doesn't even realize it. Aunt Dee has her car. Irony, huh?

A couple of years ago, when her dementia started to become more pronounced, Grandma called a cousin of ours in a fury. "My car has been stolen! Somebody stole my car!" Our cousin lives close by, so he came to help Grandma and pick her up. He found that the car had not been stolen, Grandma had forgotten where she parked. After this incident my dad and Aunt Dee decided it just wasn't safe for Grandma to be on the road. She would surely keep reporting the car "stolen" or worse, end up driving somewhere and not remembering where she was or how to get home. Rather than tempt fate, my aunt took the car and Grandma's been without wheels ever since.

Grandma sorely misses the independence and frequently starts sentences with "If I had my car still..." or "Wouldn't it be nice if we had a car..." She always brings up the notice she got from the DMV to retake her driving test. She's recently decided that I have a car and can drive us around. I hate to point out to her that I don't have a car either.

Maybe the saddest twist in the story is that when Aunt Dee takes us out, she uses Grandma's car. You'd think Grandma would live for this. She's got Aunt Dee red-headed, blatantly using a stolen item! But she doesn't. She doesn't recognize it any more. Instead she just walks to the car and says, "Oh, where are we going? I don't get out as much as I used to. I miss having a car."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

IHOP (International House of Pilfery)

Aunt Dee is at it again!

Today she stole:
measuring cups
cooking oil
maple syrup

Are you noticing a theme? The connection between the stolen goods is that I made pancakes for dinner and needed those things. The cups and syrup were recovered, but the oil is still a hot item pending further investigation.

Something funny about Grandma is that when she is first given a plate she will say, "Oh! This is too much! I can't eat all this!" She'll try to offer some to you. You must resist! If the food is in front of her, she will eat it. A case in point would be our Easter dinner. We went out to eat with my dad. Grandma ate pretty decent helpings of the appetizers and her pasta. She claimed to be full, but that Grandma, oh, does she have a fierce sweet tooth. As the waiter came by with a tray of pastries her little face lit up. She grabbed the largest one, a flaky cream-filled treat. As usual, she kept saying how it was too much and she couldn't finish. She kept offering it to me. Luckily, I was able to hold her at bay. Sure enough, she finished the whole thing by herself. So to recap, don't let Grandma try to pawn her food off on you. She will eat it, all of it. And probably go back for seconds, just like she did with the pancakes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Never Heard of It!

When it comes to food, Grandma is very much a meat and potatoes kind of girl. Her background is Eastern European and Italian food is about as "ethnic" as she eats. She recently lost a lot of weight (18 pounds, another favorite topic of hers). We think it was due to her forgetting to eat or just not wanting to cook. To combat that, her freezer is pretty stocked with microwave TV dinners. Now, I'm not the most adventurous foodie, but some of my additions to the kitchen are blowing her nonagenarian mind!

Here are some highlights of our recent culinary conversations:

While I cook with a large pan, "I never saw such a huge frying pan! Geez, is that big enough? Why is it so big? That'd be good for hitting someone if they tried to break in."

Upon seeing my organic tomato soup, "What, Campbell's isn't good enough for you?"

When I point out a local Chinese place that delivers, "I never cared for Chinese food."

As I eat baby carrots and hummus, "What's that?"
"Hummus, it's like a dip. It's made of chickpeas, like those cans I have."
"Never heard of it."

While I seasoned a tomato sauce, "You're putting rosemary in spaghetti sauce? Never heard of it. My mother never did that."
I replied, "Your mother wasn't Italian." Naturally, this got me swatted at for being fresh.

After I made a pasta dish with tuna, olive oil, and lemon, "Pasta without spaghetti sauce? Never heard of it."

I can't wait to see what will happen if I bring home sushi! I suspect it will go something like, "Raw fish? Wasabi? You eat it with chopsticks? Never heard of it!"

Things Aunt Dee Stole Today:
feather duster

But I took a nap in the afternoon, so I might have missed some thefts. She is stealthy, that Aunt Dee!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Recent Thefts

Aunt Dee has been on a thievin' rampage lately! Items my grandma has accused her of stealing in the past few days include:

teddy bear
drying rack
pasta strainer
pill box
two-piece bathing suit

When will she ever stop?

Cute Giggle

In her high school yearbook (1937), Grandma is remembered as a lovable girl with a cute giggle. 70 plus years later she still has it and I've made it one of my goals to make her laugh whenever I can. Nowadays her giggle is almost silent, but if she's really amused she'll toss back her head and nearly shake with laughter. If she's in a feisty mood (usually), she might swat at me and call me "fresh" through her giggles.

One evening she came into my room to say good night.

I said, "You're going to bed? It's not even 9 o'clock!"

"Oh, well I like to read before bed. I gotta lotta books, you know."

"Yeah, you have piles in there. You have a lot of reading to do!"

"Aunt Dee gives me her books sometimes."

I see my chance. Grandma has set me up perfectly to make a joke about one of her favorite topics. With a fair amount of mischievous glee, I reply, "She better! She has to make up for all the things she steals." I try hard to keep a straight face. Grandma just about loses it. She is cracking up and can barely speak through her giggles.

"Oooooh! You're terrible! You're terrible!" She swats at me and keeps giggling as she shuffles off to bed.